Academic Services

Implementation (Phase 2)

Details of implementation stage of the project (phase 2) and next steps

Phase 2 of the project involved three main strands of activity, along with some cross-cutting activities:

Strand 1 Review of the academic promotions process by Human Resources (HR) to ensure it supports promotion from grade UE07 to UE08 for staff, regardless of the balance of academic resposibilities (including those specialising in teaching);

Strand 2 Technical review of support/expectations for professional development in teaching (opportunities, take-up and practice) to identify whether any changes may be required to align with the principles (led and supported by the Institute for Academic Development);

Strand 3 Technical review of how we evidence excellence in teaching (led by a sub-group of the task group and supported by Academic Services). A sub-group focussed on expanding the Exemplars of Excellence in Student Education to cover promotion from UE07 to UE08.

Outcomes and next steps

A revised version of the Exemplars of Excellence in Student Education has been approved, and is now in place from the start of academic year 2019/20.  This document sets out examples of achievement in teaching that can be used to support cases for promotion (including exemplars for promotion from Grade 7 to Grade 8). The Exemplars make it clear that academic staff whose roles focus predominantly on teaching have a career path available to them that can extend from an initial Grade 7 appointment through to Grade 10 and the distinction of professor. In principle this has been possible in the past, but practices and conventions have varied across the University so that in some parts of the University a teaching-focused route from Grade 7 to 8 has been limited in practice. The revised Exemplars now give clear guidance with suitably challenging criteria for promotion in place across the whole University.

Recommendations to further enhance professional development in teaching have been approved by University Executive. This includes a commitment to increase the proportion of staff with a teaching qualification or accreditation, and to provide practical training and support linked to specific roles and career stages. Schools will be supported to develop a strategy and plan for professional development in teaching during 2019/20.

The University Executive has also approved a further phase of work for the project in 2019/20 – to be led by the new Vice-Principal (Students) – to address a series of linked activities so that the newly optimised career path can function effectively. Together these steps will further underpin a University culture that values and recognises high quality teaching.