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SDF Awards 2023 – Initiative of the Year

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Developing Excellent Practice Award 2023 – sponsored by Advance HE

We’re delighted to announce that this year we have received a total of 9 submissions for the category ‘Initiative of the Year’ as part of the 2023 Developing Excellent Practice Awards, recognising and celebrating outstanding staff development individuals or teams.

The SDF Developing Excellent Practice Award reflects the 2023 Festival of Learning and Development’s overarching theme of ‘Innovating, nourishing and storytelling: The evolving L&D professional’

We’d like to thank the nominated institutions for their submissions. Find out a bit more about them.

Development Roles” by Durham University

  • A range of career development tools for PSS, including Job families, Behavioural framework, Skills framework, Development offerings, Apprenticeships and Career pathways. These tools were aligned to support a personal development journey for PSS, empowering them to be proactive about their career progression. 

Staff Development Fortnight” by London Metropolitan University

  • Staff Development Fortnight (SDF) is two weeks of eclectic experiences and development sessions that are far removed from the typical training and development sessions the L&D team run throughout the year.  A Jamie Oliver cookery experience and a sing for wellbeing class are just some sessions staff were able to participate in, alongside talks on weightlifting for women and a BSL taster.

Enabling Student Success: Learning and teaching development by level” by Salford University

  • The Enabling Student Success (ESS) Learning and teaching development by level project is designed to explore enablers and barriers in relation to supporting students to pass “all-modules first-time” irrespective of their entry route and prior behaviour.

B-MEntor pilot: Postgraduate Research Students” by University College London

  • B-MEntor is a cross-institutional mentoring scheme for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff, as this is where the evidence of under-representation in senior roles exists in the Higher Education sector.

Zen Leader 1: Not get through but breakthrough” by University of Bedfordshire

  • In collaboration with the Institute for Zen Leadership, founded by Dr Ginny Whitelaw, the Zen Leader 1 accredited programme, which has been delivered to leaders and managers in organisations across the world, was piloted by the University. This practical intensive programme integrates on Western and Eastern practices, and is underpinned by the latest developments in the field of psychology and leadership. The programme was chosen for its evidence-based approach, to match the expectations of HE sector, and communicate credibility.

Managing People Toolkit” by University of Birmingham

  • An online hub for all people who manage the work of others at the University in any context. It lays out the standards expected when managing people and provides learning materials in support. Built in collaboration with staff across the institution, the content relates to the University of Birmingham Strategic Framework 2030

Inspirational and Inclusive Leadership” by University of Central Lancashire

  • A substantial restructure of the academic half of the organisation enabled the Vice Chancellor Group (VCG) to work more closely with the academic Schools. By removing a layer of faculty management, it reduced bureaucracy and gave more accountability to the Dean of each School. To make this new structure work effectively a development programme was essential. Its purpose being to evolve appointed colleagues, during this transition, into corporate leaders.

Digital Literacy – Learning to Log On” by University of Leeds

  • A digital literacy initiative created by three individuals from different services and directorates with one clear goal; to ensure that every member of our staff community had access to a university email address to ensure they received university updates, could check their online pay slips, access free Wi-Fi on campus via eduroam, have access to information on staff benefits, well-being resources and online learning resources.

Sheffield Leader: Management Fundamentals – An aspiring and early management development programme” by University of Sheffield 

  • A self-nominated, 10-module development programme, which takes place over 6 months. Two intakes of the programme are delivered each year, with 100 participants enrolled on each intake, split up into 4 cohorts. The programme includes a mix of in person and virtual modules, delivered over full or half days, and is supported by a community of practice and additional resources. The key aim for the programme is to enable individuals to develop the foundational knowledge, practical skills and behaviours to perform and succeed in their current or future leadership role. 

Shortlisted entrants will be notified by Thursday 28th September 2023.  Presentation to the winners will be made during the Festival on Tuesday 14th November 2023 by an Advance HE Representative.

Dr. Rossana Espinoza, SDF Chair