Welcome to this guide.  It is going to save your life!

You are reading the online version of the W4MP/Dods booklet which was prepared for new staff following the 2010 General Election.  Things tend to change (particularly website addresses) without you realising it so we will be doing our best to keep all the online guides up to date. They also have lots of essential internet and parliamentary intranet links for you to click on.

Whether you are based in a constituency office or at Westminster, we have three golden rules for you:

  1. Get your parliamentary email account set up as a first priority.  This will give you access to the parliamentary intranet as well.  Details on how to do it are in Day One of both the 10 Day Survival guides (see rule 2 below).
  2. Read our 10 Day Survival guides –  one for constituency-based staff and the other for those at Westminster.
  3. You aren’t the first to be thinking; ‘there’s FAR TOO MUCH to take in’. Fear not – you will survive! Over the months and years to come you will find that W4MP is your friend.

Just one further thought: you will have heard about the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). We strongly recommend that you read their website at

Now read on and Good Luck!

Dick Robinson / Bill Thompson
Editors – W4MP

This guide is provided by Working for an MP (w4mp). Most of the material in Guides is subject to Crown copyright protection. Unless otherwise indicated material may be reproduced free of charge in any format or media without specific permission. This is subject to the material being reproduced accurately and not being used in a derogatory manner or in a misleading context. For more details see our Copyright page

A Working for an MP Guide
First Published 7 May 2010 w4mp
Last Updated 16 March 2016 w4mp
Last Reviewed 16 March 2016 w4mp
Last Updated 11 April 2017 w4mp
Unamended version copied from old Guide