Transforming Our Professional Services


Introducing the Continuous Improvement team

28 September 2021

We’ve established the Continuous Improvement team to work with teams across UCL to help simplify and improve processes and services, and free up time for staff to spend on specialist support and strategic priorities.

Photo of post-it notes on a board

The Continuous Improvement (CI) team aim to understand the challenges faced every day by staff and students, and to empower people to generate improvements that allow everyone to focus on what matters. We will do this by:

  • Leading projects to deliver strategic, complex and urgent improvements to support the broader UCL strategy and vision.
  • Developing the CI community though coaching, training and facilitation to identify and conduct improvement work, and by developing a toolkit to be used across UCL.
  • Managing a programme of continuous improvement projects and work with partners across UCL to ensure improvements are well coordinated and implemented.
  • Collaborating with other relevant departments and teams, such as Organisational Development, EDI, and Sustainability the CI team will work to embed a culture of continuous improvement across UCL.

The Continuous Improvement team was set up in March this year to work with all staff and students at UCL to help improve services and make the transactional straight forward and efficient. By cutting out unnecessary activities and creating capacity we can focus more on specialist support to better meet the needs of our staff, and make better use of our resources by focussing on our core institutional mission of teaching, learning and research to provide the best experience for our students.

Current projects

Since March we’ve been working with Research and Innovation Services (RIS), Student and Registry Services (SRS) , the Doctoral School and Faculties to focus on:

Research and Innovation 
  • Defining the key performance indicators we need to collect and measure in order to effectively evaluate the impact of the new service.  
  • Improving the pre-award process within departments so that the applications that come through to RIS for approval are in a better state, reducing the time spent reworking and resubmitting.  
Postgraduate Teaching Assistants
  • Ensuring Postgraduate Teaching Assistants receive a more consistent and better experience.  
  • Supporting academic departments to access the information they need, when they need it so they are more able to plan and manage the Postgraduate Teaching Assistant process.  
Improving and streamlining the External Examiners processes
  • Improving the onboarding process for External Examiners so that Right to Work checks only need to be completed at the beginning of their contracted period, rather than every year.  
  • Reducing the amount of time the SRS Academic Policy & Quality Assurance team spends on administrative finance and contracting tasks and freeing up their time for more impactful activity.   
Certificates and Transcripts  
  • Reducing the time between printing certificates and students receiving them; and reducing the volume of returns due to address or postage issues. 
  • Ensuring there is enough capacity within the current process for growing volumes of students year on year.  
  • Understanding who should service the ad hoc certificate and transcripts from alumni so they get the best and fastest service. 
Early Module Selection 
  • Implementing new early module selection process for continuing students so that they choose their optional modules for the following year in the summer before, rather than at the beginning of the year.
Doctoral School
  • Improving and bringing consistency to the support of PGR Administrators in all departments, with clear expectations of the role being set; as well as supporting them to become engaged in the PGR network. 
  • Improving the consistency in the way departments manage funded Doctoral Training Entities (fDTEs) to reduce administrative burden and improved funder confidence. 

Continuous Improvement at UCL SharePoint site

Visit the CI SharePoint site for more information about how we’re approaching continuous improvement at UCL, to access the CI toolkit for advice and guidance, to keep up to date with current projects, and to find out what to do if you have a potential project you would like to explore with the team  

Visit the Continuous Improvement at UCL SharePoint site