Next steps in SEP organisational change
27 Apr 2022
A message from Patrick Hackett, Student Experience Programme Chair, and Professor April McMahon, Student Experience Programme Executive Sponsor
The Student Experience Programme (SEP) is a major strategic initiative for our University, investing in upgraded technology, automated and improved processes, consistent organisational structures, and new ways of working together.
Today 27 April 2022, a consultation has started on the next stage of SEP with the focus on proposals to change organisational structures and job descriptions for:
- Grades 2 to 5 across Teaching, Learning and Student Experience (TLSE), Postgraduate Research (PGR) teams in Faculties, Schools and the Directorate for the Student Experience (DSE).
- Grades 3 to 7 in the International Programmes Office (IPO).
These are the teams that our students and academic colleagues go to for services and support.
Briefings have already taken place with around 800 colleagues affected by the proposals. These briefings have been delivered locally and provided dedicated time for discussion and questions so colleagues can better understand how the proposals will work across teams and for them individually. A full programme of support is in place for colleagues impacted by these changes.
I am pleased to say there is no risk of redundancy. In fact there is a net overall increase in the number of roles, in recognition of the increased demands on these teams. In addition to this the proposed changes will deliver:
- An upwards shift in grades giving some colleagues the opportunity for career progression.
- All roles in the proposed structure are permanent (noting a small number of colleagues will remain on fixed term contracts, for example to cover periods of parental leave).
- New ways of working – developing communities of practice enabling colleagues to collaborate beyond their immediate teams, solve problems and learn from each other.
- A closer alignment between Schools, Faculties and Directorates – enabling PS teams to better respond to changes in demand and reduce the risk of over-dependence on individuals.
Consistent structures and job descriptions and the move to functional teams will make it easier to understand who does what and will provide clearer pathways for PS career progression. These changes are the building blocks that will enable us to deliver enhanced, more visible services to students: through School-managed Student Hubs, Faculty-managed PGR Hubs and a significantly improved online platform.
Engagement with colleagues directly affected will continue, and across the Faculties and Directorate for the Student Experience a range of sessions will be taking place for wider academic and PS staff.
Further detailed information on the proposals and changes can be found on the SEP webpages. This includes the detailed proposed structures and job descriptions.
The proposals are aligned to new TLSE and PGR PS management structures (Cohort 2), which began to be implemented in March 2022.
Staff who are in scope of these changes have been notified of the detailed proposals and next steps. This includes an opportunity to provide feedback as part of a staff consultation. We expect the consultation to take between 4-6 weeks. As with previous consultations, there will be a managed recruitment process whilst the consultation takes place, but this will be kept as brief as possible given the current resource challenges faced in some teams.
Once the consultation has concluded and any agreed changes have been made, colleagues in scope will be matched to a role on the structure and then receive details of their first assignment (the team they will initially work in).
Even with any risk of redundancy removed, we recognise that this is an anxious time for colleagues affected by the proposals. Line managers and Student Experience leaders have been fully briefed on the proposals and associated People and OD Process are there to support all in scope colleagues and help with any questions. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patrick Hackett, Student Experience Programme Chair
Professor April McMahon, Student Experience Programme Executive Sponsor