The Profs Tuition FAQs – The Profs
frequently asked questions

The Profs Tuition FAQs:

What are Teaching Skills?

These refer to the levels at which a tutor is comfortable teaching certain subjects, they are also how TutorCruncher helps to filter the large amount of demand which we handle from clients. When listing a job on our system, we attach labels according to the subject and level of teaching required, which are then matched with the Teaching Skills on tutors’ profiles. This determines who receives the notification email for that job, and to whom it is visible on the application board. You should take care to list all the levels at which you can teach a certain subject, not just the highest, to make sure you can view all the relevant jobs.

How can I improve my application?

Consider what the client will want to know about a potential tutor: are they experienced with my subject? Have they had success tutoring others in this field? Will they be available where and when I need them to be, and how soon can they start? Help us by answering these questions, so we can sell you to the client in a single phone call. From The Profs’ perspective, we would recommend making it clear that you have read the job description carefully, and that you have checked through the course material, where available. References to availability on days when the client is not free, or to meeting in London when the client is in Newcastle, are the best ways to ensure that you don’t get the job. Further to this, problems arising during a placement, which could have been avoided by a close reading of the job description before application, are a good way to ensure that you don’t get any more jobs with The Profs.

How can I thank my tutor?

We love to hear of success stories! Please contact the office and we’ll send you link to leave a review, that will help your tutor get more work through us in the future.

Is my money safe?

Absolutely. Stripe, our payment provider, has, the same security systems as your bank. We are a registered UK company; company number: 09229952

What if I want a refund?

Your first hour of tuition with a new tutor is covered by our Not Happy No Charge policy, and you will not be charged for this time if you decide not to continue (provided there are reasonable grounds for dissatisfaction). Please see our Terms and Conditions for more details. The minimum length of any tuition arranged through The Profs is five hours, and we process payment for this in advance, to be held as credit. If fewer than five hours are used, the remaining credit is not usually refundable. We are happy to return any unused credit from advanced payment beyond the first five hours. Just email [email protected] or call us on 0203 905 5272 and we will sort this out for you. If you wish to dispute a charge for a tutor’s time then let us know, and we will raise this with them. Ultimately unless a tutor is in breach of The Profs terms, any amendment to a charge will be at their discretion, and we cannot promise any reduction or refund.

What if my payment fails?

Don’t worry, just contact the office ASAP, so we can sort it out. If we don’t hear from you, we will attempt to take the payment a second time and will contact your tutor, who may choose to suspend tuition until payment has been made. If it fails again we’ll have to apply a late payment administration fee, and if it fails a third time without contact we may have to move to legal action, so it’s best to get in touch straight away! Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information.

When are payments taken?

We invoice our students every Thursday afternoon, and payment is usually taken automatically five days later, on the following Tuesday (six days later for Direct Debit). You will receive a payment receipt email once this has been processed.

I have a question or problem with my invoice, what should I do?

If you have any accounting queries, please email [email protected], and we will get back to you by phone or email. We will pause any payment until we have resolved any problems with you. Alternatively you can call us in the office on 0203 905 5272 during working hours.

What is the Priority Placement Fee?

If your deadline is urgent, we charge £100 to push your needs to the top of the pile and focus on finding you the right tutor, ideally within 24 hours.

What is the Placement Fee?

This is a one-off fee of £50 for new clients, for the first match with a tutor, and is intended to covers The Profs’ administrative costs. It is only payable when you have been put in touch with a tutor with whom you are happy to work, and is refundable in the event that you are not happy with your tutor and we are unable to find a suitable replacement. More information is available in our Terms and Conditions. The Priority Placement fee, for finding tutors at very short notice, is £100.

Are there any up-front charges?

We will ask for a deposit of £20 when you first contact us, to make sure you’re serious about finding a tutor! We receive a huge amount of demand, and we just can’t handle speculative enquiries. Once you’ve been matched with your tutor, this deposit will count towards your Placement Fee. More information is available in our Terms and Conditions.

How much will it cost?

The prices are set by our tutors, but we have outlined a pricing scale, according to the level of the work required, which you can see on our Pricing Page. All the rates are per hour, and we will always quote an exact hourly rate at the point that we confirm your placement with your tutor. The final rate will also be determined by the experience and standing of the individual tutor. Before meeting your tutor, we will agree all prices with you.

