Profs FAQ

The Profs Tuition FAQs:

  • Finding a Tutor through The Profs
  • Hiring a Tutor with The Profs

    New to The Profs? Don’t worry – we’ve collected the answers to the most commonly asked questions, so you can call us with confidence!

    1. Do you teach my subject?

    Yes (but drop us a message to check)! We have 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!

    2. 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 all of them hold at least a Master’s degree. We personally interview every tutor before they join our network, asking them to deliver a tutorial to us so that we can attest to their skills. Only the best make it through to The Profs.

    Will they 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.

    3. How is my tutor selected?

    Your designated Client Liaison Manager will personally 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 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.

    4. 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.
    5. I can’t complete my work on my own. Can someone finish it for me?

    No. Our tutors act within university ethical practice guidelines for all the work they undertake, and our tutors will never do your work for you; we are teachers, not cheaters. . There is always a limit to how far a tutor can involve themselves in a student’s work, which is determined by the tutor’s own discretion.

    Things they can do: make detailed suggestions for improvements to coursework essays; explain how to run statistical tests on 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.
    6. Where and when can I meet my tutor?

    Most of our tutors live and work in central London, and that is where the vast majority of our tuition takes place. Usually our students travel into town for sessions, and we always recommend that student and tutor work together to find somewhere which works for both of them.

    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. Tutors work evenings and weekends too. Our best tutors are expertly trained online tutors, who can work with you anywhere in the world (we believe that online tuition can be more effective that face-to-face with a trained tutor!). Talk to a member of our team to learn more about the benefits of online tuition.
    Will my tutor come to my house?

    If you live in Zone 1 or 2 it’s likely that a tutor can come to your home, and it may be possible if you live further out, though travel expenses may be required.

    50% of our tuition takes place online. Talk to a member of our team to learn more about the benefits of online tuition.
    I don’t live in London, can I still have tutor?

    For clients based further afield, we have a large number of experienced online tutors, helping students all around the world in a whole variety of subjects. A number of our tutors also live and work around the country, so it’s worth asking in case we have someone in your area.

    7. 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. The tutors will also be able to help you create a study timetable to help make sure you are getting everything done!
    8. 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.

    9. Am I guaranteed a high grade?

    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.

    10. What is your privacy policy?

    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. Where we have received course materials from the student, this is made available to all interested tutors, but again is stored anonymously, and is not distributed any further.

    The Profs are registered Data Handlers with the Information Commissioner’s Office, and comply with all governmental requirements and recommendations on Data Protection.
    11. What is online tuition?
    Do you only do online?

    No, the majority of our tuition is still provided in person, generally in central London. See Where and when can I meet my tutor? (in Section 1)

    12. What are the benefits of online tuition?

    Online tuition is the future of tuition and The Profs are pioneers in this field. Please see our Online Tutoring Page for more information.

    13. 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 100% satisfaction guarantee on the first session, to protect our clients in case of poor-quality tuition. It is extremely rare that we need to invoke this guarantee, but you can read more about it in our Terms and Conditions

    14. 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. If it is your first tutorial, we also offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee, but you must let us know within 24 hours of the first tutorial.

    15. 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.

    16. Will you check how I’m getting on?

    Absolutely! We’ll call you to introduce you to your tutor, after your first tutorial, and at regular intervals after that to check that everything is going OK. You can call us at any time – we’re always up for a chat about tuition!

  • Working as a Tutor with The Profs
  • 1. 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, and we continue to monitor all our tutors’ progress throughout their time with us.
    Would I be employed by The Profs Tuition Ltd.?

    No. All Profs tutors are self-employed; we act as an agency, putting students in touch with high-quality tutors in their field. You must have the right to be self-employed in this country, and must register for self-assessment with HMRC. You will then be asked to provide The Profs with your Unique Tax Reference Number as soon as possible. All responsibility for correct payment of tax lies with the individual tutor, but we will be happy to advise, and more information is available in our Tutor Handbook.

    2. 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 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 up to a week.

    If invited for 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.
    3. 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.

    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.
    4. 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.

    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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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 agency. If you are unaware of the reasons for your profile being Dormant, then please email enquiries@theprofs.co.uk.

    7. When will I be paid?

    The Profs invoice clients on their tutors’ behalves on a weekly basis, every Thursday afternoon. The deadline to update your hours on TutorCruncher is 15:00 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 further three days to make payment. We will be able to pay their tutor exactly two weeks after the invoice was sent, also on the Thursday. Payments are made in the morning, before invoicing.

    8. 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.

    9. 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.

    10.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.

    11. 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.

    12. How do I become an online tutor?

    Online tuition is an important and growing part of The Profs’ provision, and something we are keen to promote. Whether you are an experienced online tutor or just starting out, we will be happy to give advice and guidance on improving your methods. If you are interested in online tuition with The Profs, then send us an email to enquiries@theprofs.co.uk, and our Tutor Liaison Team will be happy to help.

    13. Can I get a reference?

    As Profs tutors are self-employed, we are not able to provide references to potential employers, except where a character reference is required. Even then, the scope of our knowledge is likely to be very limited, and this will be reflected in the reference. We would usually recommend that you seek other referees when applying for work.

    14. 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.

    15. 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.

    16. 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. If you are interested in becoming a full-time tutor, please raise this with our team, and we’ll help out as best that we can.

  • Payments
  • 1. How do you take payments?

    All payments are taken by The Profs on the tutors’ behalf, and are made through debit or credit card. 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.

    2. 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
    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

    7. 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.

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

    If you have any accounting queries, please email accounts@theprofs.co.uk, 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 02080047639 during working hours.

    9. When are payments taken?

    We invoice our students every Thursday afternoon, and payment is taken seven days later, on the following Thursday.

    You’ll also receive a notification from our payment provider confirming the amount to be deducted on the Monday.
    10. What if my payment fails?

    Don’t worry, just contact the office ASAP, so we can sort it out. We will attempt to take the payment a second time and will contact your tutor, who has the choice to suspend the 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.

    11. What if I want a refund?

    The Profs operates a 100% satisfaction guarantee on your first tutorial. If you are not happy, your tutor will not charge. If you have a problem with your tutor, please contact us immediately so that we know to not charge, can help resolve the problem and work find a replacement tutor.

    In order to be eligible for the satisfaction guarantee, you must contact the office within one working day of your tutorial. As we administer charges on behalf of our tutors, we are unfortunately unable to guarantee refunds for historic tutorials. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information.
    12. 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

    13. 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.