Answers to our frequently asked questions can be found below. You are welcome to contact us with any questions that are not answered here.
1. What are SVP’s aims?
SVP’s main objective is to help raise the standard of English amongst ordinary Sudanese. We do this by sending native speakers, as well as some near-native speakers, to teach English at public higher education institutions around Sudan. English is recognised in Sudan as being increasingly important for business, development and engagement with the considerable international presence in the country. Although most Sudanese receive some formal instruction in English, this tends to be strongly grammar-focused and can be low in quality. Students have generally had few or no opportunities to develop their listening or speaking skills, and have probably never talked to a native English speaker. Through lessons and informal conversations outside the classroom, our volunteers offer their students a chance to find out how English is really spoken and vastly increase their confidence using the language in everyday situations.
Our second central objective is to promote mutual understanding between citizens of Sudan and those of other countries with very different cultures. By sending volunteers to Sudan, we give those they meet a chance to see for themselves how foreigners think and behave, often revealing significant similarities amongst the differences. Equally, we want our volunteers to live, work and interact with ordinary Sudanese to gain a deeper awareness and appreciation of the country and its culture than the many foreigners in Sudan who work in offices and spend most of their time with other expats, having little exposure to Sudanese daily life.
2. What is SVP’s role?
SVP’s role has three main aspects:
- We liaise with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and individual universities to arrange placements for our volunteers.
- We are responsible for obtaining the official documents volunteers need to be able to reside and teach legally in Sudan.
- We manage our volunteers’ orientation upon arrival and support them throughout their placement, intervening if any problems arise that cannot be resolved by local coordinators at the host institution.
3. How is SVP organised?
SVP has operations both in the UK and in Sudan:
- The UK branch is a registered, London-based charity that serves as the first point of contact for new applicants and manages SVP’s finances and membership.
- The Sudan branch is a Khartoum-based voluntary society with Sudanese membership that arranges and oversees volunteers’ placements in cooperation with individual universities and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
4. How is SVP funded?
SVP is funded chiefly by the annual subscription fees paid by our members. Our operations in Sudan are additionally supported by the El Nefeidi Charitable Trust, which subsidises SVP Sudan’s Khartoum headquarters, and our partners in the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, who generously exempt SVP from visa fees and taxes. We do not charge our volunteers any application fees.
5. How many volunteers does SVP have?
We usually have between 15 and 25 volunteers working in the country depending on the time of year, September and October being the peak months for new arrivals. We have placed hundreds of volunteers in Sudan since our establishment in 1997.
6. What kind of volunteers does SVP want?
SVP seeks male and female volunteers who are:
- graduates or near-graduates in any discipline;
- native speakers of English (or non-natives with excellent English language skills);
- enthusiastic about teaching English;
- resilient, resourceful, patient, good-humoured and culturally sensitive;
- willing to commit to at least six months in Sudan.
The following are definite advantages, but not prerequisites of work with SVP:
- TEFL certification;
- Previous teaching experience;
- Previous experience of foreign travel, especially extended stays and/or time spent in developing countries;
- Knowledge of Arabic;
- Knowledge of Islamic cultures.
We accept volunteers from any country except Israel, whose citizens are not currently permitted to enter Sudan. Amongst our current and former volunteers are nationals of the UK, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Zimbabwe, Belgium, Pakistan and Venezuela.
7. Is SVP suitable for ‘voluntourists’?
No. A distinguishing feature of SVP is that our volunteers live and work in the same environment as their Sudanese peers. Coupled with the fact that our volunteers are expected to commit to a minimum of six months in Sudan, this makes volunteering with SVP unsuitable for the casual traveller.
8. How do I apply?
If you would like to apply to volunteer with SVP having read the information on our website, please complete the application form available under Forms and Guides and send it to us using the contact details under Contact Us.
We will need two professional references. When we receive your completed application form, we will send you a reference request letter to forward to the people you propose as referees. We must have direct contact with your referees, either by email or Skype.
We will also arrange two short Skype interviews for you with representatives of SVP UK and SVP Sudan. We need to see evidence of certain personal qualities before you can be accepted onto the programme. Unlike most Africa-based programmes, we do not charge our volunteers any application fees. In return, we require our volunteers to show maturity, independence, pro-activeness and resilience while in their placements and to work with us to ensure that the host institutions abide by their contractual obligations.