Can I make payments in cash?

Unfortunately, our tutors cannot accept payments in cash. All payments must be made via The Profs, using one of the method listed above. This creates transparency and avoids the possibility of payment disputes, which protects both tutor and client.

Do you offer any discounts?

We can offer a discount when you make a Bank Transfer for a large number of hours in advance, either 10 or 20 hours. The discount is 5% for 10 hours or 10% for 20. We do offer further discounts for even larger packages, and so please do give us a call to discuss the options.

Do you have a Code of Conduct?

Absolutely! The Profs are proud to be part of the Tutor’s Association, and we expect all our tutors to abide by the Association’s Code of Ethics, which you can find on your Profs Tutor Cruncher account, in PDF form. We have also added our own Founding Principles, which we give out in every interview, and Terms and Conditions for tutors, which you can read on this website. If ever in doubt, you can call us in the office. We want you to be the best tutor you can be!

Can I be a full-time tutor?

The Profs is proud to work with several, expert full-time tutors. However, one of the difficult things about Higher Education tuition is that demand is cyclical over the course of the year, and very unpredictable from week to week. While there may be periods during which a comfortable living can be made through tutoring alone, most of our tutors find that tutor is the perfect part-time occupation, committing between 5-20 hours a week. This is especially true for tutors of the Humanities, for which there is substantially less demand.

Can I bill for preparation time?

Yes, but you will need to discuss this with you Client Liaison Manager, ideally before you are introduced to the client. If the preparation required for a placement is likely to exceed the usual amount expected (around half an hour to an hour for each hour of planned tuition), for example where extensive background reading is required, or where a long coursework project is in discussion, we are keen that our tutors should be reimbursed for this time, and will be happy to propose a ‘Preparation Rate’ to cover these costs. This is usually around half of the full cost of tuition.

Can I bill for expenses?

In some cases it will be appropriate to charge for expenses, like travel costs, or even, very rarely, for travel time. This will need to be agreed in advance with the client, preferably through the Client Manager before the placement is confirmed, otherwise they cannot be invoiced. Usually, when a tutor lives or works in London, and sessions are taking place there, we do not expect to bill for travel costs. If a tutor logs expenses on the system that have not been discussed with The Profs, these will be queried and may result in a delay to your payment.

Can I get a reference?

As Profs tutors are self-employed, we are not able to provide references to potential employers.

Can I tutor online?

We have always been very keen to promote online tuition at The Profs. Whether you are an experienced online tutor or just starting out, we will be happy to give advice and guidance on improving your methods. A good place to start is Bitpaper, the purpose-built online teaching tool.

When is there most demand?

Demand for Higher Education tuition is highly cyclical, and the busiest periods are February-May and mid-July to mid-August.

Who are your students?

Typically, Profs students are undergraduates, seeking help with a variety of subjects, usually close to examinations or coursework deadlines. Often, however, we receive enquiries from postgraduate students, usually working on their dissertations, and professional clients preparing for career-development qualifications, especially the high-level Accounting exams. We are increasingly working with A-level and GCSE clients.

Is my payment guaranteed?

Since we use the Stripe payment system, 99.9% of the time we collect the full payment of invoices on time. However, The Profs cannot guarantee payment from any client, especially in cases of dispute. We undertake to provide a stable and secure payment process as far as possible, and in cases of default, we will pursue payment on the tutor’s behalf. Where this is unsuccessful we will usually (at our discretion) enter into legal proceedings, and seek a County Court Judgement for payment of any outstanding invoices. We cannot, however, guarantee that this will be successful. Payments are made to tutors only once the payment has been collected.

Do I need a minimum IELTS score to join?

Yes. We require IELTS level 7 as an absolute minimum requirement, although we expect fluency from our tutors. Your interviewer will determine whether your level of English is sufficient to tutor through The Profs.

When will I be paid?

The Profs invoice clients behalf of our tutors every Thursday. The deadline to update your hours on TutorCruncher is 12:00 on Thursday, after which time any further hours will be invoiced for the following week. We give our clients 10 days to confirm their invoice, and a further three days to make payment. We aim to make payment to the tutor two weeks after the invoice date, on the Friday, for which we’ll send out a payment notification the day before.

My profile has been made ‘Dormant’, what does that mean?

