How to post in the online forums

This tells you

Things to be aware of

See our Terms and Conditions on you User Account page for a full description of relevant information. Key points, summarised, are:

  • Forum posts, replies and comments are publicly visible by default. If there is something sensitive which means you don't want any possibility of being identified please either contact the site administrator - they can help you  post as "Anonymous" - OR set the Premium flag to 'Full Member'.
  • Keep it lawful - don't breach copyright or disclose personal information.
  • You retain the copyright to what you post, but we retain a licence to publish it in perpetuity.

Note that if you set the Premium flag to 'Full Member':

  • only logged-in Full Members will be able to see the post.  Associate members won't be able to view the post even if logged in
  • you may get fewer responses as some people only log in when they already know there is something interesting to read.

Posting a new forum topic

These simple steps should get you there:

  1. Log in. Only our members can post so you can’t post unless you log in.
  2. Click either Online Forums on the main menu OR Add a forum topic or comment on an existing one under the Contribute menu.
  3. Either of these options willl bring up the list of the available forums.
  4. Select one of the forums by clicking on it. Note that each forum in which you can post has a speech bubblel to the left, so ignore the groups of forums, like "Enforcement", which don't.
  5. You will now see a list of the existing forum posts in the selected forum AND, above the list, a grey Add new  Forum topic button .
  6. Click the button to start your post. You'll see an online form appear.
  7. Enter your subject and put the text of your question or issue in the main “Body” box. You shouldn't need to use any of the other fields, unless you are attaching a file in the "file attachments" part of the form.
  8. When you've finished, click the Save button at the bottom of the page.
  9. Only click Save once – it can take quite a long time before it finishes saving. You don’t get the hourglass unfortunately, but for example on most browsers you should see evidence that something is happening eg by looking at the browser tab.
  10. When the site has finished saving, the screen will refresh and you should see your forum post in its "view" state rather than its "edit" state.

Replying to someone else's post

  1. The processes below are approximately the same whether you are commenting on a forum post, or replying to someone else's comment.
  2. As with [1] above, you'll need to log in, so it is worth getting that out of the way first.
  3. If you have a direct link to to the comment or post (eg in a notification email from the website) click the link. It will take you where you need to go - continue at [15] Below.
  4. If you don't have a direct link, you will need to navigate to the right forum post as described under [2] to [5] above; and having done that you will need to select the individual post, and if necessary the individual comment, you are respondng to.
  5. Having arrived, if you are adding a comment to the original forum post, you click the Add a Comment link at the foot of the post. If you are replying to an existing comment you click the Reply link at the foot of the particular comment you want to reply to.
  6. Either way, this will bring up the Comment form. (Replies and Comments are really the same thing). You should now continue as for [7] above. The functionality is the same except you can't attach a file.