Early Career Development Programme Policy & Procedure

1. General Principles

1. General Principles

The  University’s  Early  Career  Development  Programme  (ECDP)  provides  the vehicle through which newly appointed early career academic staff at Grade 7 or 8 may be effectively supported in developing their academic skills and in progressing their  career.    The  purpose  of  this  policy  is  to  develop  high  achieving,  high performing academics who will help the University of Glasgow to deliver its vision and ambitions as articulated in the current Strategic Plan  - Inspiring People, Changing The World.  The programme enables this by: providing learning and development opportunities in all aspects of the academic role; allocating a mentor to provide support and advice; and the annual setting of objectives which enable academics to develop the abilities and achievements evidenced on the date of appointment with a view to meeting the criteria for promotion to Grade 9 within a defined timescale. On successful completion of the programme early career academic staff will progress to Grade 9.

2. Equal Opportunities

2. Equal Opportunities

The University of Glasgow is committed to promoting equality of opportunity in all of its  activities  and  aims  to  provide  a  work,  learning,  research  and  teaching environment free from discrimination and unfair treatment.   The Early Career Development Programme for newly appointed early career academic staff is intended to be fair and transparent and consistent with the University’sEquality and Diversity Policy.

Outcomes will be based solely on assessment of individual achievement against agreed objectives. These will be set with reference to the relevant promotion criteria to ensure timely progress is made towards the next level. Staff  will  be  treated equally, irrespective of employment or contractual status, and objective setting will take into account personal circumstances i.e. part time, career breaks, etc.

The University's Equality and Diversity Strategy Committee (EDSC) monitors relevant protected characteristics in relation to those undertaking the ECDP.  EDSC will continually review career development trends and statistics in order to ensure that the criteria, against which decisions are taken, remain objectively justifiable and lawful in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.

3.Eligibility

3.Eligibility

The following newly appointed/promoted staff on open-ended contracts at Grades 7 and 8 will be taken into membership of ECDP:

  1. Those on the Research & Teaching track
  2. Those on the Teaching, Learning & Scholarship track
  3. Those independent researchers (i.e. with Principal Investigator status, normally Grade 8) appointed on the Research track without a funding review date.

Those newly appointed researchers employed on LKAS and prestigious external fellowships such as Leverhulme, Royal Society, British Academy, British Heart Foundation, Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, etc. will not automatically be taken into membership of the Programme however will be assigned a mentor, have access to modules on the ECDP Development Programme and have their PDR objectives reviewed at College level and by the ECDP panel.

Early career academic staff appointed on either the Research & Teaching (R & T) track or the Teaching, Learning & Scholarship (TLS) track will be taken into membership of the Early Career Development Programme (ECDP) for a period of up to five years when appointed at Grade 8 or up to eight years when appointed at Grade 7.  The ECDP schedule expects that those at Grade 7 will receive formal notification of promotion to Grade 8 within 4 years of first appointment, and those at Grade 8 within a further 6. In both cases this will entail submission to the preceding Promotion round, which will typically fall within 36-40 and 60-64 months of first appointment respectively, excluding allowances for absence. Earlier promotion is of course possible.

Where academic staff are appointed (on the R&T or TLS track) with a contractual duration of less than the normal timescale for completion of the programme, a decision will be taken at the time of appointment on whether or not it is appropriate for the individual to be taken into membership of the ECDP.  The default position will be that the individual will be appointed to the ECDP unless there is a valid justification that this should not be the case based on the nature of the post.

3.1 Objectives and Targets

3.1 Objectives and Targets

The new academic member of staff will meet with their line manager shortly after appointment to agree draft objectives and the targets for progression towards promotion to Grade 8 or Grade 9.  Objectives will be submitted online through the CoreHR system and signed off by the Head of School/Director of Institute (if different to the line manager)

The purpose of the year one objective setting process is for the line manager to:

  • explain the requirements of the individual’s specific role;

  • discuss the objectives of the Early Career Development Programme, the promotion criteria, the expected timescales for progression and the support available;
  • discuss with the individual the extent to which they currently meet, or have firm plans in place to meet, the promotion criteria;
  • agree objectives for the individual’s first year which will enable the individual to make progress towards meeting the promotion criteria within the specified timescale;
  • agree proposals for exemption against ECDP Framework;
  • agree development objectives for the first year;
  • agree longer-term targets for the following 2-3 years.

Mentors[1] may help early career academics to prepare for the objective setting process with particular input to the planning of development needs.   

The Head of School/Director of Research Institute will meet with each new early career academic to clarify and confirm the draft goals and objectives and target timescales.   The ECDP Board of Review will approve the objectives.  If the ECDP Board of Review is not satisfied with the objectives, feedback will be given to the line manager and individual and the objective setting process will be repeated.