There are a number of reasons why a tutor’s profile may be made dormant, and usually you will be aware of the reasons beforehand. Essentially, this means that a tutor is no longer able to apply for placements with The Profs, and is not considered to be an active tutor. You will not receive notifications of available jobs, or other broadcasts from The Profs. If you are unaware of the reasons for your profile being Dormant, then please email [email protected]

There is a problem with my student. What should I do?

Supporting the work of tutors is a big part of what we do. If any issues arise during a placement, please contact The Profs straight away, and we will be happy to discuss it in detail and the potential solutions. Open communication, both with us and with the student is key to a successful placement, and it is much easier to assist when we are aware of problems at an early stage. Since both tutors and students are clients of The Profs, we try to be fair and impartial in the case of disputes. However, we do encourage the use of timesheets and written agreements on the part of tutors to clarify and to help prevent such disputes.

What happens when I apply for a Job?

Your application for any placement goes straight to The Profs’ office team, and will be read initially by the Client Liaison Manager dealing with the client in question. It will be used as a source of information when putting you forward to the client, so do make sure to include any particularly relevant experience you may have, and address any specific features of the job, particularly timing,location and attached course materials.

Who sees my profile?

Only the Profs’ Office team will be able to see your profile, although we will refer to it when discussing your experience with clients. It is essentially a store of information to help us sell your services to students, so please bear that in mind when setting it up.

How long will it take for me to become a tutor?

Once you have completed your profile on our system it will be reviewed by one of the senior members of the team, and hopefully we will then be able to invite you for an interview. You may be asked to improve your profile before you can be invited. We do receive plenty of applications, however, so this process can take two-three weeks. If invited for an interview, you will have the chance to choose a date and time from a list of available slots, and will be told what you will need to prepare and bring with you.

Will you check how I’m getting on?

Absolutely! We’ll call you after your first tutorial to check that everything is going well. After that you can reach us at any time by email, or by telephone from 09:00-18:00 Monday – Friday, and we will be happy to help.

Is your office open at weekends?

Sadly, we are not able to maintain a team in the office over the weekend, but if you fill in our Contact Form or send us an email over the weekend we will pick it up first thing on Monday morning. Profs office hours are 09:00-18:00 every weekday.

I am unhappy with my tutor, what should I do?

If you are ever dissatisfied with your tutor or any aspect of our service then please do let us know; it is very important to take feedback from our clients so that we and our tutors can improve. Usually, issues with a placement can be resolved in discussion between The Profs and the tutor, and the placement can then continue on the right track. Clear and open communication is the most important thing. Where the problems are really insurmountable, we will be happy to arrange an alternative tutor as quickly as we can.

Can I have a trial session?

Unfortunately, we don’t offer trial sessions, but you will have a chance to speak to your tutor before your first session, usually for around half an hour, to discuss your requirements in more detail and to help them prepare properly for your time together. We also have a student satisfaction policy for the first session, which you can read more about in our Terms and Conditions.

What are the benefits of online tuition?

In short, convenience and flexibility. The future of tuition is online, and The Profs are pioneers in this field. See our Online Tutoring Page for more information.

What is online tuition?

Online tuition allows students to receive expert subject-specific tutoring from the comfort of their home, no matter where in the world that might be. Sessions are conducted via video call and use online whiteboard software Bitpaper for demonstrations and working. Online tutoring classes can even be recorded for students to refer back to. Online tutoring provides additional flexibility as neither student or tutor needs to travel for a teaching session. Top tutors, especially for specialist or niche subjects, are often few in number and are often in extremely high demand, so it is easier to find a good match online. The Profs is a world-leading online tuition company. We train our tutors to teach online, so our students get the very best learning experience. Our tutor network uses purpose-built teaching tools with in-built recording software to provide truly advanced home-learning.

What is your privacy policy?

You can read our Privacy Policy here. All our client profiles are anonymous, to everyone except the office team, until we match a student with a tutor, when details will be shared with them alone. The Profs are registered Data Controllers with the Information Commissioner’s Office, and comply with all governmental requirements and recommendations on data protection.

Am I guaranteed a high grade?

No. We undertake to provide the best help and advice that we can, by putting you in touch with the right tutor. We can never guarantee the outcome of the work, however; at the end of the day a student’s success is down to them, to their hard work and ability, and we can only provide support towards achieving that success.

Have you got testimonials from your previous students?