If your application is successful at this stage, we will require the following:
- A copy of the SVP Fitness and Inoculation Report completed by your doctor showing that you have received the appropriate inoculations and that you are fit and healthy enough to live in a developing country.
- A copy of an official criminal records check document issued by the authorities in your country showing that you are free of serious criminal convictions. This is because most of our volunteers work with young people, possibly including minors.
9. How will I benefit Sudan and the Sudanese people?
Both Sudan and its people are experiencing an increasing need to raise English language standards, whether to deal more effectively with the international community or simply to secure jobs allowing a reasonable standard of living. By teaching in Sudan, you will give your students exposure to authentic English and a chance to improve the crucial skills of speaking and listening, all of which is generally lacking in the Sudanese public education system. Although there may be private institutes in Khartoum and other large cities offering communicative programmes of study and foreign teachers, all but the relatively well-off Sudanese are priced out by the high fees they charge.
10. What will a period of volunteering with SVP do for me?
SVP offers you an experience of life, culture and work in a country that is uniquely both African and Middle Eastern. At the same time as learning about Sudan and learning or practising Arabic, you will have the satisfaction of meeting and helping young local people, many of them displaced from other parts of the country.
In terms of career development, a period of volunteering with SVP will increase your chances of later finding work in a variety of fields, particularly those that involve living and working overseas. Former volunteers have gone on to work in teaching, government service, the charity sector, finance and law. Work with SVP is also a worthwhile experience for those taking a career break and retirees. If you are retired from teaching, your skills and experience will be particularly welcome.
11. Does SVP take jobs away from local Sudanese?
No. There is a major shortage of qualified English teachers in Sudan, and many of the institutions where we place volunteers are understaffed and underfinanced. Furthermore, the majority of courses taught by our volunteers are extra-curricular, supplementing rather than replacing the core courses taught by local teachers and lecturers.
12. Where will I work?
SVP has placement obligations to the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research that dictate the cities and universities where volunteers work. More information on these can be found in the Placement Locations section of our website.
The majority of placements available at any given time are in Khartoum, but SVP policy prioritises the placement of volunteers outside the capital. This is because the need for volunteers is greater and the cultural exchange stronger in provincial areas.
Because placements take many hours to arrange, we expect that volunteers accept any placement that is set up for them. We will ask for your location preferences and keep you updated regarding the likely location of your placement throughout the pre-arrival process, but your location cannot be confirmed until you have arrived in Sudan and been formally registered.
13. Will I be placed alone or with other volunteers?
It is SVP policy that, where possible, volunteers are placed in pairs. For safety, companionship and cultural reasons, single female volunteers will always be placed with at least one other female if that placement is outside Khartoum.
14. How long should I go for?
SVP requires volunteers to spend a minimum of six months in Sudan, ideally coinciding with the academic year of approximately nine months.
It may take some time to get settled and have your placement finalised after your arrival, and obtaining the necessary residence and travel permits generally takes 3-6 weeks.
More importantly, it takes time for you to have the impact we hope you will have on your students and to develop the understanding of Sudan and its culture that we hope you will take away with you when you leave.
15. How much will it cost and what about money in Sudan?
Some financial commitment is required on the part of the volunteer, but the costs will vary according to your individual circumstances. You will be expected to pay for the following:
- Flight tickets: our volunteers pay their own airfares to Sudan from their home country and back. Airlines flying regularly to Khartoum include Egyptair, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines and Fly Dubai. We recommend that you shop around for the best deal.
- Medical check: you will need to pay any fees requested by your doctor to complete the medical form and to pay for any inoculations you require.
- Police check: if you are not from the UK, you will need to pay any fees that apply to obtaining a criminal records check in your country.
- Insurance: you will be asked to make a contribution of £80 (or the equivalent in USD) towards SVP’s comprehensive group insurance policy, unless you already have an individual policy which explicitly includes cover for Sudan.
There is also a list of items that we recommend you purchase before coming to Sudan in our Pre-Departure Guide, which can be found here.
You will not have to pay any application fees to SVP or pay for your entry, residency and exit permits. Accommodation for the duration of your placement will be provided free of charge by your host institution.
