Imperial recognises the important contributions made by members of the Learning job family to the delivery of its mission and is committed to ensuring that our overall package for reward and recognition is attractive and competitive.
This page sets out the information about the termly Learning promotions process for staff to be promoted within or transferred to the Learning job family.
The Working Group to review the terms and conditions of the Learning & Teaching and Research job families – further information available - will be considering Learning staff during the third phase of its work in 2024.
Learning Promotions Guidance 2024
Committee Membership 2024
Professor Peter Haynes
Vice-Provost (Education and Student Experience) and Chair of Panel
Professor Alan Spivey
Associate Provost (Learning & Teaching), FoNS
Professor Martyn Kingsbury
Professor of Higher Education
Professor Jason Riley
Vice-Dean (Education), FoE
Professor Stephen Curry
College Consul & Education Office, FoNS
Professor Paolo Zaffaroni
Professor of Financial Econometrics, ICBS
Dr Sophie Rutschmann
Academic Lead for Digital Education, FoM
Dr Liz Elvidge
Head of Postdoc & Fellows Development
Deputy President (Education), Student Union
Academic Progression & Job Evaluation Manager
Tel: 020 7594 1738
Academic Progression & Job Evaluation Coordinator
Tel: 020 7594 5492
This is the formal guidance governing the termly Learning promotions process. The procedure is for promotion to the Learning grades of the Learning & Teaching job family listed below. The Role Profiles can be found in Appendix 1-3 of the Learning promotions webpage.
Criteria for Promotion
Learning Technologist (Level 3b)
Senior Learning Technologist (Level 4)
Principal Learning Technologist (Level 5)
Role specific title (Level 6)
The diagram below represents the career progression opportunities through the various pathways within the Learning & Teaching job family as well as the educational research pathway in the Academic job family.
- Progression for all staff in the Learning and Teaching job family is through promotion on individual merit.
- Promotion for Learning Technologists remains through the termly promotions process.
- Promotion within the Teaching family for Teaching Staff is through the annual promotions process.
- Promotion within or into Academic family – to Reader or Associate Professor in Education, or Professor in Education – is through the Academic Promotions process.
- Any job family transfers, whether or not they involve a promotion, are managed through the promotions process for the destination job family as indicated, to ensure that all staff meet the expectations of the role.
- The Business School does not support movement from the Academic job family to the Learning and Teaching job family.
Important Employment Considerations
1. Probation and Disciplinary Issues
Applications for promotion cannot be considered in isolation from matters connected with an employee's probation or general employment. If a member of staff is at the informal oral, or any other stage of the College’s disciplinary/capability procedure, the application will be put on hold until the matter has been resolved, or any warning issued is spent, to the satisfaction of the Deputy Director of HR (Operations). Every effort will then be made to deal with the application as quickly as is practicable. The above also applies to those whose probation has been extended, or where an individual's employment has not been confirmed for performance/disciplinary-related reasons.
Staff who are on probation may be considered for promotion, but only where there are no current disciplinary/capability issues. Staff can only be promoted when all mandatory probationary requirements (e.g. compulsory course attendance) have been completed.
2. Transferring to Learning & Teaching Job Families
It is a condition of promotion that staff, who are still on the old job grading system at the time of their application for promotion, will be moved to the relevant level Learning & Teaching job family, with associated terms and conditions when promoted.
3. Requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals sponsored under the Skilled Worker Route (SWR) / Tier 2 and T5 Temporary Worker Route (TWR) / Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange)
As part of the College’s sponsorship duties, the Staff Compliance Team is required to report any significant changes to sponsored workers’ employment, including any promotions, changes in job title or core duties, to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) within 10 working days.
Additionally, should the promotion mean that the worker would need to be sponsored in a different occupation code, for example, a member of academic staff promoted into a teaching-only role, a ‘change of employment’ application would need to be made. This would require:
- The Staff Compliance Team to issue a new Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS); and
- The worker to make a new application for permission to stay in the UK; and
- The Staff Compliance Team to complete a follow-up Right to Work check of the worker’s new status via an Online right to work check, once their new visa status is granted by UKVI, before the effective start date of the promotion is confirmed, and the worker starts work in their new role.
