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Honorary Staff Appointments Procedure

UCL’s procedure for the nomination, appointment and management of Honorary Staff.

Content

1.      Purpose
2.      Scope
3.      Out of Scope
4.      Policy
5.      Honorary Titles
6.      Periods of appointment
7.      Privileges and responsibilities of persons with honorary appointments
8.      Use of honorary titles
9.      Confidentiality
10.    Intellectual Property
11.    Right to Work checks and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
12.    Expenses for honorary and visiting appointees
13.    Appointment process
14.    Termination of appointment
Honorary Appointment Nomination Form


1. Purpose

1.1    This document sets out UCL’s policy, terms and procedures for the appointment of Honorary staff. 

2. Scope

2.1    This policy applies in the main to all Honorary staff, and UCL staff involved in administering or conferring honorary appointments.

3. Out of Scope

3.1    Honorary staff who are clinical academics substantively employed by a partner NHS Trust and holding honorary contracts with UCL, to carry out the full remit of the duties of their substantive appointment. These staff are considered “shared employees” of both organisations and will have different arrangements governing their association with UCL. These arrangements will either be outlined in agreed memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with each Trust contained in UCL’s Clinical Staff Guidance, or follow the principles of the Follet Review, upon which these memoranda are based. As a result, these shared employees:

  • may be on open-ended honorary contracts.
  • are subject to the joint co-operation of UCL and the partner NHS Trust regarding issues of appraisal, review, Job Planning (Consultant level staff), Work Outline agreements (non-Consultant level staff).
  • may manage staff and budgets.

3.2    For conferment of the title of Emeritus Professor, the Emeritus Professor guidance and procedure applies.

3.3    Academics or researchers who are visiting from overseas, but do not qualify for an honorary title, are not covered under this policy. They are covered under the Affiliate Academics Scheme.  

3.4    Honorary appointments should not be used as a means of providing visitors with access to University facilities such as email, library, or buildings. See the process for giving visitors access.

3.5    Honorary Degrees and Honorary Fellowships are not covered in this procedure.

4. Policy

4.1    An honorary appointment is a voluntary arrangement which allows individuals from other institutions and businesses, or who have retired, to collaborate with staff at UCL. An Honorary title may be conferred upon a person who will contribute to the academic, teaching or research programmes of UCL or to other programmes which benefit the University. The title appointed will reflect their current academic or professional standing at their substantive organisation. The UCL Academic Career Framework sets out the expected performance of each role, and it may assist in determining the equivalent honorary title. Honorary appointments will not receive any remuneration. An Honorary cannot be appointed if they have any type of open assignment on MyHR. Once appointed as an Honorary, they may be hired separately to undertake a one-off piece of work (up to three times a year) where this does not create a conflict of interest with their substantive employer.

5. Honorary Titles and Status

5.1    The designation ‘honorary’ may be attached to any of the academic/research titles currently in operation in the University as follows:

 
UCL Honorary TitlesGuidance
Honorary Professor

Title for Professors or equivalent at another academic/research institution.
 

Honorary Professor of Practice

Title for distinguished individuals who are not academics or researchers but work in professional practice, industry, or other fields of activity.
 

Honorary Associate ProfessorTitle for Associate Professors or equivalent at another academic/research institution, or for those whose non-academic career achievements are comparable to Associate Professor level.
 
Honorary LecturerTitle for Lecturer level or equivalent at another academic/research institution, or for those whose non-academic career achievements are comparable to Lecturer level.
 
Honorary Senior Research FellowTitle for Senior Research Fellow or equivalent who undertake research at another institution rather than teaching.
 
Honorary Research FellowTitle for Research Fellow or equivalent to who undertake research at another institution rather than teaching.
 

5.2    There should be no deviation from the above job titles other than the addition of the word ‘Clinical’ where appropriate.

5.3    Honorary appointments do not constitute an employment relationship between the honorary and UCL, and honoraries do not obtain or accrue any employment rights as a result of the association.

5.4    There is no obligation on UCL to provide any work to the honorary during the course of the association, and the honorary is under no obligation to accept or carry out any work for UCL as a result of the association. Any work undertaken by the honorary is on a voluntary basis, and they cannot be compelled to undertake any work or activity by UCL.

