Towards 2016: ACTION PLAN TEMPLATE – HEA Sector Guidelines For Completion Of The Action Plan Template For Submission To The Performance Verification Group1. The attached template should be used to supply specific details of: A. Priority measures or initiatives developed and agreed through the institution’s partnership process in the context of the requirements of Towards 2016 B. Achievements recorded since the submission of the final Progress Report under Sustaining Progress.2. The Action Plan should clearly reflect the relevant priority objectives of the institution as set out in the Business Plan.3. Information supplied should be unambiguous and succinct with a clear emphasis on deliverables.4. Specific measures & initiatives should clearly describe targets, outputs or outcomes to be achieved during the timeframe of the Pay Agreement and should be capable of being measured and exemplified.5. An explicit and specific Action Plan is less likely to be queried or delayed.6. The Action Plan may be modified during the course of the Agreement to reflect significant change initiatives agreed through the partnership process.7. The template is in MS Word format. Please note that the space available for each field in the table is not fixed and will expand in proportion to the entry of text. Additional rows may be added if required but otherwise no other adjustment or alteration to the table layout or format should be made. Please contact the Secretariat if assistance is required – details below.8. The document when completed should be digitally signed and dated by the head of the institution and transmitted electronically by e-mail to email@example.com for ease of distribution to the members of the Performance Verification Group. The latest date for submission is Friday 13th October 2006.9. A hardcopy of the completed document, signed by the head of the institution, should be retained by the institution for reference purposes. Secretariat Education Sector Performance Verification Group Tel. 01 8892082 Fax 01 8896560 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Towards 2016: ACTION PLAN TEMPLATE – HEA Sector Towards 2016 – Agreed Action PlanInstitution DUBLIN CITY UNIVERSITYChairman,Education Sector Performance Verification GroupI certify that the following Action Plan has been agreed through a partnership process representative of the stakeholders in the institution. I alsoconfirm that the parties have agreed to co-operate with the provisions of Chapter VIII, Section 27 of the Agreement in relation to modernisation,flexibility, stable industrial relations and the continued development of partnership in the workplace. The parties accept that payment of each ofthe increases provided for in the Agreement is dependent on verification that the conditions for payment have been met. I also confirm that I haveassessed and verified the extent of progress and co-operation with ongoing modernisation and flexibility which has been achieved in respect ofeach grade in the institution since the submission of the final Progress Report under Sustaining Progress. The basis of this assessment is set outbelow in the initial Progress Report appended to this document.Signed by Head of Institution:(Ferdinand Von Prondzynski)Date:
Towards 2016: ACTION PLAN TEMPLATE – HEA Sector Specific Priority Measures/Initiatives For Each Commitment To Be Achieved During The Timeframe Of The‘Towards 2016’ Pay Agreement Paragraph &Page Reference No. Details of Specific Measures/Initiatives in order of priority What improvements will these achieve? Focus on key deliverables & indicate what each will mean in terms of better service delivery28.5, 28.13 &31.73 pages 114, Staff will co-operate with ongoing change in the University for example, the All these initiatives, schemes, reforms and116 & 133 – introduction of new schemes, initiatives, embedding and refining of new changes will contribute to the University’sOrganisational faculty structures, introduction of modularisation phase II, other policies and ability to be flexible and responsive to theDevelopment & reforms and changes in the volume and nature of work, the redistribution of expectations of our key stakeholders.Change tasks and flexibility with regard to reporting. It is agreed that there will be full co-operation with changes whilst any dispute concerning such changes is being processed through the relevant IR machinery (28.13).28.6, page 115 – There are a number of cross-disciplinary strategic themes (which came out of The development of DCU’s academic agendaTeam and Cross- the last DCU strategy, Leading Change) which underpin the University’s (through the academic themes) reflects DCUFunctional strategic academic focus. These Themes provide a framework for strengths, national priorities and DCU’sWorking continuous cross-disciplinary collaboration, for investment in strategic understanding of future needs and initiatives, and for developing strategic external partnerships. opportunities. The Academic Themes will drive the University’s change agenda in terms of cross-university and the interdisciplinary development of DCU’. Staff will continue to co-operate with cross-functional workgroups and teams As above to deliver on the University’s Strategic Objectives. Staff will continue to cooperate with cross functional workgroups /teams through the partnership process to deliver on commitments contained within the Agreed Action Plan and in the University’s Strategic Plan – Leadership through Foresight.
