The context for the programme
The University’s interest in participating in the programme was two-fold:
Firstly, they sought to continue to build an evidence-base, through sharing experiences concerning the development and promotion of clear career progression routes for all staff involved in supporting student learning. This included best and emerging practice with both Higher Education Academy (HEA) experts, as well as colleagues from across the sector. There was a distinct focus on designing, developing, delivering and supporting excellent teaching and learning opportunities, and then embedding these in human resource policies and procedures. This was to further strengthen the University’s HEA accredited provision which was aligned with Descriptor 1 and Descriptor 2, and offered at all four descriptor levels through its Learning and Teaching Professional development and Recognition Scheme.
HEA feedback from recent accreditation stated: “University of Bradford demonstrate a clear institutional commitment to supporting staff to engage with professional development, the narrative clearly demonstrates that engagement with the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) is both encouraged and expected by the institution across all relevant staff who teach and/or support learning”.
Secondly, the institution believed that the programme would serve to ‘up-skill’ HR colleagues so that they were able to develop additional meaningful, evidence based metrics against which excellent teaching might be measured and to understand how these may be incorporated into reward and recognition strategies including promotion. The University of Bradford had developed an ‘HR Academy’, which is an internal development programme for HR colleagues. They believed that the concept of the HR Academy could be extended to incorporate academic colleagues and those supporting student learning.
The areas intended for development
The University isolated three areas for development:
Firstly the development of a comprehensive Reward and Recognition strategy that focuses upon Learning and Teaching and is based upon the UKPSF for academics who wish to demonstrate excellence in teaching and learning as a means for career progression through the University’s performance review processes.
Secondly there was a need to align the staff and educational development offer with the UKPSF (to encompass, for example, the University’s leadership and team development programmes) and to demonstrate how the wider staff development offer is aligned to career progression and succession planning within the organisation.
Finally to ensuring that the Peer Supported Review of Teaching Practice scheme is effective and robust thus enabling staff to demonstrate that they remain in good standing with UKPSF.