Where the worker would need to be sponsored in a different occupation code and they have an application already in process for a non-sponsored immigration category (e.g. Indefinite Leave to Remain, Global Talent Visa, etc), they would need to await the outcome of their application and the Staff Compliance Team would need to complete a follow-up Online Right to Work check before the effective start date of the promotion is confirmed and they start work in their new role.
The Progression team will share the outcomes of the Teaching Promotions exercise for sponsored workers with the Staff Compliance Team to ensure that the relevant reporting requirements are undertaken, or new permission obtained (where required) before promotions for sponsored workers take effect.
The Learning and Teaching career structure and promotions process is designed to ensure that staff whose primary focus is learning and teaching are recognised for their achievements. This process exists to support the Learning and Teaching Strategy’s aim of establishing a culture that values teaching as highly as research.
This process recognises contribution in the following areas:
- sustained contribution to the delivery of the College’s educational mission
- educational leadership
- educational transformation, for example innovating curricula and pedagogy or the effective use of technology enhanced learning
- educational evaluation, scholarship and research
- national and international leadership roles which support the College's mission to excel and to lead in the field of Higher Education
Promotion within the Learning and Teaching job family recognises sustained achievement which is appropriate to the context of the member of staff’s role.
C. Criteria and Evidence
a. Role Profiles
Those applying for promotion are advised to consult the standard Learning role profiles in Appendix 1-3 depending on their current role.
Role profiles for the Learning and Teaching job family have been designed to provide descriptions of the roles at each level/grade in four distinct areas:
- Contribution to the College’s Educational Mission
- Educational Research, Evaluation and Critical Enquiry
- Educational Leadership and Management
- Profession and Practice
Applicants for promotion should demonstrate their achievements and impact in each of these areas, in the context of their role.
Applicants are also asked to consider their personal impact on others (students and colleagues), on the curriculum, through educational scholarship and the enhancement of learning and teaching at the College. Examples of the evidence applicants may provide are provided in section b below.
All staff in the Learning and Teaching job family are expected, as part of their role, to engage with evaluation and critical enquiry in the development of their practice. Those who wish to progress to the position of Associate Professor of Education/Reader in Education or Professor of Education should be aware that engagement with educational research will be required to be eligible for promotion to these positions.
Evidence of achievement may include, but is not limited to:
b. Contribution to the College’s Educational Mission
- excellence in teaching as demonstrated through student success and progression, qualitative student feedback and peer observation;
- contribution to the design of new modules and/or programmes or transformation of existing modules and/or programmes;
- engagement with curriculum review;
- successful innovation in teaching and assessment practice;
- effective and innovative use of technology enhanced learning;
- leadership of learning technology projects;
- successful activities which involve of students as partners in their learning;
- contribution to student support;
- commendations by external examiners;
- involvement in, and leadership of, activities aimed at improving teaching;
- through the above, make an impact on others (students and colleagues), the curriculum, educational scholarship and the learning and teaching process
c. Educational Research, Evaluation and Critical Enquiry
- demonstrable change to own practice as a result of evaluation;
- identification of actionable insights, and acting on these;
- contribution to, or authorship of, publications on teaching practice;
- contribution to, or authorship of, publications on educational research;
- award of internal or external grants to pursue educational innovation
d. Educational Leadership and Management
- effective team leadership
- strategic leadership in learning and teaching
e. Profession and Practice
- the achievement of a College or national learning and teaching qualification;
- fellowship of the Higher Education Academy or certified membership of the Association for Learning Technology;
- active participation in academic conferences and workshops;
- the receipt of teaching, industry and sector awards or prizes;
- membership of national and/or international educational committees;
- membership of educational and accreditation committees of professions;
- collaborative work with vendors and industrial partners in learning and teaching;
- acting as an external examiner;
- receipt of invitations to support learning and teaching or educational activities at other institutions
Please note: the College is a signatory to DORA (Declaration on Research Assessment), which mandates that in hiring and promotion decisions, the scientific content of a paper, not the JIF (Journal Impact Factor), is what matters. More information on DORA is available: http://www.ascb.org/dora/
a. Departmental Review
In order to allow for fair and consistent access to career progression across the College, Heads of Departments (or equivalents for staff based outside academic Departments) should arrange an annual review of all Learning grades to consider the grading of all members of staff in the Learning job family within their Department.