As well as providing you with somewhere to live, your host institution will pay you a fair and reasonable stipend in Sudanese currency. This will be enough to get by on provided that you live frugally, eat simply and accept offers of hospitality. Should you wish to supplement your stipend, there are usually numerous possibilities to do so through private tutoring or extra classes.
It is very important that you bring some hard currency with you to set yourself up in Sudan. SVP recommends bringing no less than 500 US dollars or the equivalent in pounds sterling. Most volunteers end up spending at least three weeks in Khartoum before starting their placements while registrations and permits are being processed, and you may not receive your first stipend payment until two months after arrival. As well as paying for food and other necessities during this time, you may wish to take Arabic lessons, go sightseeing or go shopping. You will also need to buy an Internet dongle if you are bringing a laptop.
It is especially important to bring extra hard currency if you plan to buy your return flight ticket after you arrive in Sudan. Most ticket offices in Khartoum will only accept payment from foreign nationals in US dollars, and you must make sure that you have enough to cover the cost. Do not rely on being able to convert your Sudanese currency back to foreign currency, as this can be very difficult.
Your hard currency can easily be exchanged for local currency when you arrive in Sudan. We recommend changing no more than £100 or $100 at first, keeping the remainder in the SVP safe. An SVP representative will assist you with this.
Please note that international bank cards, credit cards and traveller’s cheques are not accepted anywhere in Sudan. Western Union is available, but expect the exchange rate to be unfavourable should you use it.
16. How will the trade sanctions affect me?
As a result of the US trade embargoes imposed on Sudan, you will not be able to use international bank cards or credit cards there. This means that it is essential to bring hard currency with you. You may also experience difficulties in using some computer and smartphone applications, including antivirus software.
17. Is it dangerous?
It is true that wars have devastated large parts of Sudan and led to great suffering and loss of life. Conflicts continue in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile State. However, it is important to note that you will not be placed in areas or states where conflict continues or has recently ended. Most of our placements are to the north and east of Khartoum, where life remains peaceful and safe. Our volunteers are welcomed by locals and rarely experience any animosity. In the 19 years SVP has been sending volunteers to Sudan, there have been no serious risks to the personal safety of volunteers.
18. Does SVP provide insurance?
Yes. SVP maintains comprehensive cover for its volunteers through a group policy arranged with Lloyds Underwriters. This includes cover for emergency medical treatment and evacuation due to political unrest. A copy of SVP’s insurance policy can be provided on request or found on our Google Drive.
We ask volunteers to contribute £80 (or the equivalent in USD) towards the cost of this policy. Once this is paid, you will be covered for the duration of the time you spend volunteering with SVP in Sudan. You can opt out of this if you already have or would prefer to arrange your own comprehensive travel insurance, but note that most providers exclude travel to Sudan in their terms and conditions.
To make an insurance claim during your time with SVP, you will need to complete an insurance claim form. For medical claims, we will need to see receipts for all your medical expenses and you must also contribute the first 400 SDG. For claims against the loss of valuable personal items, we will need original purchase receipts, a police report and a contribution of the first £25.
19. What do I need before I can travel to Sudan?
Aside from your flight ticket, you will need a passport valid for at least one year from your date of travel to Sudan. If your stay in Sudan is longer than a year, your passport should be valid for the whole period you will be away from your home country. It must contain an entry permit for Sudan, which we will arrange for you on your behalf before you fly, and at least six blank pages for the various visas and permits you will receive after you arrive. It must not contain entry stamps to Israel, which could result in you being refused entry to the country.
You will also need any inoculations recommended for Sudan that you have not already received (e.g. hepatitis, typhoid, tetanus, polio and meningitis).
When we send you a formal invitation, we will also send you our pre-departure guide, which provides detailed information on visa procedures and what personal items you need to bring to Sudan with you (e.g. a durable unlocked mobile phone, sturdy shoes and clothing appropriate for a conservative Muslim society and high temperatures). Most of these are inexpensive, and you may have most or all of them already.
20. Should I book a single or return flight?
We advise you to book your return flight before arriving in Sudan and reconfirm it 2-3 weeks before you travel home. If you have a printed ticket rather than an e-ticket, it is best to leave this in the SVP safe throughout your time in Sudan.
