On 6th November 2018, the University of Bath became a signatory to the Technician Commitment at an event held at the Tower of London. As the University’s lead on the Technician Commitment, I went along to represent Bath. Arriving at 9am on a weekday, I had half an hour to explore a tourist-free Tower of London before the event started. I’ll admit the Crown Jewels are a bit underwhelming, but it’s an impressive site!
It was exciting to meet other technical staff from all around the country and find out what they are doing to promote technicians where they work. Since becoming a technician, I’ve never really had the chance to network with others in similar roles elsewhere so this was very satisfying.
During the day we had the chance to discuss the challenges faced in our different institutions as well as to share ideas on themes such as professional registration, career progression and apprenticeships. We heard from colleagues at Cranfield University, Manchester Metropolitan Imperial College, MRC Harwell and the National Technician Development Centre about the different initiatives underway as part of the Technician Commitment. It was fascinating to hear the different approaches taken by different institutions, and also to identify common approaches and difficulties encountered. I also found out about the self-assessment process for the Commitment, which we will be required to complete by December 2019 as a signatory.
If you’re careful not to blink, you’ll catch me near the end of the event video:
Getting out of your regular environment to meet others in similar roles is something I’d highly recommend, and I came away very motivated by the event to put some of the ideas into practice at Bath. I’d encourage all staff, but particularly technicians, to look for opportunities to attend external events relevant to your role. For example, it would be great to see technicians from Bath at the Higher Education Technicians Summit (HETS 2019) in Birmingham on 25th June. You will be surprised what you will learn and be able to bring back and share with colleagues.