[1] See section 5

3.2 Annual Objectives, Performance Management & Development

3.2 Annual Objectives, Performance Management & Development

Performance will be managed on a day-to-day basis by the immediate line manager. The University will require evidence of sustained performance and satisfactory progress towards completion of the ECDP within the required timescale.  This evidence will be gathered via annual ECDP/PDR forms which will capture full details of the objectives set at each stage of the programme and will track progress and take account of the outstanding activities and development required to meet the relevant promotion criteria and successful completion of the ECDP within the required timescale.

This will include an assessment of progress against the relevant criteria for promotion dependent upon the career track being followed:

  • Research Outputs
  • Award Generation
  • Supervision
  • Knowledge Exchange and Impact
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Leadership and Management
  • Esteem

The ECDP Board of Review will review the completed ECDP Form and may require amendments to objectives before endorsing the form.

At any time, where performance and/or delivery of objectives fall below the required standard and/or or there is insufficient progress towards completion of the ECDP, the University’s Competency Procedure will be followed.  The primary aim of this Procedure is to ensure the required performance standards are understood and to support an individual to achieve them. 
The decision to initiate the formal competency procedure would only be made by the appropriate Head of School/Director of Research Institute or by the ECDP Board of Review if informal support and guidance was not delivering the required improvements.  Where the ECDP Board of Review decides that the formal competency procedure should be initiated, the School/Research Institute will be responsible for managing the procedure.  

Where an individual is unable to complete ECDP within the specified timescale, and the  Competency Procedure has been followed, the University prior to any potential decision to dismiss,will consider any practical alternative to dismissal such as redeployment to another suitable  job at  the  same  or  lower  level  which  the  individual  would  be competent to fill[1].


[1] Further information on unsuccessful completion of the ECDP is given in Section 8

4. ECDP Board of Review

4. ECDP Board of Review

The ECDP Board of review will;

  • Review Year One objectives and targets to decide if these will progress the individual’s development and career at the appropriate pace, normally within three months of appointment. Endorse these or return them to the Line Manager for redrafting if they are not satisfactory.
  • Review ECDP  forms annually to:  review achievement  of  previous  year’s objectives;  assess  the  rate  of  progress  against  target  timescale  for completion of the programme; and decide if objectives for the following year are appropriate to for the individual’s development and career progression at the appropriate pace.

  • Consider any request to extend timescales for promotion or completion of the programme. This will include extensions due to maternity and other types of parental leave, long term sickness absence, part time status and any extensions considered as part of Disabled staff reasonable adjustments. See section 10.



5. Mentoring

5. Mentoring

Each ECDP participant will be assigned an academic mentor[1] by their Head of School/Director of Research Institute, in consultation with the VP/Head of College within four weeks of appointment. Mentoring within the ECDP is specifically concerned with supporting the achievement of career objectives within the overall programme and is positioned as a positive support mechanism, to assist early career academics to take ownership of their career development. Mentors will be senior staff at Grade 10 or senior Grade 9 level who will normally be able to offer support across all areas of Grade 9 promotion expectations and they will be out with the mentee’s current direct line management structure. Typically, the mentor will be within the same School/RI given the focus of early career mentoring.

It is expected that the mentor will meet with their mentee 6-8 times per year to provide support and guidance and to monitor progress.  If, for any reason, the initial mentoring arrangement does not work satisfactorily, the line manager and VP/Head of College can decide to allocate a new mentor.

The mentor’s primary focus is on the professional development of their mentee. Mentors can help inform the developmental aspects of ECDP discussions; however they should not normally be involved in contributing feedback on performance or formally addressing performance issues.   The mentor will assist with a range of tasks & developmental activities and planning; these include, but are not limited to, ensuring the mentee is aware of the research and teaching objectives within the School/Research Institute and University, interpreting and discussing any feedback and/or evaluation of teaching (e.g. student feedback) commenting upon draft publications and critiquing and commenting on grant proposals.


[1] Further information on the role of the ECDP Mentor can be found at:

Mentoring

6. Development Programme

6. Development Programme

Early career academics will be supported to achieve career success through a development programme[1] which includes a range of learning opportunities.  The framework provides a structured series of themed development activities which are underpinned by the academic promotion criteria.  The framework includes a blend of centrally-delivered, College-based activities and mentor-led support to maximise the learning opportunities for ECDP participants. The Development Programme contains compulsory and optional components dependent upon the individual’s career track. An individual must complete the compulsory elements if they are to be considered to have successfully completed the ECDP.

ECDP participants employed on either the Research and Teaching or Teaching, Learning and Scholarship track will participate in the current Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PgCAP) or Teaching and Supervision Course (TSC) programme.

