ANSWeR referral system

Advice North Somerset Web-based Referrals (ANSWeR) is one of our main projects. It is an inter-agency online referral system and the aim is to help improve inter-agency communication and increase opportunities for mutual understanding and learning through introducing shared processes and the ability to monitor cases and gauge success. All this will in turn lead to improved outcomes for service users. The system has been piloted with North Somerset Citizens Advice Bureau, Support Alliance and Second Step and is now being rolled out to other users.

The system is accessed via a secure login page, and provides a database and user interface through which agencies can check incoming referrals, access client contact details, make referrals to other agencies and also track progress of outgoing referrals. Agencies that wish to be part of the referral network are invited to sign up to an agreement which states that referrals must be accepted and dealt with within set timescales. The system is designed to be accessible and simple to use, requiring a short training session for members to get up and running with it. It can accommodate a variety of agencies and working practices.

Make a referral

If you are already set up on the ANSWeR Referral system you can access it here:

logo: Advice North Somerset ANSWeR

When to refer a client

Agencies need to refer or signpost clients to other agencies for a variety of reasons, most commonly because they do do not have expertise in the subject area or at the level needed.

If the adviser is satisfied that the client has the capacity to obtain the help they need elsewhere in a timely manner, the client will normally be signposted. Otherwise the advisor may contact another agency directly on behalf of the client (referral), usually if one or more of the following conditions are present:

  • Casework has already been undertaken and it would be helpful to pass on some of this information on.
  • The client is not, in your view, in a position to take action themselves to resolve the problem or access alternative sources of help and advice.
  • The case is urgent and there may be an important key date imminent.
  • The client has specifically asked you to share their information with another agency.
  • The client requires specialist support.


If you would like to find out more about ANSWeR, please look through the documents shown below and/or contact us.