Professional Services Conference

This year's Professional Services Conference is taking place on Monday 26 September 2022 at the Examination Schools. More details to follow.


You can view last year's Professional Services Conference: Professional Services of the future, September 2021 via the links below. 


Registrar’s Update (plenary)
After a welcome from the Vice-Chancellor, the Registrar Gill Aitken will give an update on the Professional Services Strategy, and the University’s response to the Staff Survey, as well as an update on other topics that will be relevant to staff as we move towards Michaelmas term. This will be followed by a Q&A session with the Registrar and members of the Senior Leadership Team.   

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Stream 1:  The way we work
How we are adjusting to working life after the pandemic.

Hybrid working: how can IT help?
Monday 20 September 10.40am-11.30am
How can we best use technology to support team working when some colleagues are in the office and others are working remotely? We’ll showcase new facilities appearing around the University, and offer some tips and tricks that you can already use with your PC. Please come ready for some audience participation – if you’re joining on site then do bring a laptop or mobile with web access.
Speakers include - John Ireland, Director, Customer Services, and Ian Teasdale, Deputy Director, Customer Services, IT Services

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Data Protection and Security: why it matters to you
Tuesday 21 September 9.40am- 10.30am
Across the world we continue to see the increased prevalence of cyber-attacks and vulnerabilities being exploited to get hold of, and make money from, personal data.
We continue to see worrying examples of cyber criminals attempting to exploit any flaws in our systems and IT set ups as well as risks from the inadvertent sending of personal data or misconfiguration of systems.
Join this session to find out about the University's cyber security and data protection, what the threats are, and some good practice on how to protect yourself and your family and, by extension, the University.
Speakers include - Graham Ingram, University Chief Information Security Officer; James Bristow, University Data Protection Officer and John Tranter, Bursar St Cross College.

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Working sustainably
Tuesday 21 September 10.40am-11.30am
How can you work more sustainably after the pandemic? In this session you’ll get to discuss how you can make sustainable choices at work – from waste to procurement and travel – in support of the University Sustainability Strategy. The aim is for you to go away with ideas for things we can all do to make a difference, learn about preferred alternatives but also be aware of the challenges on our way to achieve net zero carbon and biodiversity net gain. 
Speakers include - Harriet Waters, Head of Environmental Sustainability

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Staying safe in the University: Find out what action-orientated safety could mean for you
Tuesday 21 September 10.40am-11.30am

Whether in the office, in a laboratory, a workshop, or working from home or overseas, how often do you consider safety at work? Following the University’s major review of health and safety this session will take some examples of good practice and look at where we can learn lessons. It will ask how confident you feel about your own safety at work, and how we can start discussing safety more openly and often. Key Health and Safety leaders will reveal how the University is changing its approach to safety management and ask how those changes will impact you. Staff will leave with a raised awareness of safety and the importance of taking personal responsibility and sharing these messages with their teams.
Speakers include - Les Wright, Interim Director of Occupational Health & Safety, and Brian Jenkins, Head of the Safety Office

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Wellbeing: root causes daily habits
Tuesday 21 September 12pm-12.50pm

Hear from leading researchers about root causes of wellbeing challenges; and get tips for taking action to improve your own wellbeing.
You’ll also get a chance to find out about the University’s plans for the first Wellbeing strategy for staff, and how it’s being developed. You will leave with some everyday actions and behaviours to build resilience.

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Stream 2: Developing ourselves
Opportunities to focus on your personal and career development.

Professional development routes
Monday 20 September 12pm-12.50pm

Whenever you go on a journey you plan the route in advance, so why not apply the same process to your career to help you achieve your professional goals? In this session you can find out about the University’s work creating professional development routes (including apprenticeship opportunities), and how they can benefit you. You’ll hear from colleagues about how pathways are supporting them and how the project is evolving. And you’ll learn why it’s important to map professional pathways, how to create a useful map, how you use the map, what the goal is, and how you get there.
Speakers include - Sophie Brotherston, Professional Development Framework Practitioner


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Focus tools for personal improvement
Tuesday 21 September 9.40am- 10.30am

Do you need support in taking time to reflect and learn? Making the effort to do this will help with forward momentum. Find out how you can improve your own performance and that of your team by using some structured approaches to seeking feedback, reflecting on success and learning how to move forward with improvements.  The Focus team will share some tools that they use regularly, both on a personal and team level, such as After Action Reviews, Stop/Start/Continue, and Positives, Opportunities and Development (PODs).  Come and find out more and see the tools in action so that you can put them into practice yourself.
Speakers include - Sara Passmore, Head of Focus Development 


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Creating your own leadership development plan
Tuesday 21 September 10.40am- 11.30am

Take your professional growth into your own hands: An introduction to the leadership and development framework. Understand how you can use this framework to explore your own leadership strengths and development opportunities and translate this into your own action plan. 
Speakers include - Anna Sanders, Organisational Development Consultant


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Stream 3: Making a difference
How professional services teams are supporting teaching and research staff to fulfil the University’s mission

Education of the future: online teaching and assessment
Monday 20 September 10.40am-11.30am

This session will look at a range of ways in which Professional Services staff have supported the University’s move to digital forms of teaching and assessment. You will hear how colleagues rapidly moved to an online model during the pandemic -   bringing in new technologies such as assessment platform Inspera, which was used by thousands of students to sit their exams; and a range of online learning tools to deliver engaging online lectures and seminars. Attendees will learn not only about the innovative ways that staff supported Oxford students this year, but also get some practical tips on how professional services staff can support online teaching and assessment in the future.
Speakers include Jackie Hoyle, Director of Student Registry, Jenny Roberts, Head of Examinations, Student Registry


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Professional support for the COVID-19 vaccine development
Monday 20 September 12pm-12.50pm

Staff at the centre of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid vaccine programme will talk through a timeline of their work, from the start of the Covid pandemic to the present day. This discussion will cover key milestones in the clinical trials of the vaccine sponsored by the University, the challenges encountered during the various stages of contracting for the preclinical and clinical stages of the vaccine development programme, and insights into the Intellectual property, due diligence and commercialisation process. This was a unique period during which they had to work in new ways and they will discuss how they adapted processes and activities to meet the needs of this programme. Attendees will be asked to share ways in which they have worked differently during the pandemic and discuss whether these adaptations could be useful to apply during more ‘normal’ times as well. 
Speakers include - Elaine Chick, Assistant Director, Research Governance, Ethics & Assurance, Andrew Dodd, IP Rights Specialist, Sally Pelling-Deeves, Research Contracts Manager and Wendy Crocker, Finance & Project Manager, The Jenner Institute


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Laying the foundations for the Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities 
Tuesday 21 September 12pm-12.50pm

Two years ago, the University announced its largest gift in modern times to create a new Centre for the Humanities. Since then, professional staff in Humanities and beyond have worked in partnership with academic colleagues to establish new structures to facilitate successful stakeholder engagement around this project in a complex environment. The session will share experiences from this process, and outline the steps taken around finance, governance and communications to support a project of this magnitude.
Speakers include Lynne Hirsch, Divisional Registrar and Head of Administration, Humanities Division, Karen Brill, Head of Major Capital Projects, Humanities Division, Dr Charlotte Taylor, Divisional Financial Controller, Humanities Division and Matt Pickles, Head of Humanities Communications


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Monday 20 September 2021 


Session 1

Session 2

9.40am-10.30am  Registrar’s Update (plenary)   
10.40am-11.30am  Hybrid working: how can IT help?  Education of the future: online teaching and assessment 
11.30am-12pm Break   
12pm-12.50pm Professional support for the COVID-19 vaccine development Professional development routes 


Tuesday 21 September 2021

Time  Session 1  Session 2

Session 3

9.40am-10.30am  Data protection and security: why it matters to you  Focus tools for personal improvement   
10.40am-11.30am  Working sustainably  Staying safe in the University: Find out what action-orientated safety could mean for you  Creating your own leadership development plan 
11.30am-12pm Break     
12pm-12.50pm   Laying the foundations for the Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities  Wellbeing: root causes daily habits   



Contact us

UAS Communications

Academic Administration Division

University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JD