Uniac - July 2022

35 Academic contribution models (or workload allocation models) seek to identify the different activities academic staff members undertake and allocate an agreed “tariff” to each. These models seek to allow academics, faculties, and institutions to construct a clear and comprehensive picture of who is doing what and how much time they are dedicating to it. They can cover all members of academic staff, all activities, and all work-related time. They can inform future planning, aid institutions in modelling and focussing workforce needs to achieve local and institutional objectives and help manage increasingly stretching (and possibly unsustainable) workloads. Most universities already measure or monitor workloads in some way, for example, time spent by academic staff members on individual research grants. Departments plan and manage teaching delivery, and institutions are also required to collect academic staff time allocation data for the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC). Student contact hours (the tutormediated time allocated to teaching, guidance, and student feedback) are part of the programme or course specifications, appearing in UCAS Entry Profiles, websites, prospectuses, course handbooks, and open days. Emerging factors mean that, at an institutional level, a more coordinated and better-informed approach may be required to manage academic workloads. These include: • The new regulatory environment and the requirement to ensure that there are adequate and effective arrangements in place to provide transparency about value for money for all students and taxpayers • Engagement in initiatives such as the Athena SWAN Charter, which places a greater emphasis on ensuring that workloads are managed proactively and fairly • The need to respond to a variety of strategic imperatives: in research-intensive institutions, for example, to ensure that staff with a contractual duty to research are given time and opportunity to develop and publish their research • Staff wellbeing and work-life balance, particularly where there are no normalised weekly hours, such as in the case of professional contracts • The impact of the pandemic and the need to plan for both a socially distanced and non-socially distanced timetable and the ability of the institution to gain assurance on maintaining the quality of its delivery. This paper explores the key characteristics of eight higher education providers’ models, highlighting commonalities and differences in their approach; and addresses some wider issues in the context of value for money and workforce planning. 6. Academic workload / contribution models – June 2022 1. Introduction