Home » Professional Development Conference & CPD

Professional Development Conference & CPD

HELOA Professional Development Conference

 ‘Ideas Into Outcomes: Making Things Happen’

 Thursday 8 December 2016, University of Suffolk, Ipswich

 The HELOA Professional Development Conference (formerly known as the Experienced Practitioners’ Conference) provides an opportunity for higher education practitioners to attend workshops and discussions on a particular topic relevant to our work in schools liaison. The upcoming PDC will focus on moving from an initial idea to a strategy for implementation, resulting in driving forward the changes that we need in our institutions.

The Conference is being kindly hosted by the University of Suffolk, allowing delegates to see a significant and successful recent example of driving change in the HE sector at first hand. The University of Suffolk was originally established as University Campus Suffolk (UCS) in 2007, and transformed the provision of higher education in Suffolk and beyond. Subsequently, on the 1 August 2016, the first independent University of Suffolk was officially launched.

Speakers will include:


  • Richard Lister, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Suffolk, who has been actively involved in the whole process of establishing a centre for higher education provision in Suffolk


  • Paul Kirkbright, Deputy Provost of University Centre Shrewsbury, established in 2014 by the University of Chester and Shropshire Council after research showed there was strong demand and interest in a new institution to serve the needs of the county

There will also be a panel of experts from institutions including the University of Westminster, University of Cambridge, University Centre Shrewsbury, as well as recent finalists from the HELOA Innovation and Best Practice Awards.

Delegates will be offered a tour of the newly-independent University of Suffolk’s Ipswich campus (with a choice of timings to make it easier for delegates to plan their travel to and from the conference). Please see the Provisional PDC Programme December 2016 for details.

This conference is suitable for anyone working in higher education liaison with an interest in developing strategies for bringing ideas to fruition and driving forward change in their institutions.

The conference fee is £130 for members and £175 for non-members. This includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day. Please note that in order to qualify for the HELOA member fee of £130 we must receive your HELOA membership form by 8 December. Accommodation is not included, but there are number of affordable accommodation options in the Ipswich area.

To book your place, please fill in the online booking form by Thursday 1 December 2016. Your booking will confirmed on the system as soon as you submit the form, but you will receive email confirmation of your booking once bookings have closed.

For any queries about this event, please email epc@heloa.ac.uk or office@heloa.ac.uk.

SPA (Supporting Professionalism in Admissions) Resources

Members will be aware that there are a significant range of changes in 14-19 qualifications across the UK. To assist HELOA colleagues in preparing for the changes, there are a range of resources that have been developed over the last six months by SPA (Supporting Professionalism in Admissions) that you may wish to take advantage of:

SPA (Supporting Professionalism in Admissions) National Expert Think Tank on Curriculum and Qualification Reforms

The next few admissions cycles will see a period of continuous change in UK applicants’ entry qualifications, including substantial reforms to A levels and GCSEs across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the continued bedding in of Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland, changes to the assessment and structure of the BTEC, the introduction of Core Maths qualifications in England, and new approaches to vocational qualifications in England and Wales.

In 2014/15 SPA convened a National Expert Think Tank (NETT), consisting of practitioners from ten HE providers (HEPs) plus a UCAS representative, to consider the challenges that curriculum and qualification reforms present to HE providers and to fair admissions in particular.

Members of the NETT group conducted research in preparation for a two-day residential during which they identified and developed a number of key resources to support HE providers in engaging with qualification reforms, including:

* Key considerations for qualification reforms and HE admissions to support HEPs in developing their own approaches to the forthcoming (and any future) qualification reforms.
* Qualifications Reform Operational Timeline to help HEPs ensure they are on track with their planning for qualification reform and the UCAS Tariff switchover.
*Curriculum Reform Template for Staff Survey for HEPs to investigate the level of understanding of, and engagement with, qualification and curriculum reform within their own institution.
* Recommendation that all HEPs publish a Qualification reform statement guidance confirming how they will respond to the changing qualification landscape in the UK and ensure a fair approach for all applicants, and guidance on the areas that could be addressed by such statements.
* Resource list for HEPs<http://www.spa.ac.uk/documents/Qualifications/NETT/Resource_pack.xlsx>, gathering together information and guidance from a range of sources, including NETT research, HEPs, UCAS, Awarding Organisations and school groups.

SPA is indebted to the members of the NETT for their time, effort and contributions, and to their institutions for supporting their work in this collaborative project.
If you have any queries or suggestions relating to the NETT project or resources, or would like to discuss your approach to engaging with qualification reforms, please contact SPA (enquiries@spa.ac.uk/ 01242 544891).