Call to consult

May 7, 2004

Policy-makers and vice-chancellors must heed academics' concerns before a teaching qualification for lecturers is introduced, union leaders have warned.

A consultation paper published last week by Universities UK and the Standing Conference of Principals looks at how to create a national "framework of professional teaching standards" that would include the teaching qualification.

Liz Allen, of lecturers' union Natfhe, warned that if employers imposed a teaching standards system without taking account of the views of academics given in the consultation, it would not work.

The consultation will run until July 19. It includes questions on the government's call for new lecturers to have a recognised teaching qualification from 2006.

UUK and Scop have suggested that the framework should include the new qualification and give formal recognition to the professional skills and experience that academics acquire over time.

The task of interpreting the consultation responses will be taken on by the new Higher Education Academy, which will publish a draft professional standards framework by mid-2005.

UUK and Scop propose that the final version of the framework should be in place by 2005-06.

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