Any registered charity, CIC or group of volunteers may use the open access resources. All material uploaded to the site is checked for appropriateness by an appointed Area Administrator and once verified published on the eHub. Small unregistered groups may also upload their information, however extra checks are carried out to ensure the validity of the upload.

The Key features of the open access element of the Compass eHub are:

Services – provides a quick and easy reference for any practitioner to identify a particular service available for their client in a given area. Organisations can upload details of their services, show who the service is for, give a service description, include instructions on how the service is accessed and indicate whether they are a MARS (Multi Agency Referral System) enabled provider. Services can be linked to projects within the secure side of the platform for reporting and monitoring purposes. All service information uploaded includes an end date; old or decommissioned services are automatically removed from the system.

Events – allows all participating agencies to check if their proposed event will clash with other planned activities. Agencies can upload new events, input multiple dates for recurring events and out of date entries are automatically removed. In line with all features on the system automatic emails are sent to alert the uploading agency that their service or event is about to expire. Documents such as leaflets can be attached to each upload to provide further information.

News Updates – provides participating agencies with the opportunity to make announcements or share key information with partners. Again an expiry date and document upload feature is available.

Factsheets and Guides – all participating agencies can upload their factsheets and guides, this provides a unique repository of information for all practitioners. The alternative is for practitioners to trawl through organisational websites – but they have to be aware of their existence in the first place. Factsheets and guides can be downloaded and a request can be made to the uploading organisation for printed copies.

Volunteer Roles – as the title suggests any organisation can upload volunteering opportunities, giving practitioners the opportunity to recommend possible candidates. Contact information and details of volunteering opportunities are available. (It is our intention to expand this feature significantly when resources allow).

Job Opportunities – provides the opportunity to upload any job with job descriptions, rates of pay, person specification etc. The expiry date automatically removes the job when the closing date for the role is past. Using print media is extortionately expensive for charities in this current economic climate.

Organisations – provides a complete list of registered users on the system, a full description of their organisation, an overview of what they do, who they do it for and how to contact them.