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Subject:

Re: Is your Pg Cert compulsory for new staff?

From:

"Atfield, Richard" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Atfield, Richard

Date:

Wed, 20 Jan 2010 12:44:29 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (307 lines)

I tripped over a lot of these issues when managing 'mandatory training'
in the NHS and there are some key words here - Compulsory / Mandatory
and Probation - that must be used carefully if at all.

If an action or outcome is compulsory/mandatory and within the HR
policies (and few are) there is a mutual responsibility for the
university and school to ensure the individual has appropriate access
and time to address these needs and meet the requirement. In reality
little is organisationally mandatory because of the difficulties of
facilitating and enforcing it and these are rarely written and agreed
policies anyway.

Evidence from work BMAF has been involved in indicates that the
pressures of the need to teach, to obtain research funds or both means
that new academics may not be able to access a PGCert 'course' in their
first year or so (and may even be discouraged). As a consequence any
attempt to dismiss/not renew the contract could be seen as unfair
dismissal. If however completing PGCert and/or anything else is really
mandatory and an individual chooses not to complete it there are grounds
for dismissal if the requirement is clear in the contract. As it is more
likely that individuals do 'not yet pass' at the first attempt (as I
did) there would need to be a clear structure for extensions and
appeals. The most practical way of handling it is to limit the annual
incremental rises awarded until the required conditions have been met,
assuming people start at the minimum.

Probation is a term widely used and mis-used. A real probation process
is a fixed term contract with specific achievement targets within a
clear support structure with a clear understanding that if the targets
are not achieved in a specified period the individual will not be
offered a permanent contract. However, new staff are often told they are
'on probation' (as I was) but without a clear plan for when or how that
might end. Recent BMAF work about new academic staff has found
'probation' periods ranging from 6 months (probably induction in
reality) to 3 years. Again, if a university fails to enable new staff to
fulfil all the requirements to the expected standards and
terminates/does not renew that could be unfair dismissal. Equally if a
staff member left because that support was not made available it could
be considered as constructive dismissal and they could take action
against the employer.

Once you get into issues around part-time staff, maternity leave,
flexible working, etc. this really does become a minefield! Is probation
pro rata?

Moral of the story - do not use 'mandatory' or 'probation' unless your
organisation is able and willing to follow through.

Making PGCert a requirement for future progression can have a much
greater impact, including on existing staff without that qualification.
Work we are doing around the UK PSF, Academy Fellowship and CPD makes
much more sense in an academic career development context, rather than a
threatened sanction.

Best wishes, Richard
 
Richard Atfield, Assistant Director, 
Higher Education Academy: Business Management Accountancy & Finance
Network
Office: +44 (0) 1865 48 5978; PDA/Mobile: +44 (0) 7824 519558


-----Original Message-----
From: Shirley Bennett [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: 20 January 2010 07:17
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: FW: Is your Pg Cert compulsory for new staff?

It's 2 at the University of Hull.  But I don't know what would happen if
someone was to fail! :-)

Shirley

-----Original Message-----
From: Online forum for SEDA, the Staff & Educational Development
Association [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Gosling
Sent: 19 January 2010 16:40
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Is your Pg Cert compulsory for new staff?

Thank you to the 36 people (34 institutions) who have responded to my
enquiry already within one working day. Fantastic!

I hope this encourages more people to respond, so that we begin to
approach a reliable sample from each of the nations that make up the UK
and Eire.


So far I've had 3 responses from institutions in Scotland, 4 from Wales
and
1 from Northern Ireland, 1 from the Irish Republic, and 25 from England.

Scotland: St Andrews, Herriot Watt and West of Scotland
Wales: UWIC, Glamorgan, Cardiff and Aberystwyth NI. Queens
Eire: Dublin Institute
England: Westminster, City, Leeds Met, South Bank, Sheffield, Birmingham
City, Chester, UCL, Nottingham, Birmingham, Middlesex, Manchester,
Plymouth, Reading, Bath Spa, Lincoln, East Anglia, Liverpool,
Portsmouth, Sussex, Northampton, Wolverhampton, Nott Trent, Royal
Holloway, Queen Mary, 

If your institution is not listed please respond.  It only takes a few
seconds - option 1, 2 or 3 or 'other' (see below)!

I will reveal what the response show in a few days.

Thanks to everyone who has or will respond.

David Gosling

-----Original Message-----
From: David Gosling [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 19 January 2010 09:53
To: [log in to unmask]
Cc: 'Rachel Hudson'
Subject: Is your Pg Cert compulsory for new staff?

Dear Colleagues,

Following on from Rachel's query about how far achievement of SD2 is
used for promotion, I am interested to know how many institutions make
completion of a PgCert in HE (or similar) a mandatory requirement for
new staff without previous experience teaching in HE.

The options would seem to be:
1. We require new staff without previous experience to engage with a
PgCert but not necessarily to pass it.
2. We require new staff without previous experience to successfully
complete a PgCert.
3. We do not require staff on probation to engage with a PgCert.

A quick response to say which of these options your institution has
chosen would be very much appreciated - or if you have any variation on
the above, please indicate briefly what your policy is.

I will post the results on this list in a week or so.

Thanks.

David Gosling
Higher Education Consultant and Researcher
01614566148
07841647275
www.davidgosling.net


-----Original Message-----
From: Online forum for SEDA, the Staff & Educational Development
Association [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Rachel Hudson
Sent: 30 November 2009 14:30
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Survey results of link between SD2 and promotion

Dear Colleagues,

Many thanks to those of you who responded to my question about whether
or not your institution makes achievement of the UK Professional
Standard Descriptor 2 a criterion for promotion to Principal Lecturer
(or promotion to Senior Lecturer, if you are based in a pre-92
university). You can find a copy of the survey in the text below.

