UCL News


What has the Improvement Board been up to?

24 September 2019

The Improvement Board is made up of colleagues from across UCL and has set itself a challenge of making a real difference. They meet each month to review your submitted blocks and ideas and talk about how best to take these forward.

Stock image of a light bulb

Over 650 colleagues registered for June’s Professional Services (PS) Staff Conference where we heard about the launch of One PS, a commitment to all UCL professional services working together to solve problems and support UCL as a great place to work. The One PS vision has now been finalised:

Working together we make UCL a great place to work and study, where people do amazing things, every day.

The conference also saw the launch of the Improvement Board, with the aim of making it easier for you to do your job and add value. The idea is that by making small tweaks to the way we work, we can make a big difference. 

Staff are encouraged to share any processes or ways of working that frustrate you or stop you working in a positive way, as well as to share any ideas for improvement.

Each month the Improvement Board meets to talk about how best to address issues raised and take ideas forward. The board has received 35 submissions since it launched, and the team have been working hard to respond to each of them.

Here is a snapshot of what we have heard so far:

  • Booking our meeting room – a department team was unable to book a local space. Work from ISD will now allow booking access to all members of the team.   
  • Expenses – we have heard multiple times that the expenses process is blocking you. The TOPS Finance Transformer team have also heard this through engaging with the community, and are working on streamlining the process as a priority project.
  • Annual leave calculations – calculating part time staff annual leave provision was oner-ous. We’ve raised this with HR, who have assured us that, once launched, MyHR will provide an online calculator.
  • Away day toolkits – it was raised that away days are happening across UCL, but we do not have a consistent set of materials to support these events. Organisational Development are now working on providing an online toolkit. 
  • Internal only recruitment – multiple colleagues have fed back about internal recruitment applications. We haven’t landed on an action yet, but we’ve started the discussion as a re-sult of submissions to the Improvement Board.
  • We have also had several submissions that have asked the group to consider new projects, including UCL’s approach to Corporate Social Responsibility, an inclusion locator and Maternity Mentors.  

It is clear from hearing from you that the Improvement Board is making an impact and providing colleagues with a place to share their ideas (and frustrations). Some of this work will take days and some slightly longer but we will keep you informed as we go. 

The Improvement Board can’t improve everything, but we want to be transparent and when we can’t improve it we will tell you why. For example, we recently disagreed with a submission suggesting we re-introduce Petty Cash. After discussions with service leads, we provided a range of reasons as to why this would be taking a step backwards and didn’t fit in with finance’s long-term strategy. 

Let us know what is blocking you or share your ideas

The Improvement Board have set a target of receiving 100 blocks within a year – submit your blocks to the Improvement Board.  

Join the Improvement Board

Do you want to get involved and join the Improvement Board, if so email Ian Dancy