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This Policy is designed to standardize telephone usage across HFRS.
The guidelines below are basic standards governing all telephone usage. The following headings further explain the convention for specific telephone functions e.g. conference calls and voicemail.
Further Information can be found at-
An example of what to say when answering the phone
E.g. Good morning/afternoon, your name
Good morning, (your Location) (your name).
You should provide the following information in your message
Where possible an alternative contact number, mobile number or email.
‘Out of the office’ scripts: If you are away for a short time leave a short message
E.g. "Hello, This is (your name) voicemail. I'm unavailable just at the moment. Please leave a message after the tone"
If you are away for a longer time provide more information
E.g. Hello, you have reached the voicemail for (your name). I will be out of the office from (date) to (date). If you require immediate assistance please call (name) in (Department Name) on (Internal and external telephone number). Thank you for calling.
It is preferable to answer phones rather than letting the call go to voicemail.
If you are leaving your desk you can forward your calls to another extension or direct to voicemail.
NB Please seek permission before you forward your phone to a mobile.
Staff in a group office can create a policy to determine whether colleagues should answer each other’s phones (see group pick up).
(You may wish to develop an office policy to communicate when people will be back at their desks so colleagues may provide information to callers.)
It is recommended that stations/offices have their phones set up for group pick up. This allows other staff to answer other phones in the group from their desk.
When answering somebody else’s phone you should give the caller their name.
E.g. good afternoon/morning, Information Services Department, Barbara Windsor’s phone.
Should you receive another call while you are on the phone you will see the ID of the second caller appear on the LCD.
Decide whether you will take the call—if you don’t answer the call it will proceed to your voicemail after the default 30 seconds.
If you decide to take the new incoming call inform the first caller. You can ask them to hold or tell them you will call them back. Aim not to keep the caller on hold for more than 20 seconds.
(moving between multiple calls)
Nobody should be kept on hold for longer than 20 seconds without providing an explanation.
There are two types of conference call:
initiator calls individual attendees to invite them, can be pre-arranged or spur of the moment.
Meet me conferences: pre-arranged by the conference initiator. Attendees dial in at a given time.
There will be occasions when employees need to make short, personal telephone calls on HFRS telephones in order to deal with occasional and urgent personal matters.Where possible, such calls should be made and received outside the employee’s normal working hours or when they do not interfere with work requirements.HFRS landlines may be used for other types of personal calls providing the use is reasonable and that all calls are paid for. Please complete Service Form FM-2-7. Further assistance can be obtained from the IS Admin Department at HQ.
The use of HFRS telephones or voicemail systems for private purposes, which are unreasonably excessive or for HFRS purposes which are defamatory, obscene or otherwise inappropriate, may result in disciplinary procedures.
Where HFRS has grounds to suspect possible misuse of its telephones, it reserves the right to audit the destination and length of out-going calls and the source and length of in-coming calls.This would not normally involve the surveillance of calls but in certain rare circumstances where there are reasonable grounds to suspect serious misconduct.
Breaking into the voice mail system or unauthorized use of someone else’s access code of mailbox may result in disciplinary procedures.
The Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice) (Interception of Communications) Regulations 2000
Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000
Interceptions of communications Act 1985
Telecommunications Act 1984
Human Rights Act 1998
This page printed on 23 Nov 2014 at 22:04
For reference, the url of this document is:
© Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service 2014