These members of staff work flexible hours to accommodate their studies or caring responsibilities. Read how they successfully make use of the flexible working arrangements within the department.
Amy is currently completing a team leader/supervisor apprenticeship programme in parallel with her full-time position in the Surgical Intervention Trials Unit (SITU). She works flexible hours which allows her to attend classes and successfully manage her college tasks and work/study balance.
‘I am undertaking a Level 3 Team Leader/Supervisor apprenticeship at Abingdon & Witney College alongside my full-time role as a clinical trial manager in SITU. Following my PDR, I was encouraged to find ways to shore up gaps in my skills, and an apprenticeship seemed a perfect way to achieve this by learning on the job.
The ability to work flexibly allows me to attend my college teaching days and to take time within my working week to identify and obtain evidence of that learning in application. This allows me to use real-life examples from my varied workload to provide evidence of project and people management that count towards my final portfolio.
The course lasts a year, with monthly college classes and approximately 20% on the job learning and the fact that I can work flexibly means I easily fit college tasks in and around my other work.
I have so far found the process to be busy but rewarding, and my manager and colleagues have been incredibly supportive and encouraging. Additionally, I have been able to successfully obtain a new role as Operational Lead of NDS SITU, where I can better apply and refine the skills from my apprenticeship.’
Gemma studied Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) qualifications at Abingdon & Witney College and worked simultaneously in the Human Resources team. The NDS flexible working pattern helped Gemma manage the busy workflow with her studies and enabled her to make progress in her career. Since returning from maternity leave, Gemma works flexibly to maintain a good work/home life balance.
'The ability to work flexibly in NDS has helped me navigate my career in the HR team through several life changes. Previously, I have studied for both the CIPD Level 3 and Level 5, having to spend one day per week attending college in person. I was able to make the time up flexibly across the week, which allowed me to balance my workload and writing essays while ensuring I maintained a valuable social life.
More recently, I have got married and embarked on the massive challenge of motherhood. I took full advantage of the generous University maternity leave entitlements and stepped out of my role for 12 months to care for my daughter. Since returning, the department has once again afforded me total flexibility in finding a working pattern that suits my increasingly chaotic home life. I initially used my accrued annual leave to work ‘part-time’ then progressed to using condensed hours, working full-time hours in four longer days.
I feel incredibly grateful that NDS and my HR colleagues have accommodated and supported my requests to work flexibly. They have encouraged me to find a vital balance in work/home life; that allows me to thrive in my career alongside spending precious time with my family.
I encourage any staff member in NDS to discuss flexible working options with their line manager or HR team member!'
Tim studied at King’s College London for his MPhil in Ancient History, as well as worked within the Business Administration Unit. Working flexibly allowed him to attend the obligatory courses, as well as work within one of the most customer-facing roles of the department – purchasing items for the whole of NDS.
'Working flexibly within NDS whilst studying was not something I thought was on the cards - until I asked. I was amazed that a programme, aiming to help maintain a good work-to-life balance within the University, allowed (and indeed actively promoted) administration staff to partake in it. It has changed my academic life; it is amazing what a few extra hours during the 9-5 day can do to change your studies. Time and time again, my colleagues give me not only the material assistance, but also the emotional assistance for me to complete my degree. There is nothing like Purchase-to-Pay finance to bring you out of a student reverie of musty books and translations, and I ascribe my current successes in these fields to the assistance given to me by NDS.'