If you decide not to book your return ticket before travelling to Sudan, it is essential that you bring enough hard currency in British pounds, US dollars or euros to book an exit flight when you are nearing the end of your placement. Do not leave this money in your overseas bank account, as you may not be able to access it while in Sudan, and do not rely on being able to pay for your return flight in Sudanese currency.
21. What happens during orientation?
Your informal orientation will begin as soon as you arrive in Khartoum. Representatives of SVP Sudan will meet you at the airport and help you with matters such as exchanging money, setting up your mobile phone and buying a dongle for internet access. In the following days, you will be introduced to the local food, taken to points of interest and shown how to use the public transport. You may even be invited to attend a wedding or a concert.
You will also be introduced to other local Sudanese who will be eager to meet you and who will become an important support network for you while in Sudan. Feel free to ask them any questions you have about life in Sudan, as they will be very glad to tell you about their country and its people. Female volunteers might be interested in discussing and asking for advice on appropriate dress, cultural norms and life as a woman in Sudan.
In addition, SVP will arrange for you to speak to at least one other volunteer teacher and observe their classes before you start teaching. If you arrive at the same time as other new volunteers, a group training session in English-teaching methodology will be arranged.
22. What will my accommodation be like?
On arrival, you are likely to live temporarily at the SVP flat in Khartoum until you are registered and your placement is ready. Your only costs at the flat will be for your food and other necessities, such as washing powder.
Your host institution will provide and pay for your longer-term accommodation. The only generalisation we can make about the kind of accommodation provided by universities is that it is basic but adequate. You might be given a flat or house, either to live in alone or to share with another volunteer. This could be owned by the institution or by a landlord to whom the institution pays rent, and it could be within the host institution or in a residential area nearby. Alternatively, you might be given a room in a teachers’ residence or guesthouse, where you will mix with locals in communal areas.
Despite these variations, SVP has clear guidelines that we require the host institution to adhere to regarding volunteer accommodation and inspects all accommodation to ensure it is up to standard. We insist that it is secure and comfortable, with private washing and toilet facilities, running water, electricity, fans and private or shared cooking facilities. If your accommodation is shared with another volunteer, you will each have your own bedroom. Any accommodation not meeting these standards will be rejected.
Your host institution may or may not provide cleaning equipment and kitchen utensils, and may or may not pay for your electricity. If it does not, you will be expected to bear these costs yourself.
23. What will my teaching commitments be?
You will be contracted to work at your host institution for 20-25 hours per week. Two thirds of these will be contact teaching hours, and the remaining third is set aside for lesson preparation and interacting with your students and colleagues outside the classroom. We must emphasise that it is compulsory to be on site at your host institution for all of these hours, including your non-teaching hours.
You may supplement your stipend by teaching additional hours at your host institution if available, or by working additional hours elsewhere provided that approval is given by SVP and all your obligations to your host institution are fulfilled.
24. What if I haven’t taught before?
This is not a problem as long as you are enthusiastic and committed. You will have a chance to speak to and observe at least one other volunteer teacher as part of your orientation, and if you arrive at the same time as other new volunteers, a group training session will be arranged for you. Once your placement begins, your colleagues at your host institution will be able to offer you advice and support. Furthermore, the SVP Google Drive and Teacher’s Guide will provide you with a range of valuable classroom resources and tips.
Keep in mind that less experienced volunteers do not need to know the mechanics of English grammar: your primary role will be to facilitate discussion groups or to teach communication-focused classes that give your students a chance to practice listening and speaking in English. As a native or near-native speaker, you will be able to pass on knowledge of colloquial English in a way that local teachers almost certainly cannot.
Teaching is challenging but rewarding. The vast majority of SVP volunteers are content and successful in their teaching placements, regardless of their prior teaching experience.
25. What will my status in the country be?
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research acts as your sponsor while you are in Sudan. Soon after your arrival, SVP will take your passport for a day or two to register you with the local authorities. We will then apply on your behalf for a residency permit and travel permit, which are usually processed within 3-6 weeks. These permits will be valid throughout your stay unless you spend longer than a year in Sudan, in which case they will be extended prior to expiry.
