Action plan 2018-2020

The values (visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability) of the Technician Commitment are embedded in the culture of the institute, however, we strive for continuous improvement.

The points below are all areas which could be better communicated or improved and these will be addressed over the next Technician Commitment reporting period (31 June 2018 – 31 June 2020).

1 – Increase awareness and uptake of the mentoring service by Research Support Staff (RSS)

Currently over half the mentors at the John Innes Centre are Research Support Staff (RSS) but it is unclear how much the mentoring scheme is used.

We will implement a 12-month review of the scheme to gain information on how the mentoring scheme is being used. We will also increase awareness of it through different forums

2 – Continue to raise awareness of the Exceptional Performance Awards and Special Bonus

The number of applications to both schemes will be monitored and the numbers of applications and successes from RSS will be reported at the next Technician Commitment assessment.

3 – Update career pathways document for RSS

When completed this updated document will be included on the website and published on the RSSV intranet page.

4 – Continue to champion Professional Registration

Staff wishing to undertake Professional Registration will be supported through mentoring and payment of the initial registration costs.

We will continue to raise awareness of Science Council Professional Registration opportunities.

5 – Work Nationally and locally with the other Technician Commitment signatories

We will work with the other Technician Commitment signatories (e.g. Nottingham University, Liverpool University, University of East Anglia and The Sainsbury Laboratory) becoming a beacon for the Technician Commitment.

We will share expertise and forge joint initiatives and continue to communicate the values of the Technician Commitment.

We will share expertise in a joint project with Nottingham University and the University of Liverpool and jointly communicate findings of this collaboration.

6 -Ensure the guidelines for authorship on publications are communicated more effectively

Guidelines for authorship on publications will be signposted more effectively on the intranet ensuring that are readily accessible.

7 – Improve the visibility of RSS and details regarding the Technician Commitment on the John Innes Centre website

The current John Innes Centre website is being updated and RSS will have further opportunity to input into this process. This will ensure that the visibility of the RSS will be much improved and details relating to the Technician’s Commitment and associated activities will be easily located.

8 – If appropriate ensure RSS are put forward for internal and external awards

Line Managers will be encouraged to put forward RSS for appropriate awards in recognition of the work they do and the impact they have had. Any success will be celebrated at JIC-All meetings.

9 – Improve awareness of the technical roles at the institute and how these play a crucial role in the success of the science

The profile of technical roles undertaken by RSS will be raised through articles/blogs and tweets and other appropriate mechanisms.

10 – Improve mechanisms to improve the visibility of the RSS group internally and externally

The visibility of RSS is improving; the RSS Voice will review the effectiveness of current mechanisms and, if appropriate, suggest additional ways in which the visibility of this group of staff can be improved.

Create working groups to focus on issues brought up in the recent temperature check survey and ‘Change One Thing’ initiative. These groups are in progress.

Feedback of the outcome from the working groups will be presented to all staff.

11 – Continue to ensure RSS presence on key relevant committees

Committee membership is reviewed on an annual basis to ensure good representation and a regular refresh of Committee membership – usual term is three years where possible.

12 – Produce a Technician Commitment leaflet that will signpost to all the initiatives currently in place

A leaflet outlining all the positive things that are underway will help to increase awareness amongst the RSS and raise the visibility of this key group of staff.