Heads of Department should also consider whether any staff who are outside of the Learning job family should be considered for transfer into the Learning job family. This measure should be considered for staff who are making a significant contribution to educational leadership or educational transformation, beyond that normally expected within their current job family.
Where staff are eligible for promotion within, or transfer to, the Learning and Teaching job family, the relevant line manager(s) and the Head of Department should indicate whether they support the case for promotion or transfer. Where promotion or transfer is supported by the line manager and the Head of Department, a citation should be submitted alongside the application form. The citation should be written and signed by the line manager, Director of Undergraduate/Postgraduate Studies, Head of Department, or other (whichever is most appropriate).
b. Personal applications
If the Department does not support the application, the Head of Department must inform the candidate of the reasons so that he/she has the opportunity to make a personal application. If a personal, unsupported application is made, the Head should provide a brief statement explaining the Department’s reasons. The statement should accompany the application form when the application is submitted. Personal applicants submit their application paperwork through the normal departmental channels.
Regardless of whether the member of staff is supported by the Department, the application will be evaluated by the panel in exactly the same way as all other applications.
c. Previous applications
At least one year should elapse between an unsuccessful application for promotion and a further application.
Where staff have been promoted within the last year or have recently been appointed to a post (within the last year), a further promotion will only be considered if measurable, clear and very significant progress can be shown. Permission for such an application to proceed will be sought from, and granted by, the Vice-Provost (Education and Student Experience). Such applications must be flagged when submitted to the Promotions Team who will take the case forward.
d. For promotion to Learning Levels 3b, 4, 5 and 6
- The panel will consider applications for promotion every term.
- An interview will not normally be required for promotion to Levels 3b – 5.
- An interview to Level 6 will be in line with the termly panels
e. For transfer from Academic and Research job family
- The panel will consider applications from staff who wish to transfer from the Academic and Research job family into Levels 3b – 6 of the Learning job family on a termly basis.
- An interview will not normally be required for transfers to levels 3b – 5.
E. Key Dates for Submission of Application Documents
12 April, by noon
9 August, by noon
8 November, by noon
F. Details of Documents
Departments submit the following documents for each candidate by e-mail to the Learning & Teaching promotions team at the HR alias firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Application Form
- Citations (Appendix 4-5)
- The line manager, Director of Undergraduate/Postgraduate Studies, Head of Department, or other (whichever is most appropriate)
- For applicants in student-facing roles, a supporting statement from a student who is familiar with their work should be submitted.
Unsigned forms and citations must be signed and dated (not on an unsigned, undated attachment e-mailed to HR.
References (required for promotion to Level 6 only)
- One relevant referee
- In the case of personal applicants, two relevant referees
Referees should be of:
- appropriate seniority in a role relevant to the type of promotion sought
- familiar with learning and teaching at research-based universities in the UK
- external to the College
- as knowledgeable as possible about the candidate’s work
Referees should not:
- have worked at the College within the last five years
- work closely with the candidate
- have published work with the candidate within the last five years
The Effective Date of Promotions in 2024
- Successful promotions will be effective on 1 June, 1 October, and 1 January.
G. College Values
A section on the form completed by candidates gives the opportunity to highlight their achievements with regard to the College Values and Behaviours Framework. The purpose is to guide the behaviour of all staff, demonstrating the ways in which staff respect and support each other in achieving personal goals and the College’s strategic objectives. Please see Values - Behaviour Framework (imperial.ac.uk)
Please note that College Values replaced Imperial Expectations from November 2021. The following link relates College Values to the replaced Imperial Expectations and may be helpful when providing information. https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/administration-and-support-services/hr/public/values/Values_Values_Link-to-Imperial-Expectations.pdf.
- In consultation with Heads of Department, applicants will be informed as soon as possible after a final decision has been
- Letters will be as informative as possible so that line managers can provide feedback to candidates, initially face-to-face and, subsequently, in Candidates who have been unsuccessful will need to be dealt with sensitively and Heads of Department should ensure that they provide the candidate with the reasons for the decision.
- Personal applicants not supported by the Department will be written to directly to inform them of the decision. The Department will also be
- Formal notification of promotion or conferment of title will be sent to successful candidates as soon as is practicable via the Heads of Departments’ offices.
