National Technician Development Centre Technician Survey FAQs
This is the National Technician Development Centre’s research project, the Technician Skills, Roles and Responsibilities Survey.
Before taking part in the survey, it is important you understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully.
What is the National Technician Development Centre?
The National Technician Development Centre (NTDC), funded by HEFCE and the University of Sheffield, was launched in 2017. The Centre aims to enhance the excellence and efficiency of the technical workforce in Higher Education (HE) and address the growing skills gap which threatens our future success in high priority subject areas.
The Centre aims to help HEIs address the skills gap in a number of ways, including the use of the Technician Skills, Roles and Responsibilities Audit, which includes this survey.
What is the NTDC Technician Survey?
The NTDC Technician Survey is a comprehensive workforce-planning research tool, designed to help HEIs capture relevant information needed to support workforce planning. It is designed to enable each HEI to capture intelligence to understand their technical workforce, and for the NTDC to understand the sector technical workforce on a wider scale. The survey captures information related to technician roles across an institution.
Technical Services at the University of Leeds have worked closely with NTDC staff to develop this version of the survey.
The findings of this survey, and resulting feedback, will be used to inform future versions of the tool.
Every participant will also receive a copy of their responses to aid future development.
Why are we running the NTDC Technician Survey at the University of Leeds?
As a service, supporting highly specialised and diverse disciplines, we hold a vast array of technical skills. Whilst we have a good understanding of the skills that we currently use to deliver support to teaching and research at the University, it would take us some time to document and demonstrate such an extensive repertoire of capabilities. In addition, many of us have additional skills that we have acquired, sometimes from working elsewhere, or in working in different roles at the University. These skills may not currently be in use and therefore may not be apparent but are just as important when considering the extensive skills sets that we hold. This survey will enable us to collect, document and understand the full skills profile of the Technical Services team. The survey also collects information on those skills that we as technicians would like to acquire. Having such information will be extremely useful when we are considering training and development, succession planning and when developing new opportunities for current staff members.
Who should complete the survey?
We are inviting all faculty Technical Services staff at the University to complete the survey.
What will I be asked?
The survey will ask questions related to your role as a technician, your areas of responsibility, and the technical skills and techniques you commonly use in your job.
What will happen with my responses?
Your responses to the survey will be held confidentially and securely, aligned with data protection guidelines and 2018 Data Protection Act legislation, by the NTDC team. The data will be analysed to evaluate this version of the survey. All project reporting by the NTDC will be done using anonymised data. This will allow us to further understand the technical sector skills gaps at a national level.
Your data will also be stored by the Technician Commitment Working Group and the survey team at the University of Leeds. Your responses will be held on Sharepoint, accessible only to the Technician Commitment Working Group and the survey team. Data will be held securely and confidentially in line with University of Leeds data and information protection policies and Data Protection Act legislation.
The survey and all responses will be housed on Qualtrics, a well-respected online survey platform. To read about Qualtrics and their data storage policies please visit this link https://www.qualtrics.com/uk/platform/gdpr.
Once the survey has closed you will receive a Personal Report - a copy of your responses which we recommend you keep to be used as part of your professional development.
University-wide and Faculty level anonymous reports will also be available to demonstrate the in-house skills that are available. This will inform discussions around identifying skills gaps, training and development opportunities, succession planning, and discussions when researchers are considering buying out technician time from Technical Services for grant applications and contracts.
Individuals may be contacted by the Technician Commitment Working Group if they indicate particular expertise in skills that could be shared more widely to support the professional development of colleagues or share experiences of taking part in professional development activity or professional registration. Information about individuals will not be shared outside the Technician Commitment Working Group and survey working group without the explicit consent of the individual.
What are the benefits of taking part?
You will have the chance to spend time recording your skills and reflecting on your role. You will then receive a copy of your responses which you may find useful for your own personal career development. The goal of this work is to have a positive impact on the career development and progression of all technical staff in higher education. Your feedback will help us ensure that this is achieved.
How long will it take?
The survey should take approximately 40-60 minutes of your time. Once you have started the survey you can return to it at any time using your original link. This will allow you to complete the survey in more than one sitting.
Will there be a progress bar?
Due to the structure of the survey, there will not be a progress bar demonstrating how far you are through the survey. The exact questions you complete will depend on the selections you make during the survey. Because of this, a progress bar showing you how many sections you still have to complete would be inaccurate.
Can the survey be accessed off-site?
Yes. The survey is accessed through Qualtrics, which is available online anywhere.
How long will the survey be open for?
The survey will be open Monday 4 September – Friday 29 September 2023.
Has ethics approval been given for this project?
This survey constitutes a service evaluation for Technical Services at the University of Leeds. Any data used outside of Technical Services will be anonymised and Research Ethics Committee review, either at Function or University level is not required.
Please see ‘What will happen with my responses?’ above for an outline of what will happen with the data collected in this survey.
If you require any further information or wish to ask any questions regarding this study or the storage of the captured data, please contact Jennie Hibbard or Maria Stopyra in the Technicians Commitment Working Group at TechnicianSurvey@leeds.ac.uk or Jake Green, National Technician Development Centre: Survey Officer (email email@example.com).
For more information on the National Technician Development Centre, please visit www.ntdc.ac.uk.
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Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. Your responses are invaluable and greatly appreciated.