Developing our people

Developing our people

A new portfolio for leadership / management development provision is being launched by People Development in 2016/17, following invaluable feedback from colleagues.  Here were the suggestions and the responses:

  • Encourage proactive approaches – a novel Management Know-How portfolio will be launched.
  • Create development to sustain our Global 100 position and new ways of working – the Exeter Entrepreneur suite.
  • Qualifications for practising managers – refreshed level 2 and 3 Awards, plus a new level 5 Award.
  • Focus on skills development, coaching skills, networking - golden thread throughout programmes.

Head of Discipline (HoD) is a key position in any college and the range of tasks can be varied and challenging. In response to feedback from HoDs and PVCs, a bespoke and structured training programme is being developed by People Development to provide better support for those stepping into this role. The programme has three strands –

  • short induction sessions with internal experts
  • a leadership programme led by external faciliators
  • and some optional extras such as a network, action learning sets and coaching.

It is hoped that the programme will help HoDs understand the context in which they are working and provide opportunities to share, make sense of and reflect upon individual challenges. Find out more on the Learning and Development website.

People Development created a shorter and more regular event (University induction) for all staff on Streatham and Penryn campuses which is mandatory for all new staff in their first 6 months. There are speakers from the VCEG, Professional Services Leadership Team and the Students’ Guild and FXU.

It provides

  • an overview of the University
  • its strategic direction
  • mission, vision and values
  • history
  • governance
  • structure
  • key aspects of working here.

New Induction webpages were created to give advice to new staff and their managers; easy access to mandatory training which staff should complete in their first few months; an induction checklist and information about local induction facilitators.

Following review of the Induction for Academics pilot programme and recent interviews with over 100 academics from across all Colleges, job families and roles, a new programme for the induction of academics to the University is being developed by the Academic Development Team. This will include a visual, interactive pre-arrival online introduction to Exeter, and a College based induction to key strategic imperatives, people and processes as well as who can help.
Academics can then choose from a menu of short development workshops to include:

  • Induction for International Academics
  • New to Teaching at Exeter practical workshop
  • Research: from Proposal to Publication key information workshop
  • The Personal Tutor Framework: Providing academic support for student success
  • Supervisor Development Workshop
  • Technology Enhanced Learning: a practical workshop

The Business School two day Induction Programme was an outstanding success and in particular the Induction to Teaching in The Business School, where all participants reported they felt more informed about key requirements of teaching practice in the Business School.

In addition to induction to the whole University and to the College/Service, People Development are developing workshops to help people in specific roles.

  • Introduction to Higher Education – plans are underway to run the first event in early September for managers who would like to find out more about the sector in which we work. They may be new to the sector or to this University. The workshop will examine the most pertinent topics in HE; how we arrived where we are today and what universities do and how they are funded plus insights into how universities are responding to government policy, demographic shifts and the international picture.
  • As part of the Heads of Discipline programme launched in May, new HoDs are attending short sessions led by internal experts exploring the implications of the role in relation to managing people and performance; understanding institutional governance and planning and understanding finance.
  • Next year, there will be short Manager’s induction workshops to help managers understand their responsibilities; identify any gaps in their knowledge/skills; gain advice from internal experts and signpost to further learning.

The People Development Team developed a bespoke new 'Effective Supervisor programme for staff in Campus Services, library and the SID help desk. This was designed following input from colleagues in Campus Services.

As a result of extensive consultation carried out across the Colleges of Life and Environmental Sciences (CLES) and Engineering, Maths and Physics (CEMPs), the CEMPs’ College Registrar and Athena SWAN Project Officer worked with a cross-College mentoring task and finish group comprised of researchers, academics, professional and technical services staff to devise a mentoring scheme framework called ‘One Step Beyond’ for Early Career Researchers and Academic Staff.

Mentees can either match themselves with prospective mentors one to two steps ‘beyond’ them on the career  or skills ladder via a process of self-selection; identifying suitable mentors from an online database, or by requesting to be matched by the Mentoring Coordinator in liaison with their Head of Department.

Following a successful launch and pilot in CEMPs (October 2015), the scheme has been rolled out across CLES and this model may be deployed elsewhere to promote useful mentoring relationships.

Mentors on this scheme receive training from People Development to help them explore the mentoring role and develop the essential skills.

Contact Kitty Adhamy-Nichol (email: for more details of the training.

Follow these links for more information about the CLES and CEMPs ‘One Step Beyond’ Mentoring Schemes. 



In the College of Life and Environmental Sciences in Penryn, meetings are held to support colleagues on the cusp of promotion to make sure they understand the requirements and processes.
The College of Social Sciences and International Studies held Academic Lead workshops to support their mentoring and advising of PDP colleagues.