HR will compile a record of all applications and the decisions that were agreed. Applications will be monitored in relation to gender, ethnic origin, age, disability and level of pay awarded. The results will be analysed and monitored by HR and anonymised data will be provided to the Vice-Provost (Education and Student Experience) and the relevant College committees.
H. Learning Promotions and the Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)
- The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), which came into effect in 2018, set out a number of principles with which organisations have to Full details are available under the College's Data Protection Policy and Staff Privacy Notice. Your information will be retained in line with the College’s Retention Schedule.
- With respect to Learning Promotions, the College sends information containing personal information about candidates to referees, some of whom may be located in overseas countries, not all of which will have adequate levels of data protection. The information is sent to assist referees in their assessments of candidates and includes the application form. The information will be sent to referees by e-mail.
- At present, the following EEA countries can be regarded as having appropriate levels of data protection: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom. Countries outside the EEA which have been approved as offering adequate data protection are: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Canada (commercial organisations), Switzerland, Faroe Islands, Guernsey, Israel, Isle of Man, Jersey, and in the US, signatories to the US Department of Commerce’s Safe Harbour Privacy Principles. Other countries may be added at a later date.
- References are received via e-mail.
- Candidates are asked to give consent for the transfer of their data to referees on the understanding that some referees may be located in countries which do not meet the criteria defined as adequate by the GDPR. The information received is used as part of the assessment for academic promotion and is held on file in the HR Division.
I. College Appeals Procedure
- Unsuccessful candidates are entitled to appeal, but only on the grounds of a defect in the departmental and/or College procedure.
- In the event of an appeal, the candidate should, within 30 days of receipt of the official written decision from the Human Resources Promotions Team, inform the relevant Head of Department of the grounds of the complaint, and the Head of Department should forward this information to Rob Farace (email@example.com), Deputy Director of Human Resources (Operations).
- In the case of a candidate whose application was not supported by the Department, the candidate may write directly to the Deputy Director of Human Resources (Operations).
- The Deputy Director of Human Resources (Operations), or a nominee, shall conduct an investigation of the complaint and will report to relevant members of the Teaching Promotions Committee within 30 days of receipt of the appeal on whether there has been a defect in procedure which would materially affect its decision. The Teaching Promotions Committee will then arrange for the appellant to be informed whether it has agreed to reconsider the appellant's case on the grounds of a defect in procedure. If the appeal is upheld, the Teaching Promotions Committee will reconsider the case and may seek further information as appropriate and/or require the candidate to attend a meeting/interview.
- If the appellant is dissatisfied because the Teaching Promotions Committee has decided not to reconsider the case, or remains dissatisfied following the review of the case, the candidate should inform Daljeet Birdy (firstname.lastname@example.org), Academic Progression & Job Evaluation Manager, Human Resources, within 14 days of receipt of the Teaching Promotions Committee's decision, stating in writing the grounds for the complaint. The time limit may be extended for good cause e.g. illness. The Promotions Coordinator will arrange for the Provost to appoint an Investigation Committee which will consist of three members of the College, one of whom will be appointed as Chair by the Provost and none of whom will previously have been involved in the case at Departmental/Divisional or College level. A member of the Human Resources Division will normally be Secretary to the Investigation Committee.
- Within 14 days of the date of the hearing, the Chair of the Investigation Committee, on behalf of the Committee, will submit a report to the Provost, with the Committee's judgement on whether a defect in procedure has occurred which would materially affect the decision of the Teaching Promotions Committee.
- The Provost will consider the Committee's report and decide on whether or not the case for promotion should be reconsidered. The decision will be conveyed to the appellant in writing within 28 days after the date of the hearing.
- Every effort will be made to adhere to the timetables given above, with the proviso that more time may be necessary on occasion because cases are considered by senior staff and over the summer period.
- Appendix 1 - Role Profiles - Learning Promotions Levels 3a & 3b
- Appendix 2 - Role Profiles - Learning Promotions Levels 4 & 5
- Appendix 3 - Role Profiles - Learning Promotions Level 6
- Appendix 4 - Learning Promotions - HoD Citation
- Appendix 5 - Learning Promotions - Student Citation Form 2024
- Learning Application Form 2024