Professional Services Review Project

The Professional Services Review Project has now concluded where successful implementation of the recommendations of the 2016 Vice Chancellor's Review has made significant progress in achieving the vision for Professional Services in the College of Social Sciences. The aim of the project was to enhance the student experience and the support provided to deliver world-class research, through: increasing consistency across the College to improve flexibility and resilience, reducing duplication and improving staff satisfaction within CoSS as a place to work. A summary of the outcomes and the College vision has been published.

Our vision

As Professional Services staff in the College of Social Sciences we are confident, high-performing, engaged, innovative and efficient in all that we do.  All members of staff at all levels are valued and respected for their contribution to the work of the College. We treat everyone in the way that we wish to be treated ourselves with a professional, flexible and vibrant outlook.

We are one team across the College in partnership with our academic colleagues.  Drawing on networks of best practice from across the College, University and the higher education sector as a whole we lead change and improvement in all that we do. 

We are focused on providing outstanding, sector-leading professional services and are committed to the delivery of the Strategic Framework and College vision to transform the lives of our students and the wider academic community through pioneering research, education and engagement. 

Structure

The key outputs of the Structure work stream has identified the resources required to build resilience and flexibility, and enable more cross-College working. This has been achieved through:

  • A refreshed new senior structure

    • Cross-College thematic roles now form part of the Operations Managers' remits where they will lead on a theme for the entire College alongside their School based role. Operations Managers will focus on Research, Resources and International related activities.
    • A new College level role has been introduced, Deputy Director of Operations (Education), focusing on Education related activities.
    • The role of Director of Business School Operations has also been introduced, with a cross College remit for Influence related activities.
    • Find out what the thematic roles mean here.

Culture

The key outputs of the Culture work stream has helped to develop a shared culture in which expectations on staff and managers are clear and that encourages all staff to engage in professional development. This has been delivered through:

Processes

The key outputs of the Processes work stream has instilled the principles of continuous improvement and the sharing of good practice across the College.  This has been delivered through:

  • The creation of a new Continuous Improvement Group, led by Marc Levasseur, will begin to implement a culture of continuous improvement across the College. 

Download more information about the project outcomes and our latest frequently asked questions.

Presentation slides and panopto 

 
EventDate Presentation/Panopto
All Staff Briefing Oct 2017  Presentation slides
     Panopto recording
Managers Briefing Aug 2017  Presentation slides
College Assembly Jul 2017  Presentation slides
Focus Groups    
Career Development Mar 2017 Presentation slides
Values Mar 2017 Presentation slides
Expectations Mar 2017 Presentation slides


About the project

College Board initiated the Professional Services Review Project in response to the Vice Chancellor’s (VC) Review of CoSS Professional Services that took place between January and June 2016.

College Board has been firm in its view that Professional Services are not broken and that there is an enormous amount of good practice evident across the College.  Rather than “fixing” anything, the review is a positive process intended to enhance the experience of all PS staff and the students and academic colleagues that they support, through building on those areas of good practice and increasing consistency in everything we do.

The key drivers for the project were to increase consistency, clarity, flexibility and resilience to enhance the student experience and the support provided to deliver world-class research.

Below you can access more detailed information relating to the Structure, Culture and Processes work streams.

The Key Drivers of the Project

In response to the VC Review of CoSS Professional Services (June 2016), the College was required to produce an action plan that responded to the recommendations made.  College Board decided that the recommendations provided an excellent starting point for a wider review of Professional Services and formally initiated the Professional Services Review Project in November 2016. 

College Board has been firm in its view that Professional Services is not broken and that there is an enormous amount of good practice evident across the College.  Rather than “fixing” anything, the review was a positive process intended to enhance the experience of all PS staff and the students and academic colleagues that they support, through building on those areas of good practice and increasing consistency in everything we do.

The key drivers for the project were to increase consistency, clarity, flexibility and resilience to enhance the student experience and the support provided to deliver world-class research. 

VC Review of Professional Services in CoSS - key themes

Project engagement

The initial phase of the project (November 2016 to January 2017) involved six work streams, each focussed on how Professional Services could best support the delivery of a pillar of the University’s Strategic Framework.  The work streams produced a series of recommendations and upon analysis of these, it was clear that there was significant crossover.  Therefore, a decision was taken to consolidate the work streams to focus on the delivery of three core aspects - structure, culture and processes. 

A significant amount of communication and engagement activities took place throughout the project including focus groups, surveys, champions group, drop in sessions, attendance at local meetings, targeted involvement and managers briefing sessions; all of which shaped the direction of project outcomes. 

Former Head of College Saul Becker and Director of Operations Lorraine Gaytten explain the project

 

Support available

Hopefully the information provided here will be helpful to your understanding of the project and will not cause you any concern.  If however you do read or hear something that worries you or you would like to know more, please speak to one of our Project Champions or our Change Manager, Angela Storer in the first instance.  

Comments and questions

You can feed in any ideas or comments by email to Angela Storer, Change Manager at a.l.storer@bham.ac.uk or submit an anonymous message via the form below.