6. Periods of appointment

6.1    Except for clinical academic staff jointly employed with a partner NHS Trust, Honorary appointments will be conferred, in the first instance, for up to three years. The appointment may be extended by the Head of Department submitting a new application to the panel before the expiry of the existing appointment.
  
6.2    UCL may confer honorary appointments on Clinical Academics who hold a substantive appointment with a NHS Trust, and who are required to hold an honorary appointment with UCL to undertake the full remit of the duties of their substantive appointment. In such circumstances, UCL will endeavour to discuss the terms of the appointment with the partner Trust, including the anticipated duration of the appointment, at the outset.

6.3    Where a Clinical Honorary Lecturer or Clinical Honorary Associate Professor is promoted via the UCL Academic Promotions scheme they will no longer use the honorary title and will no longer have an end date linked to their appointment.

7. Privileges and responsibilities of persons with honorary appointments

7.1    Honorary appointees:

7.2    Except for clinical academic staff jointly employed with a partner NHS Trust, Honorary appointees must not:

  • commit UCL to any level of income or expenditure, or act as authorised signatory to a UCL budget, unless in relation to a research grant for which they have been appointed Principal Investigator by the appropriate authority within UCL.
  • carry out performance appraisals for UCL staff without a co-supervisor who is a University employee.

8. Use of honorary titles

8.1    Honorary appointees may use their honorary title during the term of their appointment when carrying out any activity which forms part of their contribution to UCL.  Outside of this, Honoraries may only use their honorary title during the term of the appointment where:

  • there is no conflict of interest between the activities they are undertaking and their contribution to UCL as an honorary appointee; and,
  • they have their own appropriate insurance and indemnification arrangements in place.

8.2    Honorary appointees should seek advice from the Head of Department if further clarification or advice is required.

9. Confidentiality

9.1    Honorary appointees must not use for their own benefit or gain or disclose to any third party any Confidential Information relating to UCL or any of its staff or students, whether during or after their appointment except in the proper course of their association or as required by English law.

9.2    “Confidential information” shall include all information which has been specifically designated as confidential by UCL and any information which relates to UCL’s current and future business activities, or to any staff, student or donor, the unauthorised disclosure of which would embarrass, harm or prejudice UCL.

9.3    Nothing in this Agreement shall be taken to prevent the appointee from making a protected disclosure as defined by Part V of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

10. Intellectual Property

10.1    All honorary appointments are bound by UCL’s Intellectual Property (IP) Policy, as amended from time to time. This means that all intellectual property created by honoraries in the course of their appointment will belong to UCL. There is an exception to the general position in relation to ownership of copyright in scholarly materials and teaching materials. UCL agrees that copyright in scholarly materials and teaching materials shall belong to the UCL staff member who is the author/originator of such materials, except where those materials fall within any of the specific categories referred to in UCL’s Intellectual Property (IP) Policy.

10.1    Full information regarding intellectual property is set out in UCL’s Intellectual Property (IP) Policy.

11. Right to Work checks and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

11.1    All honoraries who live in the UK must have the right to live and work in the UK and a right to work check must be undertaken before conferment of an honorary title.

11.2    Although honoraries are paid a salary for their time by their employing institution, they may nevertheless be undertaking voluntary and unpaid work for and on behalf of UCL, and this requires the right to work.

11.3    Honoraries who are based overseas and do not visit the UK will not require a right to work check.  However, if they come to the UK and undertake any type of work for or on behalf of UCL, a right to work check or a visitors’ visa check must be undertaken.

11.4    If at any stage an honoraries right to work status changes or is revoked, UCL must be informed immediately.

11.5    The department is responsible for checking whether the individual requires an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate.

11.6    The department is responsible for checking whether the individual requires a DBS check, where an individual will be working in a position of trust undertaking ‘regulated’ activity as part of their honorary role at UCL.

11.7    All honoraries are required to disclose any 'unspent' criminal convictions as part of their application, in accordance with UCL’s DBS Checks and Criminal Records Policy.

