RED Award: Frequently Asked Questions
Written by Vicky Clarke
Date posted: November 10, 2011
With so many students now registered to take part in RED (almost 1,000!), we’ve started to spot those questions that you ask the most often. Hopefully the following will help you to complete your RED Award:
1. Over what period should I aim to complete the award? Is there a time limit?
You have as long as you are a registered student at Reading to complete the Award. You are not restricted to an academic year and you can use activities that you complete during the vacation to count towards the Award.
2. Can I just have volunteering experience to gain the award?
Yes, you can for the core activity and the volunteering components. If you choose to do volunteering for the core activity, you can double count your hours, so you only have to do 17.5 hours. Plus the ten hours of compulsory volunteering is 27.5 hours in total.
3. Can I use work experience/volunteering/paid work I’ve gained before signing up for the Award?
You can backdate any activity as long as it was undertaken whilst you were a registered student at Reading and it was completed after 1 October 2010 (launch date for RED).
4. What does the Award mean when it comes to applying for jobs?
The Award will appear on your degree transcript, which will show an employer that the University has formally recognised your achievements. During the sign off session for the Award, you will spend time reflecting on your activities and identifying what you learnt and developed as well as how to articulate that for an employer. This should help you when filling out application forms and going to interviews.
5. Don’t all universities have this kind of award- what’s special about RED?
Yes – there are a lot of different institutions that offer an employability Award. RED has been designed specifically for Reading students; focus groups were set up with students to feed into the structure of the Award so that it was designed with what Reading students were looking for. Employers have been involved in the construction of many of these employability awards, so particularly the large graduate recruiters are aware of Awards and would be interested in students who have completed them, wherever they have done so.
6. Does being a member of a Sports Club/Society count?
Just being a member of a sports club or a society does not count; you must be on the committee. We are looking for students to have an active volunteer role to achieve the Award, not just a participatory role.
7. What counts towards the training and development part of the Award?
There are two different programmes you can select your five hours from; the central University training programme (STEP), which is available on the student homepage OR the Skills Development programme run by RUSU, details of which are available on their website.
8. How do I verify my activities?
You must complete an activity checklist, which is available to download and print out from the RED Award website. Detail the activities you have done, the dates and times you spent doing them and then ask a relevant individual to sign if off for you. Your referee could be a manager, supervisor, co-ordinator of a scheme etc.
9. Where do I find out about volunteering opportunities?
Once you have registered for RED, you will be added to the mailing list where volunteering activities as well as other opportunities will be advertised to you. If you need help with finding a volunteering or other activity, then do come along to the RED Award drop-in session.
Good luck with completing your Award! Look forward to seeing you in a sign off session soon.