Deployment guidelines

This page outlines the process of deployment and crucially the contractual safeguards factors that have been agreed at both national and local level by UCU and provides some understanding of what factors determine and make up your actual hours.  

Many cases that UCU Reps are asked to assist members with relate to the important issue of deployment and profiling. If this is not carried out properly by management in accordance with the University procedures then it can result in disputes arising in the academic year particularly before the start of teaching in Semesters 1 and 2.

How your deployment is determined

You are entitled to have a deployment meeting with the relevant line manager to discuss your individual requirements which include your “Professional development needs both as a teacher and as a subject specialist, and in relation to research and other scholarly activity and to overall career development.” Your individual requirements should also take into account any recommendations made by Occupational Health. You should therefore be pushing for deployment meetings to take place as soon as possible so any problems can be spotted and resolved before the summer break.

What is deployment made up of:

Deployment is split between a umber of different areas. Most commonly Formal Scheduled teaching (known as FST) and Teaching Related Activity (known as TRA). FST activity includes the following:

  • direct interaction with students including class contact (lectures, seminars, workshops, laboratories, clinics, studios), tutorials and other feedback/support sessions, distance learning teaching, independent study including dissertation and project supervision, PhD and other Doctorate supervision and field course. FST is inclusive of all modes of delivery, including on-line or other forms of distance communication.

Teaching Related Activity:

  • updating modules/new module development, preparation of learning materials, module management, year tutor / level leader, marking, assessment and moderation, attendance at exam committees and boards, invigilation, involvement in student appeals/complaints/hearings and student placements.

The role of Academic Advisor (formerly personal tutor) seems is currently being looked at to see which of the categories this fits under.

Academics need to ensure that they are offered a balanced deployment and that the allocation of their hours is both in line with national and local agreements (see below for details) as well as what is the norm in their school. For example the norm for FST per week could  be between 13 and 16 hours (this will vary between schools and pending on your other hours, for example research, other roles and responsibilities not covered by FST and TRA) so what you are expected to teach needs to reflect accepted practice – i.e. you CANNOT be treated differently to other colleagues (see the end of this page for a Balanced Workload).

Leeds Beckett University’s Academic Work Allocation Guidelines (including the following Contractual Safeguards):

 Workload Allocation

1. Academic staff may normally expect to have formal scheduled teaching responsibilities for students within a band of 14 to 18 hours a week on average over the anticipated teaching year of that lecturer.

2. Formal scheduled teaching responsibilities should not exceed 18 hours in any week or a total of 550 hours in the teaching year. However, this provision will not apply in subject areas where the nature of the curriculum and teaching style, or work, make it inappropriate.

3. The teaching year will not normally exceed 38 weeks of which the equivalent of 2 weeks will be spent on teaching-related administration.

4. While some flexibility may be required in organising the teaching year, a member of staff will not be required to undertake more than 14 consecutive weeks of teaching, except with prior agreement.

5. Academic staff are expected to engage in Research and Scholarly Activity. It is expected that this will be integrated into the overall pattern of activities unless discussed with Head of Subject and agreed by Dean.

6. It is recognised that there will be circumstances when academic staff will need or may wish to work outside these parameters. This will be done by mutual agreement.


Factors To Be Taken Into Account

The allocation of duties requires flexibility and professionalism on the part of both managers and staff and will take into account the factors outlined below.

i. The full range and extent of actual duties to be performed.

ii. Professional development needs both as a teacher and as a subject specialist, and in relation to research and other scholarly activity and to overall career development.

iii. Teaching experience.

iv. The number of students for whom there would be overall responsibility.

v. Teaching group sizes, with particular regard for methods requiring interaction (e.g. seminars), and the assessment implications.

vi. Differing subject needs.

vii. The teaching methods appropriate.

viii. The number and range of the curricula to be taught, with particular consideration given to the development and delivery of new (for the member of staff) and innovative courses.

ix. The desirability of achieving a reasonable balance of activities.

x. Wider internal and external responsibilities.

Other Provisions (Locally Agreed Safeguards)

The provisions below should also be observed.

1. Newly appointed lecturers with no previous teaching experience will be supported to undertake an appropriately recognised academic accreditation as specified by Academic Board, and encouraged to continue to enhance their research profile.

2. Formal Scheduled Teaching should not exceed 3 consecutive hours and no more than two evenings (teaching after 6.00 pm) a week unless agreed with the member of staff.

3. Lecturers should have the opportunity for a period of at least one hour free of formal scheduled teaching for a break during their normal teaching day.

4. Formal scheduled teaching starting before 9.00 am or extending beyond 9.00 pm will be by agreement with the staff members concerned; such agreement will not be unreasonably withheld.

5. Academic staff should not normally be required to be available for formal scheduled duties for a period of more than 8 hours in a day, Monday to Friday.

6. Consideration of travel time where appropriate, including within and between campuses.

7. The University is increasingly offering flexible, business facing programmes and other activities (including open days and applicant days) and therefore academic staff by agreement may from time to time work weekends and this should be recognised within the work allocation.

8. It is recognised that there will be circumstances when academic staff will need to or may wish to work outside these parameters. This will be done by mutual agreement.”

 The University’s Guidelines also mention the importance of staff having a “Balanced Workload

 A Balanced Workload

“Our University is committed to ensuring that staff have a balanced workload both in terms of the range of activities they engage in, and where reasonably practicable, balanced throughout the academic year. This will require professionalism on the part of both the Head of School (or nominee) and the member of staff.  It is also important that overall workloads are reasonable and that a healthy work-life balance is maintained, including the opportunity for appropriate breaks during the working day and that full annual leave entitlement is taken. Where possible, consideration will also be given to family responsibilities. The University Flexible working and Parental Leave Policy and Guidelines may also be relevant. In addition, for some colleagues that have a disability the law requires your employer to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to enable you to work. These are usually informed by Occupational Health.

 It is the responsibility of the Head of School to ensure ‘reasonableness’ in the allocation process.  If members of staff feel the workload allocated to them is unreasonable, they should discuss and resolve the matter with the Head of School.  In exceptional circumstances where individuals may be unable to resolve the matter with their Head of School, they should submit a formal appeal to the Dean of Faculty. The Head of School is responsible for recording workload allocations in order to provide a broad overview of work allocation and to demonstrate equity and fairness.”