- European policy
- European Charter and Code
- European Commission HR Excellence in Research Award
- HR Excellence in Research Background
HR Excellence in Research Background
Over the last few years UK organisations have worked closely with the European Commission to build the principles of the Charter and Code into our long standing agenda for the good management of researchers in UK higher education institutions. The ‘UK HE Sector Gap Analysis' published in November 2006 identified the very wide set of practice and policy which support the Charter and Code aims.
The BIS UK Action Plan was developed as part of the European Charter and Code network actions earlier in 2009 and highlights the substantial set of activities being undertaken in UK HEIs and by national organisations.
Following a survey which showed that awareness by researchers of the European Charter and Code across Europe was low, the European Commission sought ways to work directly with HEIs to progress implementation of the principles. The ‘Human Resources Strategy for Researchers' is the mechanism through which the EC can ensure that ‘concrete steps' are in place by institutions to enhance working conditions for researchers across Europe. The ‘HR Strategy for Researchers' process is light touch, respects institutional autonomy and provides publicly available information on the actions institutions are taking.
The European Commission has accepted that implementation of the ‘Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers' (The Concordat) may be considered equivalent to the ‘Human Resources Strategy for Researchers', alongside the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Code of Practice for research degree programmes. The QAA Code of Practice is a standard part of institutional audit process. UK HEIs received good feedback after a Special Review of practice in 2005.
The implementation of the Charter and Code for research staff will largely be delivered within the UK through the mechanism of the Concordat.
The ‘Human Resources Strategy' is a voluntary support tool (Human Resources Strategy, Information Note, p2) and the EC highlights that "all initiatives which comply with the key features and the institutional requirements in the implementation steps mentioned above may be considered as equivalent to the "HR Strategy for Researchers", provided that they serve the same purposes with respect to the Charter & Code. Such measures can therefore also be acknowledged as a Human Resources Strategy for Researchers by the European Commission."
It is on this basis that the UK process has been developed.