“Merry Christmas” from the L&OD Team

Festive greetings as we say farewell to 2019 and head to 2020

As this is our final newsletter of 2019 we want to take a moment to wish you all a very “Merry Christmas” and to reflect on the L&OD year.

We have facilitated a year of training, events, presentations and some of these are summarised in the video that we created for our Management and Leadership celebration event in November.


We also created some step-by-step guides to accessing and booking training on Staff Connect.


We also put together Your Guide to L&OD Enhancing Skills & Maximising Potential 2019-20.



Employee Apprenticeships at Kent have grown from strength to strength during 2019, with over 80 employees waiting to start, undertaking, or having completed an Apprenticeship during the past 2 years. The levy has enabled Kent to offer a huge range of Apprenticeship programmes to existing staff and to managers recruiting new employees as Apprentices. If you would like to know more, please contact your Employee Apprenticeship Manager, Loretta Izod and look for our information events during National Apprenticeship week in February.

Crucial Conversations

In 2019, Crucial Conversations workshops became part of our regular offer. We introduced these workshops in 2018 for senior leaders and have since opened them up to colleagues in roles where they are leading others or working across Schools/Departments. Crucial Conversations is about more than handling ‘difficult’ conversations – it’s about not avoiding or putting off discussions which need to be held. It provides participants with practical skills, tips and techniques to get results through meaningful dialogue where both parties feel listened to and respected.

We’re encouraged by the positive feedback we’ve received about the difference the workshops have made to those who’ve attended. Here are a few of their comments:

  • ‘The course helps you to do your best in difficult situations that definitely do happen and you can start putting it into practice straight away’
  • ‘I feel that it will have a marked impact on my skills to negotiate key conversations in both my professional and personal life’
  • ‘One of the best sessions I have ever attended at Kent. Very useful tactics and behaviours and clear guidance on how to implement them’

We now have four L&OD trainers externally accredited to deliver this programme and look forward to welcoming you onto one of our workshops in 2020.

Kent Colleagues Connect

Kent Colleagues Connect builds on a number of very successful initiatives run by Academic Division over the last couple of years, and we were happy to bring it back this year!

The first scheme launched was Coffee with a Mystery Colleague, which allowed staff to be paired up with a “mystery” colleague, and provided an opportunity to get to know someone they may not have normally had the chance to network with. We were overwhelmed with the positive response from staff across both campuses, and have enjoyed receiving feedback and selfies from the meetings!

Keep an eye out for further schemes as part of the initiative.

Learning and Development support a number of sector-wide accreditations;

Technician Commitment – In June 2019, the university collected an Award of Submission in recognition of progress made towards the principles of the Technician Commitment. The Technician Commitment is a sector wide, collaborative initiative led by the Science Council and supported by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation’s Technicians Make It Happen campaign, to ensure visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians working in higher education and research.

HR Excellence in Research Award – in November 2019 the university submitted its six year internal review to Vitae. The Award demonstrates commitment to implementing the Researcher Development Concordat and the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment.

And finally … we created GINGERBREAD Lane & Ornamental Drive to see us through the festive period. Check out the video on our Twitter account. Make sure you play with sound!

We would like to wish you all a wonderful festive time, a very happy New Year and we look forward to seeing you at one of our events in 2020.