UCL Human Resources


Training points: Frequently Asked Questions

Doctoral researchers at UCL are expected to spend 10 days every year on their professional development. Find out how you can obtain training points through a variety of activities across UCL.

Information for Doctoral Researchers:

What are training points and how many do I need to collect every year?

Doctoral researchers at UCL are expected to take full advantage of the training on offer and should be aiming to participate in the Doctoral Skills Development Programme (DSDP) and/or appropriate other activities to a degree equivalent to two weeks per year.

Each training activity on the UCL DSDP programme is assigned a number of points. A point is worth approximately ½ day of training: two weeks per year is therefore equivalent to 20 points per year (pro rata for part-time researchers).

You should therefore be aiming to accrue 20 points per year (60 points over 3 years, or 80 points over 4 years) from the courses on offer through the programme, departmental courses and other point bearing activities

How are training points calculated?

At UCL, we primarily use training points to illustrate the intensity and variety of the development of doctoral researchers, although they can also be used by research staff to demonstrate their engagement with their development.

Training point values are calculated based on the time committed to participating in the activities (duration of the activity). The minimum value of a developmental activity is one point, which is awarded after attending any short engagement between 1 and 4 hours.

You are encouraged to engage with a wide range of activities to develop balanced and varied skills across the
Researcher Development Framework (RDF)

Some training point values don't match the length of the course. Why is that?

For longer or recurring activities, training points are calculated based on how intensive and participative the activities are, as well as their direct relevance to the research process. This allows the training points system to reflect the differences between, for example, a passive attendance in a seminar series versus actively leading a skills development session for your peers.

To establish a maximum value for developmental activities, we grouped them into three categories: organised training, skills in practice, and community building and volunteering.

Training points for organised training and skills in practice are capped at 10 points for active attendance or large projects. Auditing master’s module yields 4 points, while teaching and fieldwork are capped at 5 points. Community building and volunteering are capped at 5 points per initiative, regardless of the length of the engagement. For full listing, please refer to the Training points guide.

How do I record my training?

All training booked as part of the UCL DSDP via Inkpath (find out further information on Inkpath through the FAQ: Booking via Inkpath) is automatically listed in your Research Log.

After attending a course provided by other UCL departments or external institutions, you can add the training points via Inkpath. For departmental training, please first check the list under "Self-study" option under Find Activity menu. If your course is not listed, please add it manually by going to Create Activity menu and choosing the right option under the "Activity Type" drop-down.

You can also receive points for other developmental activities like attending a conference, volunteering, teaching or mentoring. To log this in your profile, please go to Create Activity, choose the correct "Activity Type" and complete the rest of the details.

Please remember that training points are awarded when you confirm your attendance (and not when you book or add the training). You can do so either by the attendance verification code provided by your trainer (courses booked on Inkpath) or manually by marking the activity as complete in Inkpath.

I booked my training, but I did not receive my training points. Why?

Training points are added to your total when your attendance is confirmed. If you book your place on the course via Inkpath, your trainer will share with you an attendance verification code. You will need to type it in the “Record Attendance” box (top right corner of your Inkpath home page), which will confirm your attendance. 

When you manually add your departmental or external activity it will automatically show in the list of either Upcoming or Past activities, depending on the dates of the activity. To receive the points, you need to confirm that you attended it: click on your activity and choose “mark activity as complete” button to confirm your attendance. This will assign you the training points, and the activity will move to the Complete column.

Note that activities that you marked as private will be only visible to you, therefore your local team will not see the training points that you received from attending them.

I attended an external training/my local training and its not listed in Inkpath. How do I add this to my training record?

1. On the Inkpath home page, click on Create Activity button.
2. Use the drop-down list to choose the Activity Type and then the Skills to choose the RDF domain – this will be prefiltered for you based on your activity. Your points will be added automatically, depending on the activity type.
Complete the rest of the form.
If you don't want this activity to appear in your Research Student Log, check the box Mark as private.
5. Click Save to my activities to confirm it.

What is the Research Student Log and how do I access it?

To fulfil UCL’s commitment to the quality of its research programmes, the Doctoral School provides the Research Student Log for the use of all doctoral researchers at UCL. The Log is a mandatory component of all UCL research degree programmes.

Access your Research Student Log

Information for Staff:

How can doctoral researchers record local or external training?

Any training created or booked via Inkpath is automatically synchronised with the Research Student Log. Local training submitted to the OD Team will be uploaded to Inkpath under Find Activity > Self Study option. External training will need to be recorded manually in Inkpath via Create Activity option. Full instructions are included in our FAQ section for doctoral researchers.

Where do you get the information on faculty or departmental training?

We rely on PGR administrators and Graduate Tutors to regularly review and update the information we hold on their local training. A request for an update is sent to all departments once a year during the summer break, and ad hoc amendments can be directed to OD team during term time at od@ucl.ac.uk, subject line: Updates to Inkpath local training list.

How do I verify my departmental training?

1.You will receive an email from a member of the Researcher Experience team, asking you to confirm your local training.

The email from our team will include a spreadsheet, where we collect the information about your courses, please filter the content by your function and make any amendments necessary to the activities listed under your department/faculty, course title/point value/RDF domain/contact email address/important information.

Please ensure that you update the contact email address field (preferably a role account if it exists). This is needed for any course queries and also it is a mandatory field for the system upload. If we do not receive this information, we will have to guess – so please make sure you provide us with the right email.

3. Local activities are listed as internal provisions with the standard message of "This training is available only to doctoral researchers in this department. If you are interested in this course, please contact your local training administrator." If you would like to replace it or add any additional information on the training, e.g. on eligibility, frequency etc then please add it to the comments.

4. Our Learning and Development team will then upload the courses onto Inkpath.

Attendees can then register they have attended your local training via Inkpath and collect their training points.

What local training should be included in the list?

Please include any researcher-specific sessions aiming to improve their skills or knowledge. This can include inductions, research methods, integrity or safety training, seminars, career events, and any organised training for milestones like upgrade, viva, presentations etc.

What details will I need to include?

Since courses delivered locally are not booked via Inkpath, we will only need the organising unit (faculty/department/institute), the course title, training point value, Researcher Development Framework (RDF) domain and contact email. If you wish, you can add an optional important information note to any of your courses, this could include eligibility, frequency, registration and other essential details.

Note: We will not be able to upload a course without the contact email. Please ensure that the email listed will be able to follow up on any queries from prospective participants. 

I am not sure how to assign the RDF domain or training points to my course. Who can help me?

You can find more information on the domains on our RDF page – this will allow you to match the course topic to the domains. Training points are assigned based on the course length, with short sessions up to half a day yielding 1 point. You will find more information on assigning points under "How are training points calculated?" section on this page. Once you send us your list, we will review all the details including the RDF and training point to ensure compatibility between local submissions. 

What if the training offer is changed during the year?

If your training offer has changed after you submitted it, but before end of September, please send your amendments to your original contact person in the Researcher Experience team. If you need to make an amendment from October onwards, please send your request directly to OD team at od@ucl.ac.uk, subject line: Updates to Inkpath local training list.