The Technician Commitment is designed to create greater visibility for technicians in higher education through recognition of their contribution to research and student learning and their career development. The Technician Commitment is a university and research institution initiative, led by a steering group of sector bodies including the Higher Education Academy, with support from the Science Council and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation’s Technicians Make It Happen campaign. HEFCE have also acknowledged the contribution technicians make and are supporting technician development with funding through the Catalyst Fund.
There are growing numbers of UK institutions signing up to The Technician Commitment, at the time of writing there are 61 signatories (universities and research institutes) to date and 20 Russell Group universities. All committed to the development of technicians and ensuring sustainability for the future technical workforce.
Higher education institutions are publically recognising the contribution made by technicians to teaching and the student experience, as evidenced in a recent report, Evidencing teaching excellence. Analysis of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF2) provider submissions. Just under one fifth of the submissions looked at mentioned technicians; this was primarily in reference to the value of technicians to teaching, in some cases in relation to discussing student employment.
How can technicians get recognised for their contribution to teaching and student support? HEA Fellowship is one such way and a number of institutions have already encouraged technicians to gain HEA Fellowship, at a relevant category.
If Technicians are involved in at least two of the following activities they can consider applying for a category of HEA Fellowship:
- Design and plan learning activities and/or programmes of study,
- Teach and/or support learning,
- Assess and give feedback to learners,
- Develop effective learning environments and approaches to student support and guidance,
- Engage in continuing professional development in subjects/disciplines and their pedagogy, incorporating research, scholarship and the evaluation of professional practices.
For more information about HEA Fellowships go to: https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/individuals/fellowship
For more information about the Technician Commitment go to http://technicians.org.uk/techniciancommitment/