A1 - Reimagining researcher development through the lens of the Academic Professional Apprenticeship

Day Day 1
Code A1
Start time 15:30
Room Hampton


Work with Research staff

Alison Mitchell, Director of Development, Vitae

Workshop overview: 

‘Academic Professionals will reach full competency in their role through this apprenticeship, taking them from their entry point to employment in higher education to full professional competence, which can be achieved only following extensive training and work experience in both the core elements of the apprenticeship and in a specialist route for either teaching or research.’ (https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/academic-professional/)

Apprenticeships are playing an increasingly important role in career development. The UK government set a levy on large organizations including Universities which can be reclaimed to invest in apprenticeships developed by employers. The HE employers have developed the Academic Professional Apprenticeship for staff who work within the higher education (HE) sector undertaking research and/or delivering higher education teaching to support the development of knowledge within their discipline. The standard is mapped to the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (research) and the UK Professional Standards Framework (teaching).

Workshop topics covered: 

In this workshop consideration of APA requirements will enable participants to

  • Understand APA competency-based approach, and the use of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework in the APA standard
  • Reflect on current provision in relation to the APA requirements
  • Identify APA aspects already part of current researcher development programmes
  • Enhance researcher development of early career academic professionals and researcher development more generally through consideration of the APA model

From the perspective of researcher development, we will explore the implications of the Academic Professional Apprenticeship (APA) requirements such as training needs analysis, independent learning plans, 20% off the job training, formal mentoring and monitoring of workplace learning, and differences between ‘employer’ and ‘provider’ responsibilities.

We will also consider the nature and impact of external End Point Assessment, and how we as a researcher development community can develop the capacity to undertake the assessments, and how this relates to Vitae recognition for researchers and researcher developers.

Themes covered: 

  • Research staff and supply of talent; strategies and practice, developing a pipeline of research talent through strategies to attract and retain researchers
  • Employability of researchers; enabling career transitions, championing the breadth of researcher careers and encouraging intersectoral mobility
  • Engaging research leaders, principal investigators and supervisors in professional development and nurturing the careers of researchers

Workshop outcomes: 

By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize the contribution of researcher development to their institutional plans to offer the APA scheme especially to early career academic staff in research and research/teaching roles
  • Analyze the mapping current provision (content and process) for research staff and early career academics in relation to APA scheme, using Vitae gap analysis tool
  • Consider more generally how application of the principles and processes of the APA might enhance the career development of early career academics and research staff.
  • Expression of interest from participants to join a Vitae APA working group


Overview, case studies, discussion