UCL News


Welcome to UCL: How we are improving our new starter induction process 

21 August 2019

‘Welcome to UCL’ is focused on improving the induction we provide to all new starters across UCL. The first of our revamped welcome events is taking place on Monday 2 September and the project team are keen to tell you more about it. 

Fiona Ryland and Michael Arthur at a Welcome to UCL event

Why do we need to improve our new starter induction process?

UCL is a large and complex organisation, spread across multiple campuses and with many systems, departments and disciplines that new members of staff may struggle to navigate. 

It is staggering to think about how many staff UCL welcome each year. On average, we have 3,600 new starters each year which is an average of 1,200 each term, 300 each month and 70 each week. If we are going to meet this demand and provide an appropriate UCL welcome to 70 colleagues a week we need to change our approach. 

Up until now, we’ve held termly welcome events (previously called the Provost’s Welcome), but we only manage to see around 12% of new starters within 6 months of them joining – this isn’t good enough, it doesn’t give the right first impression to our new staff and is not in line with what they should expect from UCL as an employer. 

How will the Welcome to UCL project help?

Our vision, is that new starters will attend a Welcome to UCL event on their first day at UCL, going on to their departments on day two. The main aims of this improvement project are to help staff: understand how their work contributes to UCL’s overarching mission; make connections with people outside their departments; and to find their way around the UCL organisation in terms of locations and structure, so they feel welcomed and can get straight to work. The project is supported by One PS and has been championed by Chief Operating Officer, Fiona Ryland. 

There are several upcoming milestones and achievements we have delivered so far:

  • Monthly half day welcome events from September, following a new design
  • Moving to fortnightly full day welcome events from January
  • New approach to how we facilitate inductions 
  • A Welcome to UCL app is being developed
  • Dedicated UCL Welcome Space on main campus from Easter 
  • Departmental induction Moodle site template and best practice guidelines being developed
  • Discipline and service area focussed induction packs being prepared
  • Changes being made so staff can pre-register for their ISD credentials
  • Staff will be able to get an access pass on day 1. 

We think it would be great if these new ‘Welcome to UCL’ events could be hosted and delivered by colleagues from across UCL. We’re looking for enthusiastic and welcoming presenters to present the ‘perks and quirks’ section of the welcome event. There is no better way to welcome new staff than letting them hear from their future colleagues.

If you would like to get involved, please email Kate Faxen (Head of Employee Experience) to find out more.