The residency permit gives you the legal right to reside and work in the country, while the travel permit gives you the right to travel around Sudan and take photographs. Be aware that there are some restrictions regarding travel and photography. You can visit most places freely, but travel to conflict zones such as Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile State is not allowed. Likewise, taking pictures in most places is not a problem, but not permitted in sensitive areas like slums and the vicinity of government buildings.
These permits are granted to you on the understanding that you will fulfil your commitments to your host institution. Failure to work as specified in the agreement will put your continued residence in the country in jeopardy.
You will also be provided with an identification card, written in both English and Arabic, showing your basic details, your occupation and the details of SVP and the ministry sponsoring you. You should carry this with you at all times.
SVP applies for tax exemptions for all its volunteers from the Sudanese authorities.
26. What will my status at the university be?
Although your working hours and the type of classes you teach may differ, your status at your university will be the same as that of a local Sudanese teacher. You will be subject to the rules of the institution like any other member of staff, and should accept instructions from, and report any problems to, the head of your department.
27. Can I volunteer to work for NGOs whilst in Sudan with SVP?
This may be possible, but only under certain conditions. Limitations are placed on your involvement with NGOs both by SVP and by the ministry sponsoring you. Only work that is non-political, non-religious and primarily focused on education and development can be approved. If you are discovered to have associations with NGOs that are monitored by the Sudanese government, this will cause significant problems for you and for SVP. Due to this risk, you must apply by email to both SVP UK and SVP Sudan before beginning any paid or unpaid work for an NGO in Sudan.
28. How do I get in touch with SVP if I need help and advice?
SVP Sudan’s coordinators will be available by phone at all times to answer any questions you have and to offer advice throughout your placement. You can also email SVP at any time and can expect a prompt reply.
29. How will I get around?
Particularly if you are placed in Khartoum or another large city, the best way to get around is by public bus. The bus networks are generally very wide, and the buses frequent and cheap. You will quickly learn how to navigate the city by public transport with the help of other volunteers and SVP representatives.
Both in and outside the large cities, it is usually also possible to travel around using fairly cheap motorised rickshaws or more expensive taxis.
30. What will my social life be like?
You will never be short of offers from your colleagues and students to show you the sights or invitations to go out for meals and visit their homes. Whilst we strongly encourage you to spend as much time as you can in the company of locals so as to make the most of your Sudan experience, Khartoum and Omdurman-based volunteers will also be invited to attend regular SVP gatherings at local restaurants, where you will have a chance to share experiences and advice with your peers.
31. What is the food and drink like?
Sudan has a rich and lively cuisine. Cheap and filling local staples include fuul, a bean stew, tamia, a kind of falafel, and tagalea, a meat stew served with one of several types of local bread, including asida and kissara. Other less authentic foods, such as burgers, kebabs and pizza, are also widely available. It is not difficult for vegetarians to eat well in Sudan, but you may find that vegan options are limited.
Fresh produce and all the basic ingredients available at home, such as rice, pasta and eggs, should be easy to find at local markets and shops if you wish to cook for yourself.
The most common drinks are tea, coffee, freshly squeezed juices, bottled water and bottled soft drinks, including several of those found all around the world. Note that Sudan is a dry country with very few opportunities for drinking alcohol.
32. Can I drink the water?
Mains water in Khartoum, Omdurman and some other areas is treated and drinkable. We advise volunteers to adjust slowly to the local water by mixing tap water with purified water, gradually diminishing the quantity of purified water. In some areas, it is unsafe to drink mains water. In such areas, or if you are ever in doubt, make the water safe by boiling it, using purification tablets or using a sterilising filter. Alternatively, you can always buy bottled, ozone-treated water in local shops for a cheap price.
33. Are there any political issues to be aware of?
Politics are a sensitive issue in Sudan. The agreement that we require you to sign states explicitly that you will refrain from making political statements, criticising Sudanese culture and customs and expressing your religious views. To do so would harm SVP’s position as a purely educational organisation and can result in problems for the volunteer. We require you to be tactful, diplomatic and restrained in all of your public communications while in Sudan. This applies to your informal discussions with locals and your statements on social media websites as well as in your classrooms.
34. What gender issues should I be aware of?
Social customs regarding gender in Sudan are very different to those in western countries. All SVP volunteers need to be sensitive to this fact and careful to note the behaviour of their Sudanese contemporaries, but this is particularly true for women.