Towards 2016: ACTION PLAN TEMPLATE – HEA Sector28.7, 28.8 & Staff will continue to co-operate with the introduction and utilisation of new The University’s strategic plan states that the31.70, pages 115 technology which may necessitate change in work practices. ‘innovative application of ICT will be used as a& 132 – New catalyst for change that will contribute greatlyTechnology to the success and uniqueness of DCU.’ ICT’s primary role within the University is to provide services to Faculties, Schools and Units to help them deliver on their objectives particularly in relation to the delivery of service to students. Extend Self Service Options to Students by providing alternative payment This will improve service to students by methods for students including on-line payment of fees together with on-line providing on-line access (anytime and registration, provide SMS text messaging to communicate with Students. anywhere) for registration and payment of fees. The Smartcard will help improve the The University is committed to implementing a Campus Smartcard for both effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery staff and students. by developing a ‘cashless society’ on campus. The University plans to provide access to facilities and data for students from Improvement in service delivery to students by anywhere at anytime (Web based provision) giving the student access to important information anytime and anywhere. Staff will continue to co-operate with the implementation and further This will significantly improve service delivery development of the new financial management system for the University for both staff and students by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the financial processing and decision-making in the University. Staff will co-operate with the design and implementation of e-government Ensuring that existing, combined and new projects. services continue to be provided on an on-going basis in an effective and efficient way. The University plans, to design, implement and launch a Student Learning To promote collaboration between students and Café promote a different approach to student learning. The University plans to provide on line access for students to course Overall improvement of service delivery to materials, assessments and tutorials on line. students.
Towards 2016: ACTION PLAN TEMPLATE – HEA Sector The University plans to redesign DCU Website Further enhance accessibility of information to students, staff and prospective clients of the University.28.9, page 115 – Staff will co-operate with arrangements with the employment of temporary This will achieve a level of consistency andService Delivery staff, contracting, outsourcing of work in order to respond to temporary continuity of services to students and other keyOptions pressures or peaks or to avoid excessive delays. (28.9) stakeholders. The University will endeavour to ensure optimum service delivery to students This will further enhance accessibility of in terms of accessing information outside traditional hours of work. information and services to students and all other key stakeholders. .28.10, page 116 – Staff will continue to co-operate with new initiatives that may arise in relation Overall contributing to a more cost effectiveShared Services to the sharing of services. and efficient service to key stakeholders.
Towards 2016: ACTION PLAN TEMPLATE – HEA Sector28.12, page 116 – Staff will continue to co-operate with redeployment arrangements in response As above.Staff to new priorities or urgent work demands.Redeployment28.11 & 31.71, Services may be provided outside traditional working hours through As abovepages 116 & 132 voluntary arrangements, flexible or the recruitment of staff on the basis of– Attendance part-time working or atypical working patterns.Patterns31.72, page 133 – Staff will cooperate with initiatives arising from quality assurance including The Quality Assurance agenda ensures theQuality assessment by those, including students, availing of the teaching, research and implementation of a continuous improvementAssurance other services provided by higher educational institutions. programme across DCU.Initiatives Staff will co-operate with the introduction of Faculty Reviews and university Following recommendations from the EUA wide thematic reviews and a survey of quality mechanism and procedures. review panel, the reviews will enhance the work of the recently introduced devolved faculty structures. The survey will highlight possible areas of synergies between the various quality mechanisms and thus effectiveness of quality assessment and improvement measures. .
