The AUA Annual Awards are usually announced and presented at the AUA Annual Conference & Exhibition, part of our Gala Dinner. As our Annual Conference & Exhibition was postponed, we instead featured all of the shortlisted members and networks in news items to recognise their hard work.

Looking back a few months on from the awards, we wanted to further recognise the achievements of our Member and Network of the year. Here, we look into their nominations in a bit more detail, along with hearing from them what it means to be awarded.

Member of the year – Joanne Caldwell

Why she was nominated

In her nomination, Joanne is described as an inspirational colleague and an outstanding Advocate.

She has provided significant contributions to both the Edge Hill University and the University of Salford AUA branches. She has also contributed to activities for the development of members both in the North Wales and North West regional network and the AUA nationally. Joanne also represented the AUA at the 2017 Higher Education Faculty Administrators Forum Annual Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Joanne provided content for both Newslink and Perspectives publications. In her Perspectives article, she provided an insight into the reflective practice that a professional doctorate encourages and how this affects the professional practice of professional services staff.

Joanne achieved Fellowship status and supported others looking to do the same and also become a PgCert mentor.

Why the panel selected them

The panel were very impressed by Joanne’s long-term engagement and commitment to the AUA. Her significant engagement is demonstrated by her Fellowship status, along with her supporting others to apply.

Her sustained contribution is also evident from her PgCert mentor role, representing the AUA internationally and contributing to publications.

“I was really pleased to find out I had been shortlisted for AUA Member of the Year but to win was a great surprise and I am over the moon. I have been part of the AUA for over twelve years and to be recognised by my peers is a real honour.”

Network of the year – University of Bath

We were delighted to receive the network team of the year award for the second time; this is testament to the collaborative and supportive way in which our network operates and our thanks go out to every one of our members, as this really is a team award!

Why they were nominated

The network is formally led by Advocates Ann-Marie Hartland, Loretta Gibson and Rachel Acres. The nomination references the collaborative hard work done by all members at the branch from a range of backgrounds. They work together to create a supportive, hard working environment not afraid to try things out of their comfort zone, passionately driving forward the AUA agenda, going above and beyond to support the CPD of themselves and other members.

They have facilitated member-led workshops (e.g. ‘Career Speed Networking’, ‘Learning from your Mistakes’), providing opportunities to strengthen presentation and facilitation skills. The network has also scheduled six ‘Meet the Director’ talks focusing around sector issues with a range of speakers, including the Vice Chancellor and the SU president. The network also hosted the AUA event ‘Demystifying Project Management’, and begun planning for a regional conference.

Activity across the year also included:

• Working with an external HR consultant to develop a Step Up to Management course, designed specifically around the AUA CPD framework, with an accompanying action plan tailored to the individual. 6 of the 15 attendees have since been promoted within the University and 1 has secured a secondment
• Attending University induction events for new staff to promote the AUA and led a focus group with non-members
• Member led activity including the establishment of the AUA Student Experience and Student Engagement Network and two members becoming PgCert mentors
• Actively encouraging members to engage with external initiatives, such as the example here

Other work includes securing a further 100 subscriptions for bulk membership. This builds on AUA membership rising from 18 in September 2014 to 67 at the time of nomination.  They also promote Accredited member / Fellowship applications with a buddy scheme and training sessions. Since starting this in 2018, 7 Fellows and 11 Accredited Members have successfully applied.

The Mark of Excellence was successfully renewed, with the reassessment panel commending the ‘passion, energy and visibility of the AUA network and their embodiment of the values both within and outside the university.’ The AUA’s CPD framework has been embedded further across the University through its inclusion in job descriptions and endorsing membership in person specifications. A new appraisal form has also been developed. 

The network also launched the Faculty GEM (Going the Extra Mile) award in two of the Faculties, based on demonstration of the behaviours in interactions with colleagues and stakeholders, to celebrate positive professional behaviours and encourage use of the terminology in our day to day language.

Why the panel selected them

The panel recognised the strong levels of engagement at the University of Bath, with active advocates promoting membership, the Mark of Exellence, AUA behaviours and the accreditation scheme to a wide audience. The scope of the sessions / events organised is very strong, with the range of speakers and topics being praised.

The application of the CPD framework into the Step Up to management course and how it was embedded into job descriptions was praised, with the Faculty GEM award also recognised as an impressive innovation.

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