Frequently Asked Questions

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

Q.       What is the Technical Academy?

The Technical Academy is the dedicated platform for all our technical staff designed to deliver the skills and career development essential to supporting those in technical roles both today and in the future.  It will provide a tailored programme of events and training specifically designed to enhance skills and professional development.

Q.       What are the aims and objectives of the Technical Academy?

  • Supporting the skills, professional and career development of all technical staff
  • To recognise and value the contribution that the technical staff make to the achievements of the University
  • Ensure that the University of Birmingham fulfils its obligations as a signatory to the Science Council’s ‘Technician Commitment’
  • Ensuring that the technical workforce has the skills, capacity and behaviours required to meet the challenges of teaching and research in a leading global university

Q.       Who is it for?

The Technical Academy is open to all staff who have a technical dimension within their role and responsibilities.

Q.       What will be its format/structure?

It is vital technical staff take an active part in the development and delivery of Technical Academy activity.  To achieve this a Technical Academy Operations Group will be established to co-ordinate and deliver the operational aspects.  The Operations Group will feed into the Technical Academy Steering Committee to ensure the stated aims and objectives are achieved.

Q.       Who is leading the Technical Academy?

Professor Tim Softley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer is the University sponsor of the Technical Academy and will have strategic oversight of the Academy. 

Q.       How will this benefit me in my role?

The Technical Academy will provide a range of opportunities to enhance your career development from facilitating professional accreditation and relevant training to networking with peers across the University and the sector.

Q.       How will academic colleagues be engaged?

Academics are already engaged at all levels. If you have any individual queries please speak to your line manager. 

Q.       Is this a sector-wide initiative?

Yes. There is recognition across the sector of both the contribution technical staff make to Higher Education and some of the challenges facing this workforce, in particular lack of career progression, recognition, and the need for a highly skilled technical workforce to meet the needs of world-class universities.  In response to these challenges a number of nationwide initiatives have been launched, notably the HEFCE funded Technical Development and Modernisation project led by the University of Sheffield (including representation from Birmingham), and the Science Council’s ‘Technician Commitment’ of which Birmingham is a founding signatory. The creation of a Technical Academy at the University of Birmingham firmly supports the national agenda.  

Q.       How do I get involved?

There are many ways that you can be involved.

  • Consider nominating yourself to join the Operations Group
  • Look out for upcoming events
  • Speak to your line manager about training opportunities
  • Email your ideas to: technicalacademy@contacts.bham.ac.uk   

Q.   How do I access funding for training?

Speak to your line manager about training opportunities.