Towards 2016: ACTION PLAN TEMPLATE – HEA Sector31.74, page 133 –Performance Staff will continue to co-operate with the PMDS which was launched in June The aim of the Performance Management &Management 2005. The scheme will be further developed as required following review Development Scheme is to improve and evaluation. performance through development. In addition to this, PMDS will help drive the personal/ career development of staff which will enhance the overall professional and responsive service to students and other key stakeholders. The University will continue roll-out of Reviewer & Reviewee Training and The success of the scheme will be dependent extend to Research Centres upon all staff receiving Reviewer and or Reviewee Training as appropriate. The University will investigate introduction of interactive Review / Reviewee As above Training programme as part of a Refresher Training Course31.75, page 133 – The University will conduct a Research Assessment Programme The assessment programme will facilitate DCUResearch in documenting excellence in its research andInitiatives identify areas where further development is needed. The University is committed to increasing the number of recognised world In striving for world-class excellence, DCU experts in DCU’s priority working areas must be able to draw on a critical mass of recognised leading experts to lead projects. The University must therefore increase the number of world experts working in. DCU. Staff will continue to support, promote and co-operate with high-level quality As above. research initiatives.
Towards 2016: ACTION PLAN TEMPLATE – HEA Sector31.76, page 133 - Staff will continue to co-operate with the implementation of initiatives arising Through the University’s strategic planningInitiatives arising from the strategic planning process. process, the University’s aims to be ‘afrom the Strategic distinctive agent of radical innovation, within aPlanning process culture of world class excellence in higher education and scholarship’. This will be achieved through a collaborative approach in the spirit of partnership. Staff will co-operate with the development of DCU’s fourth level; The development of DCU’s fourth level agenda will strengthen DCU’s scholarship and - Establish a School of Graduate Studies contribute to the University’s determination to - Appoint a Dean of Graduate Studies remain internationally competitive - Develop Industrial PhD internship programme for students - Increase postgraduate research student numbers by 20% Develop distinguished visitors programme and support high profile These developments will promote DCU as the conferences and workshops on campus. University of choice for both staff and students.
Towards 2016: ACTION PLAN TEMPLATE – HEA Sector Towards 2016 – Initial Progress Report Stable Industrial Relations Climate (Section 27) Have the parties complied with the terms Implementation Difficulties / of the Agreement? Outstanding IssuesThis Agreement:• Provides that no cost-increasing claims by trade unions or employees Yes for improvements in pay or conditions of employment, other than those provided for in sections 27.17 and 27.20, will be made or processed during the currency of the Agreement;• Commits employers, trade unions and employees to promoting industrial harmony; and• Precludes strikes or other forms of industrial action by trade unions, employees or employers in respect of any matters covered by this Agreement, where the employer or trade union concerned is acting in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement.Over the term of the Agreement, the parties will fully utilise the disputeresolution machinery of the state in the following instances: Yes• Where the parties cannot reach agreement at local level on matters covered by the agreement• Where a dispute arises as to what constitutes a breach of the Agreement and• Where there is disagreement as to what constitutes ongoing changeThe parties will comply with the terms of the Agreement.
Towards 2016: ACTION PLAN TEMPLATE – HEA Sector Modernisation and Flexibility (Section 27) Have the parties complied with the terms Implementation Difficulties / of the Agreement? Outstanding IssuesA flexible approach to working practices by individual public servants, Yesmanagement and unions is necessary to satisfy the increasing demandfor improvements in the provision of public services. This flexibilityinvolves the removal of unnecessary demarcations, the adoption ofmore modern approaches to work and the promotion of innovativeways of meeting the demand for services. It is also necessary thatmanagers have the flexibility to adapt procedures to respond toparticular pressures, which may vary from sector to sector, and toensure that work methods are suited to the efficient delivery ofservices.Flexibility of working is a key requirement in the achievement of Yesgreater efficiency and effectiveness in the public service. In light ofthe importance of this issue, the parties to this Agreement will co-operate with normal on-going change and the flexibility andmodernisation provided for in Sections 28 to 32. Partnership Have the parties complied with the terms Implementation Difficulties / of the Agreement? Outstanding Issues YesThe parties to the Agreement recommit themselves to developing thepartnership process at the workplace in accordance with commitmentsunder previous national agreements. It is intended that the NationalCentre for Partnership and Performance will play a key role insupporting this process.