Yes. We are extremely proud of our online reviews, available on TrustPilot and on Facebook. We also store the feedback on all our tutors’ work, so we can make sure that we are confident when we put them forward. Unfortunately, we cannot give out details of our students.

How many sessions will I need?

It really depends what you are trying to achieve, but it’s very difficult for anyone to make good progress with any topic in less than 5 hours, total, and we don’t arrange tuition placements for any less than that. We usually recommend a 2 hour session to begin with, and many students stick with that length. Weekly or twice weekly sessions are usual, but this is always open to discussion with the tutor, and depending on the time-limit we can always arrange sessions more or less frequently than that. Part of the service our tutors provide is an initial consultation. The tutor will be able to discuss your aims with you, and based on their experience with the topics, will be able to give you an estimate of the time needed. They can also help you to structure your study, in between sessions, to ensure that you are making good progress.

Where and when can I meet my tutor?

The majority of tuition arranged through The Profs takes place online, meaning that students from all over the world can access the best tutors in the UK (and elsewhere). The timing of sessions is always different, and depends on your own availability and the tutor’s schedule. Let us know any preferences or restrictions on your time, and we will do our best to accommodate.

I can’t complete my work on my own. Can someone finish it for me?

Definitely not. Our tutors can only provide support which is compatible with universities’ ethical guidelines and the Tutors’ Association Code of Ethics. We understand how hard it can be, but we don’t believe that anyone benefits from plagiarism. Things a tutor can do: make detailed suggestions for improvements to coursework essays; explain how to run statistical tests on practice data sets, and how to choose which tests to run. Things they can’t do: write material for essays, or tell students what to write; edit or correct written work themselves; run statistical tests or interpret the results. See The Profs’ Terms and Conditions for more information on our plagiarism policies.

How quickly can you find someone for me?

Matching you with the right tutor can’t be rushed, but we won’t be wasting any time either. It usually takes around 2-3 working days, so do get in touch as soon as you can to give yourself the best chance of success. If you need to find someone sooner than that, you will need to request a Priority Placement, for which there is an extra charge (see our pricing page). We will then undertake to find someone on the same day if possible. If we can’t, we will only charge the usual placement fee.

How is my tutor selected?

Your designated Client Liaison Manager will help you select the best tutor(s) for your needs. We interview all our tutors individually, and take feedback from every student they work with, so we’re in a great position to recommend the right tutor for you. Once we have all taken your requirements, tutors with relevant experience will let us know how they can help you, and we’ll help select the best one or two to introduce to you. Ultimately, however, the choice will be yours, so do ask our team for any information you need.

How do you take payments?

All payments are taken by The Profs on the tutors’ behalf, and are made via debit or credit card, or via Direct Debit. After the first payment, the card details are saved by our payment provider, Stripe, and further payments are taken automatically. Don’t worry, though; you’re still in full control, and you can request an immediate refund of any payment you think is incorrect. Our invoices are sent weekly, and you’ll have 96 hours to query any invoice from us.

Who can become a tutor?

At the very top, we work with lecturers and industry professionals of decades’ experience, and typically all of our tutors hold at least a Master’s degree. Usually, our tutors have considerable private tuition experience before applying to The Profs. Everyone must visit The Profs’ Office for an interview or arrange to meet a member of the team online. The will be asked to prepare and teach a mock tutorial before they can be approved as a tutor, and not everyone passes this stage. Our standards are high.

Will the tutor be expert in my subject?

90% of our students work with a specialist in their field. For original topics, like dissertations (especially at Master’s and PhD level) it’s nearly impossible to find a tutor whose research is in the same area; if it were, it wouldn’t be original! What they can do, however, is advise on the best methods, the approach, and the requirements of research at this level, and guide you towards the right results.

Are your tutors highly qualified?

Yes! We work with only the most qualified and experienced tutors in the business. Many of our tutors have been lecturing at university level for decades, and almost all of them hold at least a Master’s degree. We personally interview every tutor before they join our network, as part of which they are required to deliver a mock tutorial, so that we can attest to their skills. Only the best make it through to The Profs!

Do you teach my subject?

Yes (but drop us a message to check)! We work with nearly 400 tutors in London, across the UK and around the world, covering everything from Accounting to Zoology. We are proud of our excellent contacts in the world of Academia, and if we don’t have the right person yet, we’ll be happy to go out and find them for you!

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