As we move into our second year of the Pilot with a newly appointed Expert Advisory Group and senior leadership team, our priorities and commitment to the 40 charter member institutes will be centred on the following four dimensions of support:
A. Enabling members to fulfil their commitment to the ten Charter principles by facilitating access to the UK Equality Challenge Unit’s resources and by developing guidelines, processes and best practices in consultation with the member institutions.
B. Encourage charter members to build institutional capabilities. SAGE is developing engagement activities including national site visits and workshops led by leaders from the Australian sector with experience in Athena Swan; opportunities to workshop data analysis, issues identification and action planning; potential international visits from UK academics and researchers to share experience in Athena Swan; exploring networking opportunities with UK institutes experienced with Athena Swan; and other activities to be identified in consultation with the pilot charter members.
C. Shaping the future accreditation framework and model. We will do this by setting transparent and consultative processes and practices. In addition to working closely with the SAGE Expert Advisory Group, we will seek input and feedback from our charter members. Establishment of the Panel of Assessors and resources is one such priority to be progressed over the coming months.
D. Evaluate our approach, practice and implementation of the pilot. We will commission an independent evaluation so as to ensure that we continue to deliver effective and efficient service to all SAGE members, funders, partners and stakeholders over the course of SAGE implementation and into the long term to support members on their journey to transformative change.
What are our next steps?
- We will continue SAGE institutional visits to charter members throughout October, whilst also participating in the SAGE regional networks.
- New recruits will join the SAGE team by early November 2016, ensuring enhanced capacity to support members and stakeholders.
- We are putting together a sub-group of the Expert Advisory Group to advise on data to guide benchmarking, which has Prof. Sharon Bell and Dr. Roslyn Princely as members. We welcome emailed nominations from all SAGE charter members to contribute to the work on data to guide benchmarking.
- Planning and preparation for the Panel of Assessors has commenced; draft guidance and process documents will be shared for consultation.
- The SAGE evaluation framework is currently being scoped with the view to release a request for tender to undertake an independent evaluation of the Pilot. The draft scope will also be shared with members for consultation prior to going to market.