Additional support for UCL's technical staff
16 January 2018
UCL has signed up to the Technician Commitment, and is establishing new Communities of Practice.
The scale and variation of skills
Did you know that there are approximately 1000 staff working across the breath of UCL with a diverse range of technical expertise? These staff often work hand in hand with our academics co-creating, enabling and supporting the delivery of world class research and teaching. They are essential for UCL to deliver our academic mission.
A need for clarity and support
Staff working in this area can often get overlooked as they don’t always fit neatly, or clearly into common structures. There is much scope for improving the approach for recognising the contribution, impact and excellence of these staff. In addition, career development, pathways and succession planning in this area can be complex.
UCL has signed up to the national Technician Commitment, an initiative created to focus on visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians working in higher education and research across the UK. We are also in discussion with the University of Sheffield who are leading on the HEFCE funded National Centre for Technician Development, to learn more about how UCL can better support its staff.
Better cohesion and a proactive approach with Communities of Practice (CoP)
With such a diverse range of expertise and such a large number of staff, UCL has an opportunity to be quite focused in how it brings together and supports these staff. We believe that what all technical staff have in common are approaches to applying their technical expertise to support academic work. Based on this assumption UCL will recognise these staff under the common heading of ‘Applied Academic Support’. This will form the umbrella name for a growing number of COPs for staff in this area.
The first CoP for technicians – Engineering (Engineering Technicians)
The ‘Engineering (Engineering Technician’s)' CoP will be established over the coming months, and we will draw on lessons to inform the other Communities of Practice in this area. We expect other CoPs to include at least:
- Technology (ICT technicians)
- Laboratory (Science technicians)
- Please ask any staff member who you believe falls into this category to complete this short survey that will help us to better focus our support and plans.
- Please be supportive of staff wanting to get involved in CoPs and try to accommodate their working arrangements where needed.