Workload Balance

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The University of Leicester Academic Workload Balance Model will launch in March 2018. The model will be used by all departments to plan academic workloads for the academic year 2018/19 onwards.

As well as a detailed pilot project with five schools and departments from the three colleges over the summer of 2017, we also undertook an extensive period of consultation with staff during the autumn. The consultation process allowed the project team to share early versions of the model, and to garner feedback from departments and individuals on every aspect of the model and the proposed tariffs. Throughout the project, we also received valuable feedback and insight from two UCU representatives. A number of colleagues were very generous in the time they spent providing ideas, suggestions and challenges, which have helped the model achieve a better representation of the increasing range of contributions—such as mentoring and coaching, or major leadership roles—that academic staff are making.

The final model incorporates much of this feedback, particularly in regard to ways of ensuring the right balance between institutional consistency and fairness, on the one hand, and locally intelligent variations to reflect disciplinary differences, on the other.

An essential feature of our model is the expectation that all members of academic staff have an obligation and an opportunity to contribute to teaching, research or scholarship, and academic leadership and citizenship, including years when they are undertaking major leadership roles or externally funded research.

While the model helps allocate future work, it will also allow us to build up a picture of individual and collective workloads over several years. Used alongside the Academic Career Map and the Performance Development Discussion, the aim is to ensure that all staff achieve an effective balance of work in line with the obligations of their career form and career stage, as well as their aspirations for disciplinary contribution and career development.

Next Steps

  • The academic workload model and supporting operational handbook can be downloaded from this page. The model should be used for planning academic workloads for 2018/19.
  • The launch communication for the model will be sent to all Heads of Department and College Leadership Teams on 9 March 2018, and filter down to academic staff.
  • College Staffing Committees will agree local tariffs with departments in Spring.
  • Each department will receive an academic workload database for use in modelling staff workloads. It will come pre-loaded will departmental staff names, modules and the model tariffs, to enable easy inputting of staff workloads into a single, consistent tool. The database will allow departments to generate their own workload reports.
  • Training sessions for departmental administrators and managers will take place in March to give an overview of how to use the database, and a practical introduction to the model.
  • A review point is scheduled for November 2018, where we will review how well the model has been implemented in its first year. It is difficult to get everything right the first time. Unanticipated issues will emerge. We will need to pay careful attention and work with heads of schools and departments and other colleagues to identify areas for clarification, quick fixes and better explanation.
  • Staff who identify specific issues, problems or opportunities that are not addressed in the resources linked above can contact the academic workload model team at



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The project team can be contacted at

The project team will endeavour to respond to all queries within five working days.