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 Technician Commitment Aims
The Commitment aims to ensure visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians working in higher education and research, across all disciplines. NTU has joined 83 other Universities and research institutes in becoming signatories of the Technician Commitment and pledge action against the key challenges affecting our technical staff.
The Technician Commitment includes four key 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 that the future sustainability of technical skills across the organisation and that technical expertise is fully utilised
Why the Technicians Commitment is important
Our Technicians are essential to the success of NTU’s teaching and research activities. They are a highly skilled workforce with a diverse range of knowledge, expertise and the practical skills to enhance our students’ learning and employability and to turn research concepts into reality. It is important that we continue to recognise this and ensure that our technicians are visible, their contribution fully recognised, and their career and professional development are an area of focus.
We have an ambitious three-year plan for the Technician Commitment which will see increased professional recognition opportunities for our technicians. Our continued engagement with the commitment will also ensure greater visibility of the invaluable contribution our technicians deliver, further enhanced by them rising to the operational, learning and teaching challenges of 2020.
Kathy Charles - Executive Dean of Learning and Teaching and Co-Institutional Lead for the Technician Commitment
What's happened so far
In the 24 months after NTU signed the Technician Commitment in September 2017 we have achieved a number of positive improvements for our technical community. These include:
- Clearly defined job titles and job descriptions across the university to enhance visibility and responsibility.
- Increased technical representation at conferences, teaching showcase events such as TILT and wider celebration of technical achievements on our NTU Newsroom.
- Capture of the technical voice within our institutional Staff Survey to highlight areas of good practice as well as areas for improvement locally and within the institution.
- Technical Team award category in NTU’s annual Team Awards celebration.
- Promotion of external awards which resulted in a number of technical staff being shortlisted as finalists for awards such as RBS BioScience Technician of the Year and the Midlands Innovation Papin Prizes in both Technical Team and Teaching Technician of the year. We were extremely proud when the latter was successfully won by NTU’s Amy Horne, Animal Technical Specialist in 2019.
- Technical staff can attend teaching courses and apply for membership of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) alongside academic colleagues. Alongside this, technicians also receive student facing training and support such as Mental Health First Aid, Prevent and Safeguarding.
- NTU is now an Employer Champion and actively promotes the benefits of professional registration.
- NTU is a member of HEaTED, the leading organisation for Higher Education and Technician Educational Development, providing opportunities for the professional technical workforce to engage with CPD and training courses, as well as delivering networking events for all specialities.
- NTU is a member of the STEMM-CHANGE Changemaker Programme consortium. This is an EPSRC-funded project driving a positive change in culture and practices in equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) across Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM).
Members of the Technician Commitment Steering Group
Head of School Operations at the School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences.
School Technical Manager in the School of Art & Design
Michael Marsden is the Dean of Art & Design at Nottingham Trent University.
Alexander Pratt is a Technical Team Leader working within the Department of Engineering based on the Clifton Campus.
Sheri Scott is a Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Science and course leader for the BSc Applied Biomedical Science (Apprenticeship).
Technical Team Leader in the School of Architecture Design and the Built Environment.
Katie Lonsdale, Science Technician for Secondary Science Education at the Nottingham Institute of Education.
Steven Scott, Technical Team Leader for Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences.
Kathy Charles is the Executive Dean for Learning and Teaching, and the Head of the Centre for Academic Development and Quality (CADQ).
Louise was appointed as the Director of HR and commenced in role on the 1 February 2021. She has strategic responsibility for the HR and OD functions including Health, Safety and Wellbeing, Equality and Inclusivity, Resourcing and Reward and Recognition.
Fred Perkins - Technical Team Leader, School of Art & Design.
Patrick George, Head of HR Operations - Academic.
Adrian is Technical Team Leader for Fashion and the Fashion Management, Marketing and Communication Subject Area.
Paul Argyle, Technical Resources Manager for Journalism and Media.
Susie Reis - Head of School Operations, School of Science and Technology.
Adam Coburn - Acting Technical Manager, School of Science and Technology.
Katherine Earley - Learning and Teaching Support Technician, Nottingham Institute of Education.
Victoria Fanning - Head of Academic Development, CADQ.
Rachel Hill - Human Resources Officer, HR Operations.
Bharti Sharma - Human Resources Business Partner, HR Operations.
Our 36-month Action Plan
NTU’s new 36-month action plan consists of ongoing actions from our stage 1 plan and a number of new directives. We decided to clarify what our ambitions were as a Steering Group to help create a direction and vision for the Technician Commitment within the institution.