Workload Allocation Model Discussion Paper CHSS P R by hcj


                                 College of Humanities and Social Science

                           Planning and Resources Committee, 2 October 2007

College Workload Allocation Model: Discussion Paper

1. Background

During the past two academic sessions initial work has been done towards creating a generic Co llege
workload allocation model. The impetus for creating such a model was to provide a management tool which
could assess existing workload arrangements and inform the allocation of additional tasks. A workload
allocation model is generally perceived as being a fair and equitable way of comparing staff workload within
a given area and, ultimately, across many areas of activity. In the light of the recent Reward Modernisation
project in the University it is now accepted that a workload allocation model is an essential management tool
as a way of identifying and balancing core and additional duties to the benefit of both academic managers
and members of staff.

2. Design principles of the College model

The generic College model has been informed by existing models both within HSS and also Science &
Engineering. Its aim is to identify general broadbrush proxies for intensity of activity rather than capturing
absolute detail, partly because of the range of tasks within any School and across Schools. It is hoped that
the high- level model will provide a starting point for Schools and will allow the College to work towards
some standard measures across all Schools.

Information in the College model has been aggregated into three main headings:

i) Teaching, subdivided into a) Design & Preparation, b) Delivery and c) Assessment

ii) Management/Administrative Duties

iii) Research

Under a fourth heading ‘Other’ the model also allows for part-time or new members of staff to be discounted,
where a full load is not expected.

       The College workload model is based on the assumption that an academic member of staff’s total
       workload consists of teaching duties, management/admin responsibilities and research. In the case of
       a teaching-only contract, the total workload is assumed to consist of teaching duties plus
       administrative responsibilities.

Within the model, there is a mixture of credit points (in some, but not many, cases derived from hours spent
on a given activity) and weightings.

       It was decided that it was preferable to use a model in which points are added up rather than starting
       with an arbitrary ‘total’ figure, then deducting points from this.

3. Current pattern of usage within Schools of workload allocation models

All Schools within the College recognise the need for a transparent workload allocation model for use as a
management tool. Two Schools (History, Classics and Archaeology, and Management and Economics) had
already developed their own workload allocation models, and several of the elements of these have been used
as a basis for the generic College model. Several schools have recently designed their own model, drawing
largely on the College model for their starting point and then adapting for local usage. One School (Social
and Political Studies) already had several different models in use across its subject areas and is now trying to
consolidate one single model largely based on the College one. Three Schools (Divinity, Education and
LLC) are currently working on developing a quantifiable workload allocation model, again taking into
account the factors outlined in the College model.

Concurrently there is a University- level working party looking at creating an institutional- level workload
allocation model but recommendations from this project are not imminent, hence the emphasis on further
developing and refining the HSS College model for use in the more immediate future.

4. Points for further discussion/clarification

a) Director of Studies responsibilities

The College model currently allocates points for this administrative duty. However, in the case of a DoS
carrying an above-average load of directees, this is separately remunerated and therefore currently not
included as an extra credit in the College model.

b) Field trips, placements and programmes involving professional requirements

Although some Schools have a strategy for coping with some of these more complex duties, further
discussion between affected Schools and the College should result in a recommended approach be ing built
into the generic College model.

c) Research time: allowance has been made for administrative time associated with research but the current
version of the College model – in common with several other models – does not include points for research
time. Whilst trying to avoid over-precise measurements in this high- level model, it would however be
possible to include a) points for the number of research assistants supervised and b) a ‘block’ allocation for
research time. This would allay concerns that research activity was being disregarded in the model and
would also identify a ‘block’ which, for staff not engaged in research, would potentially be available for
other duties.

d) CPD provision (perhaps above a certain income threshold) and representation on external bodies have not
yet been included in the College model.

5. Conclusion

5.1 Measures included in the model

Members are asked to consider the points raised above and to agree the nature of changes to be incorporated
into the existing College workload allocation model.

5.2 Timescale for implementing a workload allocation model

Where still necessary, Schools are urged to make progress on developing a workload allocation model for use
during 2007/08. The aim is for a broadly consistent approach to be taken across the College, hence the
importance of having a generic College workload allocation model in place as a starting/reference point for
all HSS Schools. As one of the requirements set out by the Reward Modernisation project, it is important for
reasonable progress within a relatively short-term horizon to be made across the whole College towards
introducing workload allocation models as a management tool. Members are asked to agree a realistic
timescale for fulfilling this requirement.

Helen Taylor
Resources, HSS College Office
26 September 2007

                                                                                              Appendix 1
Details of the current College model (subject to amendment in the light of the P&RC discussion)


i) Design & Preparation

Design and preparation of courses are allowed for by using a multiplier. One College proposal is to allocate an
additional 25% for first time delivery of a course.

Other factors considered under this heading:
 -Courses taught recently/after a gap;
-New member of staff delivering a course (but see ‘Other’ heading);
-Honours/non honours course;

ii) Delivery

Four main areas of delivery are considered in the model:
-Formal lecturing
-Tutorials and seminars
-Dissertation supervision (Honours and taught MSc)
-PhD supervision (and MSc by research), and Post-doctoral supervision

The actual number of hours spent delivering lectures, tutorials and seminars are counted and converted on a 1 hour = 1
point basis. Credit for preparation and assessment time is accounted for separately.

Dissertation supervision and PhD supervision are assigned a notional number of points per student (divided
proportionally between first/second/co-supervisor). This is based on the assumption that whilst some students may
take up more time than others, this individual difference is not something to be accounted for in the workload model. It
also echoes the idea found in the School models where credit is given for supervision using average patterns of

Supervision of MSc by research is treated in the same way as PhD supervision. In addition, credit is given only for
supervision of years 1-4 of a full time PhD and years 1-7 of a part time PhD, based on the principle that only fee-
paying students are included in the workload model.

iii) Assessment

The College model uses group size as a basis of measurement to account for the higher workload associated with large
volumes of students. A multiplier is suggested used for large honours courses of over 25, over 40 and over 55 students.

Management & Administrative Duties

Originally it was suggested that only a limited number of substantial/major managerial duties should be credited in the
model, on the assumption that other more standard duties were shared across the workforce and that these were
responsibilities encountered by all members of staff. Arguments were however made in favour of a model
encompassing a wider range of these duties, with the detailed level of the History and Classics model being supported
as a basis for this part of the College model. Crediting smaller duties in addition to major management responsibilities
offers value in terms of motivation, by acting as an incentive to undertake these roles (ie. by offering fewer hours of
teaching). In addition, it accounts for the often uneven distribution of standard duties amongst members of staff.


Research time has not been assigned points in the way that teaching and administrative duties have. Research leave is
accounted for in the model in terms of a percentage of the average workload. Whilst time spent conducting research is
not credited with points, time devoted to the management of a research project is credited as a
management/administrative responsibility.

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