Information Services

Hope Park Counselling Centre Implements New Database Management System

ISG supported the University’s Hope Park Counselling Centre with implementation of their new database management system, enabling remote and secure user access.

The Hope Park Counselling Centre is the University’s in-house counselling, training and research centre for full-time Masters and Professional Doctorate counselling students, offering services to individuals aged sixteen and over living in the Edinburgh area.

man and woman talking in armchairs

The University’s Information Services Group (ISG) recently supported Hope Park with implementing a new web-based solution to manage its core processes remotely. In 2016 Hope Park identified the need for an updated system and designated database for client records and general management processes. Recognizing the requirements for client confidentiality and consistent system management, Hope Park decided to pursue commercial solutions.

Hope Park worked closely with the IS project team to capture and identify user needs from the counselor and client perspectives. “At any time we have 40 to 45 counsellors in our team, each seeing three clients or more, so over the course of a week we could be managing more than 150 client relationships,” said Jo Hilton, Co-Director at Hope Park. “We look like a small counselling organization, but we knew we were going to be expanding and wanted a system that could grow with us.”

In working with the IS team, Hope Park identified their need for accessibility and security to be properly integrated in the University system. In 2017 the Hope Park team selected Sales Agility as the vendor for the relationship management system, based on their open source technology, flexibility and opportunities for future growth.

We're proudly a Scottish company, that engages globally. Quite often our projects are based in the US and it's always a pleasure to work close to home. With Hope Park (and before Coronavirus), we were able to hop on a train to speak to the Jo and the other stakeholders which allowed us to quickly build a good relationship and rapport.

Dale MurrayCEO of Sales Agility

The solution, Suite Assured, is a client management system supplied by Sales Agility that provides a secure cloud-based solution, reduction in use of paper-based processes and tools, enhanced reporting, options for remote access, single system document management with audit trails and compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Additionally, the user-friendly system is able to evolve depending on Hope Park’s changing needs and requirements.

“It was great working with Hope Park and ISG. Everyone was dedicated to delivering a new and improved database to help support and empower the work that they do at Hope Park,” said Dale. “The ISG were very supportive throughout the project, helping with the project management and gathering any technical dependencies we required.”

IS supported Hope Park in an extensive testing period to ensure the system would be implemented to fully meet the centre’s needs and minimize any glitches or disruptions. The project implementation was well-timed to meet the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, necessitating a shift to virtual appointments.

Overnight we changed from face-to-face to a remote counselling centre and students needed to be able to access their information securely and remotely. Without this system we wouldn’t be the remote counselling centre we’re able to be at the moment.

Jo HiltonCo-Director, Hope Park Counselling Centre

The Hope Park Centre has been utilizing the new system since the end of May with largely positive feedback and widespread support for the system-wide implementation. Hope Park anticipates further developments and expansion to the system as they work closely with their colleagues in the Centre for Psychological Therapies.

Woman answers phone and types on computer

“From the outset we have had an excellent relationship with the IS team. They were supportive and guided the foundational approach to the process of defining business requirements through the creation of user stories,” said Jo. “The testing process was complicated, and they supported with that as well. Our job is to be experts in running a counselling centre and the input from ISG provided the needed expertise to support the outcome of the project and manage the overall process.”

To learn more about Hope Park Counselling Service, visit: