Employing a Teaching Assistant
Follow the steps below to recruit and manage a Teaching Assistant (TA).
- Speak to your local team
- Financial approval
- Appointment process
- Visas and other right to work considerations
- Managing your TA
Contact your School’s Operations team to find out about any locally agreed procedures in relation to the recruitment of TAs; these may be advertised by email or on a web page for example. Contact details can be found on your Faculty intranets:
- Biology, Medicine and Health - https://www.staffnet.manchester.ac.uk/bmh/ and https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/doctoral-academy/teaching-demonstrating/current/
- Humanities - https://www.staffnet.manchester.ac.uk/humanities/
- Science & Engineering - https://www.staffnet.manchester.ac.uk/fse/
Planning for TA numbers usually takes place in the Summer so you look out for any requests for information about your requirements that you may receive from your Operations team. This may include questions about the number of TAs you need, the hours they will be needed for and subject specialisms. Engaging with these requests will help ensure your needs are understood and the appointments budgeted for an approved nice and early.
Anyone involved with recruitment at the University needs to undertake mandatory training; please see: https://www.staffnet.manchester.ac.uk/staff-learning-and-development/learning-pathways/essential-training/ for the latest courses needed for recruitment.
It will be your responsibility to give the TAs you are recruiting an appropriate job description. Templates are available for you to tweak as necessary; if you find that you need to change them significantly to meet your requirements, speak with your People Partner to ensure that the grading (rate of pay), and a TA contract, remain appropriate.
Once the appointment has been approved, let your School’s TA Admin have the individual’s details. The TA Admin is responsible for passing all relevant information to People & Organisational Development (P&OD), who process to pay. The TA will receive an appointment email that specifies a total number of hours they will work between two dates (usually Semester 1 or Semester 2). It does not define days/times, this is for you to agree with them. The TA must accept the appointment by email to People & OD and return any necessary paperwork such as proof of right to work (see below) and bank details.
If you give the TA any additional hours above those in the initial appointment, you must advise the TA Admin, who will notify P&OD to make an adjusted payment for the extra hours.
It is essential if the TA undertakes the additional hours that you inform your School Admin straight away. If you don’t do this, not only will there be delays in their receiving pay, but they may also incur more national insurance deductions (non-refundable) than they would if paid in the correct pay period for when the work was undertaken.
A summary of the process is available here.
It is the responsibility of the Teaching Assistant to provide proof of right to work when requested by P&OD and they should not be allowed to undertake any work until this is complete. The check of the documents can be done with P&OD, or by the person engaging them or a member of School Operations. If you are at all unsure contact People.TeachingAssistants@manchester.ac.uk.
It is common for international TAs to be on Tier 4 (student) visas. These place restrictions on the number of hours that can be worked each week; if these are exceeded, then the government may withdraw the visa meaning the student would have to return home without completing their studies. The government can also impose large fines on the University and remove its licence to host international students and employ international staff.
If you are at all unsure about whether the hours you are offering to the TA may cause a problem, please speak with your School Ops team or People.TeachingAssistants@manchester.ac.uk before you allow them to undertake any work.
- Make sure you are aware of any local agreements on the maximum hours the TA should work without impacting their studies.
- Also ask about local agreements for the assessment of the quality of their teaching.