The new Academic Advising role was discussed at October’s Branch Meeting. Members have reported that in some areas, academic advising hours have been put into already agreed work plans with no discussion or consultation.

  • In such situations, if you have already agreed a work plan for 2018/19, you should email your work planner saying that you already have an agreed workplan and so were not expecting any additional work and do not have capacity for it.
  • If and when work planners respond, reiterate the points adding that any changes to the work plan must be negotiated.
  • Where additional work leads to a workload greater than that in 2017/18, you should ask which tasks can be dropped to make way for the new work. This is in line with the guarantee from management that under the new AWP model, workloads for 2018/19 should not be greater than those in 2017/18.
  • Any member whose work plan goes near or over 100% as a result of additional work – Academic Advising or otherwise – should also do this.

Also try to find out if other colleagues are in a similar situation – it is better to act together than alone.

  • In the absence of a reasonable response (ie removing the additional work and/or removing some existing work to accommodate the new work) members should follow the appeal process in the Academic Work Planning Framework Implementation Manual 2018/19 (page 15).
  • In situations where members are doing Academic Advising work as part of their agreed work plan, UCU advice is to make sure that you are familiar with the new Framework (April 2018 version – which can be found under Teaching & Assessment Essentials on the intranet) and record the time taken to undertake the prescribed tasks. When the 2 hours per student has been used up, inform your work planner.
  • Some staff are being pressured to undertake the online Academic Advising training. UCU previous advice remains in place: you should NOT engage with the training unless you have hours to do so.

If you want UCU support with your particular situation, please ask your local rep, attend one of the drop-ins after branch meetings or make an appointment at a surgery by contacting