Towards 2016: ACTION PLAN TEMPLATE – HEA SectorModernisation / Change Category, e.g. Service Delivery, HR, Details Of Achievements Since The Submission Of The Final Progress Report Under Sustaining Progress PerformanceManagement, Financial Focus on key deliverables & indicate what each has meant in terms of better service delivery Management, New Schemes, Initiatives, Technology etc. Strategic Planning Process ‘ Leadership Through Foresight’, the University’s Strategic plan was launched by the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern on 5th December 2005. Since the submission of the last Progress Report ‘Leadership Roadshows’ were held from May – September 2006 to communicate and discuss with staff the main objectives (and progress to date) of the University’s Strategic Plan. Implementation of the Strategic Plan is underway with significant progress in the areas of Research and Learning Innovation. As part of the University’ strategy to develop DCU’s to develop its capacity, the Office of the Vice-President for Research (OVPR) has launched two funding initiatives to support this high level objective; - DCU Conference Support Programme will strengthen the presence of the University’s research and scholarship in the academic world and are important vehicles in the development of the research agenda of the University. This Programme will provide staff with designated funds and additional infrastructural supports to facilitate the hosting of conferences at DCU. The Conference Support Programme will promote interdisciplinary research and strengthen the presence of DCU nationally and internationally. - DCU International Visitors Programme is designed to assist in creating and building international collaborations to enhance DCU’s research activities. The programme will support the costs of bringing individuals to DCU who have achieved a high level of distinction in their field and whose presence on the DCU campus will have a significant impact. The programme will be used to facilitate new collaborations, rather than supporting established collaborations. -The DCU Online Research Support System has been upgraded with further enhancements being added. - Small Group Teaching Models – as part of the implementation of the Learning Innovation Strategic Plan, in particular addressing issues of improving the first year experience, the LIU will provide funding for innovative teaching approaches. Small Group Teaching enables innovation, interaction and increased participation by students by providing alternatives to the ‘traditional didactic lecture.
Towards 2016: ACTION PLAN TEMPLATE – HEA SectorPerformance ManagementSince the final report was submitted there has been further training for staff and at this stage in excess of 80% of staff have nowreceived either Reviewer or Reviewee Training. • The implementation and mainstreaming of PMDS into DCU is well under way.Management Information System Approval for the resource and budget allocation for the final (implementation) stage of theproject has been secured. This resulted in the award of the tender to the selected system provider and the recent formal launch inSeptember 2006 of the implementation stage of the project. The project team has begun data cleansing and testing exercises thatwill precede the roll out of the new system.The overall aim of this project is to arrive at an Integrated HR system with local end user controlled access. A new HR MIS systemwill incorporate workflow management and self-service, which will facilitate the devolution of processes. This will result in betterprocess control and improved efficiencies. The new system will also result in the following high level goals being achieved;- • Promotion of Transparency and Sharing of Appropriate Information • Empowering Managers with Analysis and Reporting Tools • Empowering Employees with Self Service Access to Systems • Monitoring of Policy Information
Towards 2016: ACTION PLAN TEMPLATE – HEA SectorNew TechnologyThere has been a significant improvement in providing access to information/ delivery of service to both staff and students throughthe use of ICT. In addition to what was previously outlined in the final Progress Report under Sustaining Progress, furtherprogress has been achieved as follows: - most significantly, the Computer Services Department through consultation with key stakeholders on campus has completed a new 3 year plan which is due to go the University Executive for final approval at the end of September. - a pilot scheme for ‘on-line registration for continuing students’ took place. The pilot was successful and it is now anticipated that all students will register in this way from next year - a pilot of a new swipe attendance system commenced in the School of Nursing. This system has been developed as a means of identifying students who are having difficulties and not attending lectures. The systems will act as an early warning systems to enable the University to put support mechanisms in place to help the students complete the course - extension of anonymous marking systems for students - signing of a contract to put in place a Storage Area Network (SAN) which will lead to increased storage space, file storage and email storage for staff and students - the integrated financial management system (AGRESSO Financials) has been fully implemented across the University. The introduction of this system has significantly improved service delivery for both staff and students by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the financial processing and decision-making in the University.