11.8    If the honorary’s role or job classification requires registration with a Registered Body, the department is responsible for checking the statis of that registration. The honorary is required to inform UCL if their registration status changes at any time.

12. Expenses for honorary appointees

12.1    A person with an honorary appointment may be eligible for reimbursement of reasonable expenses associated with the provision of their contribution to UCL, such as travel, accommodation, meals and incidentals.  A claim should be made using the general expense form.

12.2    Payments to international honorary appointees will be in accordance with any visa conditions.

13. Appointment process

Conferment and extension of Honorary Professor and Professor of Practice Appointment

13.1    The nominating staff member must complete an application form and submit the application form, with a CV and publication list to their Head of Department for their review and approval. The Head of Department must submit the application, CV and publication list to their relevant Honorary Professorial Committee:

  • Life and Medical Sciences
  • Built Environment, Engineering, Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • Laws, Arts and Humanities, Social and Historical Sciences
  • Institute of Education

13.2    The Honorary Professorial Committee will meet once a term (or as required) to make appointments and to extend appointments.

13.3    The Honorary Professorial Committee will comprise of each Dean and one Professorial representative from each Faculty. The Committee should aim to be gender and ethnically diverse.

13.4    If conferment is recommended the application form should be shared with the Departmental Administrator who will submit a contract request on Departmental Transactions (DT). They will attach the application form, the right to work check, and a DBS request where applicable. HR Services will set up the appointment and arrange for a letter of conferment to be made by the Provost and copy in the Head of Department.

Conferment of honorary status up to and including Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow

13.5    The sponsor or delegate must complete an application form and submit the application with a CV and publication list to the appropriate Dean-appointed Honorary Committee (s) within their Faculty.

13.6    The Honorary Committee(s) will consider requests on a regular basis, ensuring they adhere to the minimum requirements set by the Committee.

13.7    If conferment is recommended the application form should be shared with the Departmental Administrator who will submit a contract request on Departmental Transactions (DT).    They will attach the application form, CV, the right to work check, and a DBS request where applicable.  HR Services will set up the appointment and issue a letter of conferment and copy in the Head of Department.

13.8    Once a year, a Faculty wide Honorary Committee will meet to oversee and review their faculty-level process, ensuring that all appointments have been made in line with the minimum requirements set.

14. Termination of appointment

 End of fixed term appointment

14.1    The appointment shall continue until it immediately terminates on the date set out in the honorary’s letter of appointment and Terms and Conditions (usually three years from commencement of the appointment in accordance with this Policy), without the need for UCL to providing further notice.

14.2    The secretary to the Honorary Professorial Committee and the Faculty Honorary Committee will run a report each term listing the honorary appointments which are due to end in the following term.

14.3    They will inform the relevant Head of Department for each expiring appointee.  If the appointment is to be extended the Head of Department will complete the application form.

14.4    If an application is not received by the relevant Committee or an extension is not conferred, the appointment will terminate at the end of the fixed term period.  HRS will issue a termination letter and HRS will terminate the appointment on their system.

14.5    There are separate arrangements, outlined in the relevant MOU, governing the dismissal of clinical academics jointly employed with a partner NHS Trust, because they are deemed shared employees.  Termination of appointment for all other Honorary staff is confirmed below.

Termination of appointment for some other reason 

14.6    The continuance of conferred status is subject to compliance with UCL standards, policies, and regulations and completion of UCL’s mandatory training within the specified timeframes.  UCL reserves the right to bring any honorary appointment to an immediate close at any time.  Advice should be sought from the Academic Registrar where matters of Research Misconduct are alleged and from the HR Business Partnering team where any other misconduct is alleged. The Head of Department or Director of Employee Relations and Policy may terminate the appointment.  The HR Business Partner will advise the honorary appointee in writing, and the local administrator will terminate the appointment on Departmental Transactions.

14.7    If the Head of Department receives notification from the honorary that they wish to end their honorary association, they should notify the HR Business Partner and the local administrator will terminate the appointment on Departmental Transactions.

Honorary Appointments Nomination Form


HR Employment Policy team, May 2022