Questions from the January event

This update was shared in the Friday 9 February Staff Briefing. 

Professional services delivery group recruitment 

The Process Outcome Designer posts were advertised on the Imperial recruitment website Q1 2023 and recruited to through an open and competitive application and interview recruitment process. It is at the forefront of our minds that, for this project to be successful, we will need every aspect of Imperial represented. As the project develops we will be engaging widely with staff from across Imperial at scale, and ensuring inclusiveness and diversity will be essential to designing processes and systems that work for our community. Specifically, we anticipate that at various stages of the project we will be recruiting from across Imperial’s community for teams of Subject Matter Experts to engage formally with the project. 

ERP replacing ICIS  

After careful analysis during a formal procurement exercise, we have selected the preferred company to help us deliver our Great Service Programme. Imperial’s Finance Committee will discuss and ratify this decision in February, after which an announcement will be made. What we can be clear on today is that we are committed to delivering an efficient, cloud-based system that meets your needs today and in the future. 

Implementing new systems  

For the Great Service Programme we have invested a lot of time speaking with other universities and organisations who have implemented a new IT system as part of their transformations. This has helped us to learn from their experience. A key area of feedback was ensuring we have a good breadth of understanding from across the whole organisation involved in the programme, which is why we have assembled our team of Process Outcome Designers and will be looking for further engagement from experts in how we work across the university. 

In terms of Imperial 360 we appreciate the impact this had and thank team members across Imperial for their patience as we dealt with issues experienced when launching the product. As we worked through the early issues experienced the learnings were identified and implemented on a continual basis. To support this an undergraduate confirmation dry run will be taking place using Imperial 360, where we will be looking for engagement from across Imperial to be involved in this. We encourage users to continue to feedback any issues they’re experiencing. You can find our known issues here, and our knowledge base here, you can also sign up for our monthly show and tell. Learnings like this on improvements made for Imperial 360 will be taken forward into the Great Service programme. 

Delivering high-quality services with non-staff budgets  

Although this year’s budget guidance no longer includes an explicit requirement to keep non-staff costs flat, we have asked all areas to try and manage within previously agreed budget envelopes. Allowing for inflation in full would probably require offsetting measures to be identified within departments in order to achieve that target. Home undergraduate tuition fees remain fixed and no change to that looks likely in the short term, which continues to present a challenge. We are prioritising the allocation of resources to align with our agreed strategic objectives and delivering great services is a key part of our enabling plan. 

Progression  

All vacancies are advertised internally and staff can apply for these alternative roles as potential promotional opportunities. Additionally, POD provide a suite of learning and development opportunities which are available to all and these opportunities can aid staff in the career development. Staff are encouraged and expected to have a conversation with their line manager about career development opportunities during their ARC. 

There is no automatic process for PTO staff to progress to a higher grade. Staff who wish to get promoted to a higher grade must apply and be interviewed for a vacant post. The College applies the Job Evaluation process to all posts in the PTO families. 

Over the past five years 3700 staff have secured internal promotion in the Professional Services grades. It is acknowledged that some staff will need to seek career promotion externally as opportunities will not always be available internally. 

Data on recruitment, ethnicity and protected characteristics  

We have previously provided this data and will look into how we can publish this on a regular basis. 

ARC 

People are asked to discuss learning needs as part of the ARC conversation. After the ARC rounds in departments, managers are asked to share themes and needs so that these can be addressed as part of the College learning and development offer. 

Promotion 

Staff should be encouraged, where appropriate, to apply for alternative roles/promotional opportunities across College and their managers should support them with this. All applications will be assessed on their merits and will be judged against the person specification attached to the role. Staff are encouraged and expected to have a conversation with their line manager about career development opportunities during their ARC. 

Establishment Review process 

The College introduced the Establishment Review process to ensure fairness and equitability. It is believed that this is the fairest and most appropriate process for determining the correct grade for PTO positions.  

Job descriptions  

Staff should take the opportunity to discuss, agree and update their job description during the ARC conversation. A copy of their updated job description can then be forwarded to HR. 