Towards 2016: ACTION PLAN TEMPLATE – HEA SectorResearch Development ProgrammeThe Researcher Development Programme was launched in September 2005 to support the career and professional development ofResearchers in DCU.This innovative programme aims to provide skills based training to enable researchers to grow both personally and professionally.This programme is unique within the higher education sector and was developed by the Training & Development section of the HRDepartment in conjunction with the Office of the Vice President for Research.To date, a series of workshops and presentations have been run as part of the programme. This began with a two-day training eventwhich provided information about the research environment, the internal resources and support available to those involved inresearch.A number of pilot skills based workshops for Researchers have taken place or are scheduled to take place later n 2006. Theseinclude Developing & Managing your Research Career, Project Management for Researchers & Understanding Finance forResearchers.This programme supports DCU’s research strategy by helping to provide a supportive environment for postdoctoral researchersthrough the provision of training. This programme helps to further integrate the Research Community with the wider universitycommunity and to enhance client customer relationships with Industrial Partners and choices.
Towards 2016: ACTION PLAN TEMPLATE – HEA SectorPartnershipThe Partnership Committee recognises that there is still significant work to be done and is looking at ways to publicise and promotethe work of the Partnership Committee in its efforts to increase interest and participation at all levels across the University. .A call for new representation on the Committee together with a survey which is being circulated to all staff will not only help theCommittee assess where they are but also help set the agenda into the future.Partnership is proving itself as an effective way of helping to manage change by involving all levels and categories of staff in DCU.Through the process of partnership staff have been enabled to take a more active role in the decisions that affect them. Staffawareness of the Partnership Forum has increased significantly as a result of the successful launch of a number of initiatives, whosedevelopment was facilitated through various workgroups of the Partnership Forum ie. • Performance Management & Development Scheme • Introduction of Flexitime, • Term time Leave • Reward & Recognition Schemes for non-academic staff.
Towards 2016: ACTION PLAN TEMPLATE – HEA SectorQualityFollowing the EUA Quality Review of Irish Universities in 2005 many of the recommendations made to DCU have beenimplemented in full, and reported to the HEA (via the IUQB) in two progress reports in February and June 2006. Some examples ofcompleted actions are: • Alignment of quality review process and strategic development processes. • Alignment of quality processes with Institutional Research and Analysis Office to ensure systematic and effective use of the university’s database • University-wide issues have been identified for review which will contribute to the ongoing development of quality at DCU. These issues have been built into the second cycle of reviews starting form 2007-08 to 2012. • Two reports have been prepared by the Quality Promotion Committee on Common Themes in reviews of Schools 2001- 2005 (December 2005) and reviews of administrative and support units 2001-2006 (September 2006). • A Student Forum on Quality has been organised (October 2006) to ensure that undergraduate students are more aware of the quality assurance process and in order to enable them to contribute to this. • A template was supplied to all Faculties for quality related matters in the Faculties’ Strategic Planning Process.This above list is an indication of the measures taken by the Quality Promotion Unit and the Quality Promotion Committee in orderto promote quality improvement and deals with DCU-specific recommendations, only. Recommendations made in the EUASectoral Report have also been implemented and are actively promoted by the Irish Universities Association Quality Committee(IUAQC) and the Quality Officers’ Group of Irish Universities.Promoting Equal OpportunitySince the last Progress Report the University has been successful in recruiting an Equality Director, which is significant in terms ofdelivering upon the University’s Equality Agenda. Since the ‘Equality Review and Action Plan’ was launched by the Minister forJustice, Equality and Law Reform, Michael McDowell in 2005, the University has been implementing the recommendations arisingfrom this report. With the appointment of the Equality Director the University is now confident that this will result in a renewedenthusiasm and a more focussed approach to deliver upon the recommendations.
Towards 2016: ACTION PLAN TEMPLATE – HEA Sector REPORT OF PARTNERSHIP COMMITTEEThe following is the report of the Partnership Committee following consideration of the above report from the head of the institution.Signed by the Chairperson(s)of the Partnership Committee:Date:The Partnership Forum is satisfied that the above progress report reflects the progress that has been made since the last Progress Report was submitted.