Whilst many women in Sudan work and hold positions of authority, their primary duties are generally considered to be tending to the home and raising a family. Women are regarded as the embodiment of virtue and thus expected to dress and act modestly.
Dressing modestly means that females must adopt a style of clothing that covers their arms and legs. Loose-fitting clothes are best. Trousers are not forbidden, but the majority of Sudanese women do not wear them and your university might require you to wear a skirt. Some volunteers in the past have chosen to wear headscarves, which not only helps you to blend in but also helps protect your head and neck from the sun.
In Khartoum and most other towns, women are generally free to move as they please and it is safe to walk around alone in most places during the day. That said, foreign women may well attract unwanted male attention, which is generally harmless but annoying. If you feel threatened in any way, you can ask for the assistance of nearby people, who will be quick to support you. This applies to both female and male volunteers.
Your classes will be a mix of male and female students, but they tend to sit apart in the classroom. It is perfectly acceptable for you to ask males and females to move to different seats and work together in groups during your lessons.
You will receive further cultural advice regarding gender during orientation and training. Female volunteers can also consult SVP’s Women’s Guide for further information.
35. Can I travel inside the country during breaks and weekends?
Yes, as long as your destination is specified on your travel permit and you have made the necessary preparations. These include all of the following:
- informing your host institution of your plans in advance and receiving approval;
- sending an email to SVP detailing your itinerary, as we need to be aware of your location at all times for insurance purposes and in case of an emergency;
- making multiple photocopies of your passport and permits, which will help you if you are stopped at any point in your journey.
As part of the agreement with your host institution, you will be entitled to one week off every 3 months, and you can also expect to have time off between university semesters.
It is always best to travel in the company of other volunteers or friends. If possible, it is also helpful to get an introduction to someone at your destination before you leave, especially someone connected with another university. This will give you someone to meet and quite possibly a place to stay overnight.
36. Can I travel outside the country during my time in Sudan?
It may be possible for you to leave the country for a short trip during your time in Sudan. This will depend partly on the readiness of the Sudanese authorities to issue you with an exit and re-entry visa, which can be a troublesome process. It will also depend on the length of time you are volunteering for: except in emergencies, SVP will only apply for exit and re-entry visas for volunteers staying in Sudan for eight months or more, and only one request may be made per volunteer in any given six-month period. It is best that you do not rely on being able to leave Sudan for a break whilst you are working with SVP.
Please also note that the SVP group insurance policy will not cover you for travel outside Sudan, and that you will need separate insurance for the duration of any trip to another country during your term of service.
37. What if I get sick?
While in Sudan, you will need to take appropriate precautions to avoid malaria, dehydration, sunstroke and food poisoning. Our Orientation Guide details what you can do and take to avoid these conditions and what you should do if you suffer from them. SVP and your university coordinator can put you in contact with reliable local doctors and clinics in your area. Wherever you are in Sudan, medical expenses over 400 SDG will be paid by SVP and recovered from our group insurance.
38. What if something goes wrong?
SVP has contacts at the British and American embassies whose guidance we will seek if any problems arise that we cannot deal with ourselves or with the help of our immediate partners. Should you find yourself in a personal emergency, contact us and we will in turn contact your embassy and our insurance providers. It is advisable to register with the embassy of your country on arrival in Sudan if possible.
It is worth noting that personal security in the parts of Sudan where SVP volunteers are placed is very good, and that animosity towards westerners is rare. There have been no serious risks to the personal safety of volunteers in the 19 years SVP has been operating.
39. How will I keep in touch with home?
The easiest way to stay in contact with your family and friends is by email. Skype also works in most metropolitan areas, but your internet connection may not be fast enough for video calls. To connect to the internet, you can either purchase a dongle on arrival in Khartoum or go to one of the many internet cafes you will find there and in other cities.
You can receive and send parcels through Sudapost, the national postal service, or DHL, which has offices in Sudan. DHL is faster and more reliable, but will of course cost more.
40. If I’m not happy with SVP, how do I complain?
Any complaints you have during your time in Sudan should be made promptly to SVP by email. Any matter that cannot be addressed locally will be referred to SVP UK, and if necessary it will be brought to the attention of the trustees. Depending on the circumstances, they may invite you to a meeting or put the matter to an independent arbitrator.