Non-medical helper information


What DSA funded NMH support does PU provide?

The University employs two part time, term time only Specialist Study Skills tutors. Plymouth also works with Amano, Randstad and Clear Links who are companies that provide support workers and non-medical helpers to students with disabilities. Students can also choose to work with independent suppliers of non-medical help.

Specialist one to one study skills support is non-subject specific and helps students to develop skills and strategies aimed at promoting independent learning.


A tutor may help students with disabilities in the following areas:

  • time management and organisation
  • exam and revision strategies
  • preparing for lectures, seminars and presentations
  • planning techniques
  • action planning and target setting
  • research methods
  • structuring information
  • referencing and sourcing data
  • academic writing processes and techniques
  • effective/interactive reading strategies
  • proofreading strategies.

Please consult a DSA Needs Assessor for further information.

More information on NMH can be found in the NMH guidance document.

Details about NMH rates can be found in the NMH rates document.

NMH Frequently asked questions (FAQs) for 2016


1. Can I work with my students over the summer?

If you work with the student through a company such as Randstad, Amano or Clearlinks – please liaise with that company directly. If you work independently, please follow the guidance below:

  • If your student wants to meet, still has hours available and they are not in their final year, you can continue to work with your student without confirmation from the funding body (e.g. SFE)
  • If your student does not have hours left, they have summer referral work and they were originally assessed by Access South West, a Disability Advisor will need to request additional recommendations from the funding body. Please ask your student to contact Disability Services with clear information about the referral work, reasons for the referral and disability related reasons as to why the student needs support
  • If your student does not have hours left, they have summer referral work but they were not assessed by Access South West, your student will need to approach their current assessor to request additional hours. They would need to identify why additional hours were needed in terms of referral work etc and disability related reasons for the additional hours being needed.
  • If the student is graduating then support can only continue up until their last deadline/exam date.
  • If your student is in their final year and they have summer referral work/extensions, a Disability Advisor will need to request additional recommendations from the funding body. Please ask your student to contact Disability Services with clear information about the referral work with evidence (the student would usually receive written confirmation from their faculty, usually an email), reasons for the referral and disability related reasons as to why the student needs support.
2. Does my student have to use all their hours up over the summer

No, your student is not obliged to use their full entitlement each year. Support should be student led – it is their choice.

3. What's going on with the audit for direct tutoring to SFE? They have not disclosed the process for this but, they are expecting us to sign up to it not knowing what the process is, or the costs. Is there any further info on this? 

From a recent meeting with an SFE representative, we understand that BIS are looking at 3 or 4 tier audit process but costs have not been released as yet :

  • larger suppliers (30 or more) will have onsite audits
  • some suppliers will be self-assessments
  • some hybrids – so possible mix of self-assessment and onsite audit.

4. Can I keep the ability to login to the University network? It is so helpful when demonstrating research skills and accessing support sites while working alongside a student?

The library is open to members of the public provided you can show appropriate ID (Driving licence, passport, NUS or bank card). As a member of the public you would not be able to access Eduroam but can access up to four hours online for free by using the Guest WiFi on campus. Associate Library Membership may be of interest to you. 

5. Will there be work for study assistants and note takers (Bands 1 and 2) next year?

Only SFE are not providing funding for bands 1 and 2 non-medical helper support. At this stage NHS funded students and Student Finance Wales (SFW) will still be entitled to DSA funded support for bands 1 and 2. Existing and continuing students will also still have the same support for 2016/17.

6. Will PU be employing any internal study assistants and note takers (Bands 1 and 2) next year?

At present PU is in the process of deciding the best way forward for supporting students with needs that were previously met by bands 1 and 2 non-medical helper support. We will keep you informed.

7. Will PU be offering any training for NMH workers?

As an independent supplier, ongoing CPD and training would be your own responsibility. The supplier companies offer their own training and the DSAQAG practitioner website does identify relevant training requirements. There is ongoing discussion regarding levels of qualifications for each NMH role at present. More information about training.


8. Do PU have preferred companies to work with?

Amano, Clearlinks and Randstad are the University’s preferred suppliers.