The TSC is a forty-credit programme which will qualify participants for Fellowship of the Fellowship of the HEA. This will be compulsory for participants (unless exempt due to existing qualifications or experience).  In addition, an optional twenty-credit programme, leading to a PgCAP qualification will be offered.  Where funder requirements  exclude  individuals  from  teaching,  the  Vice  Principal  &  Head  of College may recommend  that a participant is exempt from completing the forty-credit programme.  Promotion to Grade 9 on the Research and Teaching or Teaching Learning and Scholarship track or transference to the Research and Teaching track at Grade 9 will require the completion of the forty-credit programme.

[1]Further information on the Professional Development Framework is available at:

7. Successful Completion of Programme

7. Successful Completion of Programme

Successful completion of the programme requires: completion of any mandatory elements of the Development Programme (or have them exempted due to prior learning), completion of a sufficient number of optional elements, successful completion of annual objectives as ratified by the ECDP Board of Review and attainment of the relevant promotion criteria for Grade 9.

Dependent upon the career track being followed, the promotion criteria are detailed under  seven categories,:

  • Research Outputs
  • Award Generation
  • Supervision
  • Knowledge Exchange and Impact
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Leadership and Management
  • Esteem

Under each criterion, standards in relation to the level of attainment expected for successful completion of the ECDP will be based on the appointment and promotion criteria and benchmarks applicable to Grade 9.

ECDP participants will apply for Promotion through the University’s annual Academic Promotion process.[1]

[1] Further information on the academic promotion process can be found on: http://www.gla.ac.uk/services/humanresources/all/pay/promotion/acpromotion/
 

8. Unsuccessful Completion of Programme

8. Unsuccessful Completion of Programme

Unsatisfactory progress in the completion of the programme should be managed at the   earliest   opportunity   through regular performance monitoring and feedback, via the annual PDR process   and,   where   appropriate,   the University’s Competency Procedure.

Where an individual is unable to complete ECDP within the specified timescale, the ECDP Board of Review may exceptionally agree to an extension of the timescale for completion of the programme.  This is likely to apply in cases where an individual has met the majority of the criteria required for promotion to Grade 9 and is likely to meet  the  remaining  criteria  in  a  period  of  less  than  one  year. In these circumstances, the extended timescale for completion of the programme will be agreed by the ECDP Board of Review.

Where an extended timescale is unlikely to result in an individual meeting the criteria for Grade 9 or where, following an extended timescale, an individual has not met the criteria for Grade 9, the individual will be removed from the ECDP.  In these circumstances, subject to competent performance at Grade 8 and there being a justifiable requirement within the relevant School for a post at Grade 8, the individual will be retained in a Grade 8 post.  In circumstances where there is no requirement for a post at this level within the School, every effort will be made to redeploy the individual into another suitable role at an equivalent or lower level in another area.

Where an individual is not performing to the standards required of a Grade 8 role, the University’s Competency Procedure will be initiated.

9. Salary Progression

9. Salary Progression

An annual increment will be payable to any academic following the early career development  programme  on  the  anniversary  of  their  start  date,  subject  to satisfactory performance until the top of the pay scale is reached.  The University reserves the right to withhold incremental progression in the case of unsatisfactory performance.

The University, through the ECDP Board of Review, will undertake an annual review of progress.  Where an academic was appointed to the programme at Grade 7, it is expected that they will be promoted to Grade 8 within the first three years through the University’s Academic Promotion process. Further to achieving promotion, the academic will move to the first point of Grade 8 – SCP 39.

It is expected that an academic will be promoted to Grade 9 within 5 years of appointment at, or promotion to, Grade 8.  Promotion will be confirmed if: the promotion criteria for Grade 9 have been met; there has been continued satisfactory performance; and four satisfactory external references have been received. Following promotion the academic will move to the first point of Grade 9 – SCP 45.

10. Extended Absence during ECDP

10. Extended Absence during ECDP

Where an academic is absent during the ECDP period for acceptable reasons e.g. extended sick leave, maternity leave and parental leave etc, the University will extend the ECDP period. Please note that in cases where a member of staff is on research leave or is absent from the University undertaking development explicitly linked to promotion criteria or is involved in Knowledge Exchange activities no extensions to the programme will be granted.  This decision will be made formally by the relevant Vice-Principal & Head of College in consultation with the Head of School/Director of Research Institute and College HRM. The decision will be communicated with the ECDP Board of Review.

In such circumstances, as part of the return-to-work arrangements, a meeting will take place to discuss the rescheduling of the ECDP objectives/targets between the academic member of staff and the line manager. The outcome of the meeting will be reviewed be the ECDP Board of Review who will either agree the outcomes or seek modification of these.

11. Early Completion of ECDP

11. Early Completion of ECDP

The ECDP has been designed to enable the achievement of the specified targets by the end of the five or eight year period. In some cases, some may meet the promotion criteria earlier than anticipated.

Where a participant achieves promotion to Grade 9 ahead of the 5 or 8 year timeframe, the appointment will be confirmed and successful completion of ECDP will be recorded.