The Bath Scheme is an accredited route to gaining HEA Fellowship from Advance HE in recognition of your contribution to teaching and learning. Whilst this is more commonly known by academic colleagues, it is less well known that the scheme is also open anyone employed by the University who teaches or supports student learning. The involvement of technical staff in supporting student learning, and in many cases directly teaching, has traditionally not been fully appreciated and I’m keen to change this by raising the profile of technical staff and their role in teaching.
I’ve been working on my own Fellowship application via the Bath Scheme over the last few months and have found it a really interesting and beneficial process. However, I’ve noticed that much of the language surrounding it can be alien to many support staff and likely to create a barrier to engagement. The primary role of technical staff is to enable teaching and research, so by definition many will be engaged in practise that aligns with the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). I wanted to encourage staff to see past the jargon (see previous sentence!) and understand how their work could be recognised, so worked with Rachael Carkett to tailor an introductory workshop for technical staff to try to demystify the process.
It was great to see around 20 technical staff attending the workshop on 8 May to explore HEA Fellowship via the Bath Scheme. The aim of the workshop was to explain what Associate Fellow/Fellowship is, and to explore how their practise aligns to UKPSF. There were some lively discussions covering our experiences of supporting learning and I was struck by the wide range of teaching activities undertaken by technical staff. These ranged from setting up and demonstrating practicals to designing lab classes, role-playing scenarios with students, supervision of projects and creation of online resources to name just a few!
As signatory to the Technician Commitment, we as a University are committed to supporting technical staff gain recognition for the work they do through professional registration and initiatives such as the Bath Scheme. Achieving Fellowship is an opportunity for all staff to demonstrate the contribution they make. I was pleased with the interest shown by staff attending the workshop and look forward to seeing a cohort of technical staff achieving HEA Fellowship in the near future!
David Williams, Technical Manager, Faculty of Engineering & Design