Communication with the Counselling Service is confidential. That means your contact with the service, any appointments you have and the content of those appointments is not shared with anyone outside the service. 

If your counsellor has a serious concern about your safety, or that of another person, we will discuss this with you and seek your permission to share information to access help. However in some circumstances, such as where there is immediate concern for your safety, we withhold the right to break confidentiality, and may have to proceed without your consent.  

There are also times when students want us to communicate with other professional agencies, or members of University academic staff on their behalf. This will only occur with the explicit consent of the student.

Counsellors within the Heriot-Watt Student Counselling Service subscribe to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Ethical Framework.  

Data Protection

Records are stored securely on the confidential Counselling database, in accordance with the Data Protection Act. The database does not form part of any other record system within Heriot Watt University. We use this information to administer the service accurately and to compile aggregate data. Information gathered from the database for statistical purposes is not traceable to any individual.  

If you have a complaint

We strive to deliver the best possible service and want to know if there is anything we can improve on. 

You can make a complaint through Carol Murray, Head of Student Wellbeing Services, at, or through the University complaints process