Recruitment  

We have a defined Recruitment and Selection Policy that is used in conjunction with our recruitment procedures that outlines best practice to ensure a consistent approach across the College. Professional, teaching and research staff appointments | Administration and support services | Imperial College London 

Inclusivity in the staff recruitment user journey 

As part of the foundation work for Great Service, we are developing our approach in applying our design principles for new ERP processes. We have principles that refer to Accessibility and EDI specifically to help guide and test design decisions at an early stage.     

Report and Support 

Report and Support is regularly monitored and managed according to the disclosure. If you disclose something using Report and Support, this does not mean you have made a formal report to the College. However, if you ask to be put in contact with someone you will have the option to discuss the best interventions, specialist support, and identify the next steps, which may include making a formal report.  

Pay 

Salaries at Imperial are competitive when compared with peer universities. Please see information on our Total Remuneration Package https://www.imperial.ac.uk/human-resources/trp/  

We have recently reviewed all college family leave and will be communicating some positive changes agreed by UMB at its meeting in January.     

2023/24 pay update  

A joint statement was issued on 17 October.   

The Joint Trade Unions asked their members to vote on the £500 unconsolidated payment twice, and on both occasions, they rejected the payment on the basis that it was unconsolidated. The JTUs requested the payment be consolidated, and UMB considered this request and in response agreed to bring forward the 2024/25 local pay negotiations. This means that staff did not receive an unconsolidated £500 payment in December 2023.   

An element of the USS employer contribution savings will be used for local pay bargaining and will benefit all staff covered by local pay bargaining, not just those who are USS members. 

More information on the Annual Pay Award can be found on the website. 

Work Location Framework  

The Work Location Framework enables staff to work in a flexible way, and we will keep the framework under review. 

Working from abroad  

All requests for overseas working should be submitted to the International Mobility Team (along with the relevant Departmental approval and supporting documentation). Further information on overseas working can be found here, and the College’s current guidance and request form documents can be found here. 

Brand Project  

Accessibility  

Accessibility is top of our minds throughout the project. We worked with Open Inclusion, an inclusive research agency, to ensure the inclusivity and accessibility of our new brand.  

Open Inclusion tested the brand with their Community Leaders who represent 7 diverse disability communities: sight, hearing, cognition, mobility/dexterity, chronic health, mental health and “just getting older”.  

Open Inclusion advise that perspectives and experiences vary across different people with the same disability or access need. How one person responds will not represent the full range of others with the same disability. Qualitative research such as this is always informative yet incomplete for this reason.   

We’re also closely aligned with the website redesign project, ensuring the new brand is fit for purpose both in digital and other media. This includes ensuring the colour palette has enough contrast across print and digital applications, and the use of typefaces is carefully considered. 

Our name  

Our name is one of the strongest brand assets we have. It’s recognisable and carries weight in the academic and research worlds. Ask any potential student or research partner to name a top STEM university and there’s a strong chance they’ll say “Imperial College London”. 

What we are looking at, however, is making “Imperial” an official shorthand for our name. Through our research and discovery, we found that many of us, and our wider stakeholders, instinctively call us “Imperial” rather than the longer “Imperial College London”. So, you’ll see the initial work on our logo just using the word “Imperial”. And when we write about ourselves, we may say things like, “Imperial is a London-based STEMMB university” or “Imperial is a Top Ten global university”.  

We recognise that the word “Imperial” comes with certain connotations and historical connections to the British Empire. Rather than hide away from this, we believe it’s important that we put our name into context and encourage an honest and open dialogue about our history – while also telling a confident and proud story of what Imperial means today. We’re an institution that’s open and welcoming to all. We’re committed to equity, diversity and inclusion. We’re working hard to widen participation. And our work is all in support of our mission – to achieve enduring excellence in research and education in science, engineering, medicine and business for the benefit of society. We’re proud of who we are and we want people to understand this positive, progressive story – and see the impact that Imperial creates for the benefit of society. 

Budget  

This work is being delivered using existing in-house resource and a partnership with the design studio Pentagram who have been commissioned to deliver several pieces of work including:   

  • Running a research and discovery phase to understand Imperial and our ambitions; talk to our stakeholders and listen to what they expect of us; and analyse our competitors, to understand the opportunity to stand out. 
  • Developing and testing our updated narrative, key messages, and tone of voice. 
  • Developing and testing our new visual identity system.  
  • Defining our ‘brand architecture’ system. 
  • Creating guidelines and templates.