Uniac - July 2022

39 Moreover, to ensure parity of practice between different departments using the same workload model, it is best to set any workload model within an institutional policy framework, which allows decision-making to be contextualised and grounded in institutional policy and practice . In the models reviewed, the tariff is never defined beyond its being “time” or “hours”. However, in industries that use tariffs for commercial purposes, there is a range of tariff types, such as simple, compound, flat, or “ad valorem” (according to its value). One way to counter individual respondents’ concern that a workload model does not take account of differential working speeds could be the use of variable tariffs or tariff proportions (for example, an activity may take within a specified range hours). 3.2 Optimising Model Reach: Addressing Strategic Issues Tuition fees represent more than half of UK university income. At the same time, universities have been operating in an environment where cost increases have outstripped revenue growth, and financial sustainability has become the biggest existential threat faced by the sector.24 It is therefore inevitable that institutions may wish to repurpose workload model data to inform strategic workforce planning. The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) defines workforce planning as: “[the] process of balancing labour supply (skills) against the demand (numbers needed). It includes analysing the current 24 https://www.jisc.ac.uk/reports/the-future-of-student-recruitment workforce, determining future workforce needs, identifying the gap between the present and the future, and implementing solutions so that an organisation can accomplish its mission, goals, and strategic plan”. In some sectors, such as the NHS, strategic workforce planning incorporates not only the activity but also finance and performance plans, so that, for example, the cost of a vaccination programme can be determined – both in terms of required staff grade, objective outcome, cost of product, and cost of efficiency. Whilst there may be an aspiration for the data held in workforce models to be extrapolated and used for similar purposes, it may take the higher education sector a much longer time to abstract optimal workforce models, given that education is not purely transactional. Also, only a proportion of data used in workloadmodels is cut froma central authoritative source and goes through many iterations. For strategic workforce planning, data integrity must be maximal. One way in which funders, and now the Regulator, of Higher Education have attempted to cost activity is through the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC). TRAC was introduced across the UK higher education sector in 1999 as a government accountability requirement and to support institutional management through better understanding of costs within individual institutions. TRAC is a process of taking institutional expenditure information from consolidated financial

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