It's been a while since the last update so here are a few things that have been going on.
GW4 Technical Staff webinar series
Since January, GW4 have been hosting monthly webinars for technical staff on a range of topics as part of the GW4WARD programme. These have been well attended by technicians from across the four universities, with staff from Bath also presenting at the February event. The next in the series is on the theme of professional registration on 21 April, so do come along to find out more about this is and how it could benefit you. There will be guest presentations from colleagues from the Science Council and the Engineering Council.
Acknowledgement in research publications
I'm delighted to announce that the University has adopted new guidelines on how technical staff should be acknowledged in research publications. These will serve to increase the visibility of the contribution technical staff make to research outputs, and improve consistency in how this is approached across the University.
Job descriptions and skills audit
A lot of work going on behind the scenes has been linked to a series of our Technician Commitment actions. We now have a series of generic job descriptions from grades 2-7, incorporating both specialist and management roles at grade 6 and 7. These are awaiting formal grading via the HERA process before we can publish these and adopt them for new technical roles going forward. This is a really important step, allowing greater consistency and transparency between roles across the institution, but also as a tool in aiding individuals to plan for their own career development.
In tandem this, colleagues in HR have developed a skills audit that will help individual technicians and managers assess themselves against the role descriptors via an app that DDaT will be developing. This will be able to provide individuals with suggestions on relevant CPD opportunities and resources based on the responses, and will help managers to support this and make best use of their teams. Progress has been hampered by the extra workload during the past year, but we hope to be able to run the skills audit later this year.
The suite of generic job descriptors and the results of the skills audit will also influence our work on recruitment practices and reviewing the SDPR process for technicians to ensure it is beneficial and fit for purpose.
We recognise the importance of fostering a positive work culture, and this year especially has increased stress and anxiety for everyone. Both the Science and Engineering faculty technical teams are in the process of developing Wellbeing Action Plans with support from SHEW and HR which will look at the key triggers for negative wellbeing and work with the teams to find ways of addressing these issues.