UCL Human Resources


How to use the Career Framework

The Career Frameworks detail job families at UCL; experience; transferable skills; development options and ways of working according to level / grade. See how it can be used below.

How it can be used

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If you are reflecting broadly on a career at UCL, you can use the Framework to look at the kinds of experiences and development you might need to join different job families at different grades. You can also see the transferable skills for a guide to what pathway would best suit you, and the Ways of Working will help to understand the culture.

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Perhaps you are thinking about your longer-term career, and may be deliberating between a few directions. You can use the Framework to understand how to gain the kind of experience you need to progress your longer-term ambitions. You can also gain insight into the kinds of development you might consider to take action.

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If you feel ready to progress and know exactly where you want to go, use a single page of this Framework to gain information for your next move. You can locate the professional job family and level you are interested in and find relevant information on job titles, experience, skills, development and ways of working.

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The Frameworks are also helpful if you are a manager, coach, mentor or supportive friend. You can use the Framework to recruit, inspire and develop staff through meaningful conversations, even if you are not a subject matter expert in this professional field.

Understanding the different parts of the Career Framework

Job families

Each Career Framework encompasses different job families that cover a breadth of roles across UCL.

A job family represents a group of jobs that operate at different levels, but have similar professional characteristics. Although the level of responsibility and experience will differ, the essential nature of activities carried out is consistent across the job family, and there is a reasonable expectation that people would progress within the job family between levels. Please note that some general roles may be related to more than one job family.

The Career Framework uses five levels of seniority to describe career paths. These are displayed with associated indicative UCL grades for clarity. Not all job families will spread across all job levels, but a viable job family should contain three levels as a minimum.

Developing personal and professional skills

The Career Framework highlights three ways in which staff can actively develop their personal and professional skills:

  1. Learning by doing (on the job learning)
  2. Interactions with others (through observing and interacting with other people or groups)
  3. Formal training (classroom based).

The experiences section indicates the kind of activities and responsibilities that people are very likely to have experienced professionally when they are operating at this job level. This should provide job-level based information for each job family, rather than describe individual jobs. The information is therefore not exhaustive, and is focused on general indicative experience rather than job-specific tasks. For details around specific jobs you will need to refer to individual job descriptions (look at the UCL Recruitment pages on the HR website for further details). Please note that similar experience may be present across several levels, differing in context and complexity.

Transferable skills and competencies

The Transferable Skills and Competency Framework supports a flexible professional approach to career planning through highlighting abilities, attributes and behaviours that underpin effective performance. They give a preliminary basis for identifying where transferable skills could be helpful to job mobility, and provide a starting point for understanding strengths. These skills can be developed and refined through working experience or learning interventions as part of Personal and Professional Development. 

UCL Ways of Working

The 'Ways of Working' describe how we work, the ways in which we do our jobs and relate to each other, our colleagues, students and stakeholders. The Ways of Working are based on UCL’s values and culture, and are key to supporting our 2034 goals. These were identified in consultation with members of staff across UCL, and indicate ways of working that are likely to support a successful career at UCL at each level of the organisation. 

  • Personal excellence
  • Working together
  • Achieving our mission 

Frequently asked questions

Can everyone use the Frameworks?

The information within the Framework should apply whether you are based centrally or are based in Departments, Faculties or elsewhere in UCL. If your line manager is not an expert  in your specialism this Framework should help them to support you, so do make sure they are aware of it.

How is this different to a job description?

The Career Framework does not provide job descriptions. The information it contains relates to skills and experience found in people at different levels working within professional job families. A job description describes a full and rounded job, listing tasks and responsibilities. In contrast, the Career Frameworks describe typical activities and skills at a high level, with the expectation that certain roles might cross one or more job family.

How does this work with job evaluations?

The Career Framework should not be used to support job regrading activity and any grading requests should follow the established process. Any benchmarking for grading purposes should be against a generic job description in the job description database. Please speak to your HR Business Partner for further clarification.

What if I belong to more than one job family?

It would not be at all surprising if you belong to more than one of the job families. Individual jobs can often cover more than one professional area. You can draw on the information in any of the job families to support you to develop in this professional area of your role.

Why are career frameworks being developed and how has this been produced? 

Mapping career frameworks across different professional areas helps provide consistent and transparent expectations of how careers work at UCL. They help align the way we talk about experience, skills and development, supporting staff by providing the key career information they need – all in one place.

The UCL Career Frameworks project is in line with the TOPS vision to create an environment in which our staff can personally develop and fulfil their potential and the TOPS aim to provide more fulfilling careers for staff. 
Find out more.