16 institutions responded - 6 pre-92 and 10 post-92.  The key points are
summarisied below:
?	6 institutions (pre and post 92) reported that there is no link
between the UK professional standards and promotion.
?	5 institutions (pre and post 92) reported that their PG
Certificates are a requirement of probation. 
?	2 post-92 institution reported that achievement of SD2 is a
pre-requisite for making lecturer/senior lecturer contracts permanent
(via PGCert of FHEA application) - although only one explicitly refers
to SD2.
?	4 post-92 institutions have linked Standard Descriptor 2 (SD2)
to Principal Lecturer grade, or to Senior Learning and Teaching Fellow
(a PL graded post). Not all refer explicitly to SD2, but rather to
Fellowship of the HEA.
?	1 pre-92 institution has reported that evidence of a PGCert or
HEA Fellowship can be used as part of a range of supporting evidence for
promotion to SL. 

My own comment: At the University of Portsmouth we are considering
making evidence of achievement of SD2 a criterion for promotion to PL.
This would encourage existing staff to engage with the UK Professional
Standards, and not just newly appointed academic staff. It is mandatory
for newly appointed academic staff to meet SD2, either via our PGCert or
applying for HEA Fellowship. Linking SD2 to promotion to PL would also
help to recognise and reward the hard work that goes in to meeting this
standard.

RESULTS OF SURVEY

Post 92: SD2 a criterion for promotion to PL Have linked achievement of
SD2 to PL promotion criteria

Post 92: Achievement of SD2 linked to making L/SL contract permanent. 

Achievement of SD2 is a pre-requisite for making lecturer/senior
lecturer contracts permanent. They are usually given a specific time
frame to achieve this. If they are new to teaching, they have to do the
PG Cert. If they have three years or more experience teaching in HE,
they do it through individual recognition route of the HEA. 

Post 92: No link.
At present no. We do not require this for promotion

Post 92: SD2 a desirable criteria for PL appointments.
We do make Fellowship of the Academy (i.e. SD2) a criteria for PL
appointments, but currently as a desirable not as a essential criteria.
This reflects the fact that while we would want people in PL posts to
have engaged with SD2, there are still not sufficient numbers with that
achievement to make it an essential criteria.

Post 92: No link.
I didn't think that we did this and checked with one of Principal
Teacher Fellows who plays a key role in T and L in one of our biggest
faculties.   She reports that  the  criteria for promotion generally and
the promotion process specifically are not connected with the national
standards/Fellowship at all.  We have the link from our accredited
programmes (PGCert: Fellow and Initial Teaching Award: Assoc Fellow) but
that seems to be it.  We have been developing a CPD framework here uch
of this has been aired in the last 18 months or so and fed upwards. 
However.....

Post 92: SD2 is a requirement for Senior Learning and Teaching Fellow
(at PL level) At our institution FHEA (ie achievement of UKPSD 2) is a
requirement for people applying for the specific role of Senior Learning
and Teaching Fellow, which is at PL level. There are about 19 of these
posts across the university. Gaining the PGC, which gives eligibility
for FHEA, gets any members of staff an increment. 

Post 92: SD2 linked contractually to probation.
All of our new lecturers are contractually obliged to undertake our PG
Cert during their probationary period.  This programme meets SD2. 
The
refore they achieve SD2 by the time they have reached the end of their
probationary period at which point they may seek promotion.

Post 92: SD2 linked to PL in Leadership in L&T.
We do at  our institution and it has worked well. We are in the third
year now. People can only apply for PL in Leadership in L&T if they have
reached SD2 / evidenced by fellowship of the HE Academy and are working
at SD3 level. It means that I work with people to fill in the HEA
fellowship form in the year leading to them applying for PL and then
talk though with them expectations for SD3 evidence. The Leadership in
T&L terminology has been really helpful in helping people build evidence
for the PL. 

Post 92: Linked to probation, so a requirement for employment at SL. 
It is part of the probationary requirement that full time academic staff
achieve a PGCert in Learning and Teaching, or have achieved FHEA.  So
that means it is a requirement for employment at SL level rather than
for promotion to PL.  For that, we have general criteria now developed.

Post 92: No link.
Sorry, but we do not engage with the Professional Standards in any
meaningful practical way at all.

Pre 92
Our professional development framework might be helpful -
http://www.brad.ac.uk/adept/profdev.php  

Pre 92: Focus is on PGCert, not UKPS. PG Cert a condition of probation.

Our equivelent to PGCert is a requirement re probation. But that's all.
The professional standards don't feature re promotion.

Pre 92: Focus is on PGCert, not UKPS. PG Cert a condition of probation.

We don't integrate UKPSF into our work beyond the immediate
accreditation with the HEA for the teaching qualifications for new
staff. Hope all this is useful!

Pre 92: No link.
NO

Pre 92: PG Cert a condition of probation.
Achievement of PGCLTHE is condition of probation for new academic staff.

Pre 92: Focus on PGCert & FHEA, not UKPS.  SD1 a condition of probation.

Our promotions criteria for senior lecturer don't make explicit
reference to the UKPSF, but indicate that 'membership (sic) of the HEA
(or equivalent) or possession of the University's Postgraduate
Certificate in Learning & Teaching in Higher Education (or equivalent)'
can be used as part of a range of supporting evidence of excellent
performance in teaching, so I guess the short answer to your question is
'Yes, but optional'! Reaching standard 1 is a requirement for lecturers
to pass probation. 

Best wishes
Rachel



Rachel Hudson
Principal Lecturer in Higher Education
Department of Curriculum & Quality Enhancement / School of Education and
Continuing Studies University of Portsmouth Unit 3 St Andrew's Court St
Michael's Road PORTSMOUTH
PO1 2JH
 
Tel: 023 9284 5105  /  or 5203
 


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