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University signs "Technician Commitment"

The University of Edinburgh has signed the "Technician Commitment" which aims to ensure visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians working in higher education and research, across all disciplines.

Technician Commitment

The announcement was made at the New Scientist Live event in London on 28th September 2017.

In signing up to the commitment, the University of Edinburgh joins 54 other UK Universities and Institutions, including many from the Russell Group, who have pledged their commitment to this worthwhile initiative, which involves:

  • A commitment to take ongoing action around key challenges affecting out technical services staff. 
  • The annual assessment of the impact of actions taken to evaluate our progress and ensure effectiveness.   

The Technician Commitment

The Technician Commitment is a university and research institution initiative, led by a steering group of sector bodies, with support from the Science Council and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation’s Technicians Make It Happen campaign. The Commitment aims to ensure visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians working in higher education and research, across all disciplines. Universities and research institutes are invited to become signatories of the Technician Commitment and pledge action against the key challenges affecting their technical staff.

Our annual action plan will focus on these areas:

  • Visibility - Ensure that all technicians within the organisation are identifiable and that the contribution of technicians is visible within and beyond the institution
  • Recognition – Support technicians to gain recognition through professional registration
  • Career development – Enable career progression opportunities for technicians through the provision of clear, documented career pathways
  • Sustainability - Ensure the future sustainability of technical skills across the organisation and that technical expertise is fully utilised

All staff will have a part to play in achieving these aims, whether in a technical, academic or a leadership and management role. 

Univeristy involvement

In the first year the action plan will be led by the recently established Technicians Support Steering Group.  The group comprises representatives from Technical staff, University Technical Services Management, HEaTED, Unions, Human ResourcesIAD, and Social Responsibility & Sustainability and is currently looking to recruit additional membership from the Academic Community.   This group has played an integral role in getting Edinburgh University to the stage where we can confidently sign up to the commitment and they will be responsible for creating our first Technicians Commitment action plan for communication in early 2018. 

For any questions please contact the Technicians Support Steering Group at technician.network@ed.ac.uk. The group is chaired by Andrew Arnott.

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Andrew Arnott

SRS Projects Coordinator (Labs)

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  • Andrew graduated from University of Aberdeen in 2006 and spent 18 months working in an environmental management role. Moving to Edinburgh at the end of 2007 he took up a role providing energy efficiency and renewable energy advice to businesses on behalf of the Energy Saving Trust. In 2010 he spent 9 months volunteering in Malawi, setting up environmental projects. Returning to the UK in 2011 he took a role in a consultancy firm providing energy efficiency, renewable energy and resource efficiency advice to public and private sector clients.