Human Resources

Helen Keetch – Registry Support Systems Analyst

Academic Registry

Employment history

Faculty of Science - Course Administrator

I started at the University twelve years ago as a temp. My first role was as a Course Administrator for the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences for half the week, the other half was spent in the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences. A full time role came up in Pharmacy where I stayed for about a year, then a full time role came up in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, which although a smaller school was somewhere I felt was a more comfortable fit at that time.

Key skills

Using the Student Records System

Minutes and administration of Boards – Unit Assessment Boards and Board of Examiners, Board of Studies

Annotating exam papers

Registration of students

Pharmacy only- Admin for Admissions interviews - Admin of PhD and Research students

Faculty of Technology and Central Project Team

Secondment - Jupiter support team

Having become well versed in the Student Records system and the role of a C.A, a secondment opportunity came up for a project role to assist with the implementation of a new Student Records system. This would mean liaising between the central project team and one of the Faculties, helping guide the users through the new processes. At the same time an option of applying for a School Manager role in Science came up. I had to think very hard about which path I wanted to take, as both interviews would be within weeks of each other. For me I realised that at that point I was not ready for a role that I felt was an end result from a career perspective. So I interviewed for the secondment post and was successful.

Key skills

Networking and collaborating with other professional services staff in Registry, Information Services and the wider project team.

Soft skills development

Negotiating and creating trust with the new Faculty

Working in a small internal project team and pitching for particular roles with tight time constraints

Working with IT training who were rolling out corporate training sessions for staff

Working autonomously more often and being staff’s point of contact, whilst dealing with a project roll out which often means processes and guidance changing on a daily basis at times.

Faculty of Technology - Deputy Programme Area Manager

Nearing the end of my secondment the Technology Faculty asked me to help with an internal course project. Once that was completed an opportunity arose to apply for a new role. Three departments were being combined to make a Programme Area. I was successful in gaining a role as the Deputy Programme Area Manager, giving me supervisory responsibility but staying on the same pay grade as my secondment role.

Key Skills

Supervision for staff around systems and departmental processes


Management of Programme Area Exam timetable and Induction timetable

Manage all external and internal invigilation for exams

Manage Subject and Award externals, including booking their accommodation and ensuring all coursework and paperwork was available to them on arrival

Stepped up to Programme Area Manager role when line manager was on leave

Faculty of Technology - Secondment – Programme Area Manager

I really enjoyed my role as DPAM and after some time another secondment role came up. This role was as a Programme Area manager within the same Faculty. Again I was lucky enough to be successful. I really enjoyed the people management side of the role; however there were other elements of the role that did not suit what I wanted from my career at the time. It was a very difficult decision but ultimately I decided to leave the secondment early and return to by substantive DPAM role. This decision was not taken lightly but was completely the right decision for me at that time.

Key Skills

Staff management role of a large team

Oversee all programme area processes

Management of Unit and Exam Boards

Meetings with Heads and Course leaders regularly to ensure admin and academic teams working cohesively

Overseeing Programme area Moodle site

Back to Substantive role of Deputy Programme Area Manager

Academic Registry - Academic Management Information Division - Registry Support Systems Analyst

A role came up in Academic Registry with staff I had worked closely with on my first secondment. The grade of the role was the same as my DPAM role but it would mean working more specifically with student records and being a point of support and guidance for multiple departments. The role also offered an opportunity for me to train staff, which is something I was very keen to be involved with. I applied and was successful and have been in this role for just over 4 years now.

Key skills

Expert in student records system and Unit Database

Trainer on Board and Assessment processes and the Unit Database

Write all training manuals

Book rooms and manage staff attendance

Log all training on ITrent

Assist with preparation and organisation of project roll out of new screens

Human Resources - Secondment – Management and Staff Development Adviser

Last year I had the opportunity to write and deliver two training sessions on a Delivering Excellence programme for one of the Management and Staff Development Advisers in HR.  This came about after attending the Train the Trainer course on the open programme. The MSDA I had worked with was going on maternity leave and I was lucky to be shortlisted to interview for the part time maternity cover. I was successful and this has meant working in the mornings in HR and the afternoons in my substantive role in Registry for the past year.

Key Skills

Coordinated two Delivering Excellence programmes, and created and delivered two separate sessions over the two programmes.

Booking and organising and evaluating a keynote speaker event.

Seeking new staff and facilitators to help and deliver on these and future programmes and writing advertisements for the communicator.

Delivery of two parallel sessions at the Support Staff Conference on the Delivering Excellence programme

Delivery of two interventions, several times on the open programme,

  • Working with Assertiveness
  • Train the Trainer

Working with our external consultants and observing and feeding back on their delivery.

Learning and development provision for dedicated client areas around the University

Attendance at two full day conferences on Customer service excellence


Taking Opportunities

Since being in the University it has been made very clear for me that:

  • Hard work and dedication to the task at hand is well recognised and rewarded.
  • Opportunities do not just land in your lap, you need to look for them and have the courage to put yourself out there and possibly face failure.
  • Any failure should be embraced and used as a tool to develop and improve.
  • Take all training opportunities available to you; just attending is not enough you have to fully engage!
  • Ask what else you can get involved in within your role, seek out more responsibility
  • Don’t be blinkered about the options that may be available to you. Most of your skills may be transferable.
  • Finally be brave you don’t know if you don’t try.


Experiences / Learning points

Every experience I have had in the different roles I have undertaken have had an impact on me in some way, as have the staff I have worked for and alongside. My advice would always be if you have outgrown your role move on. If you are interested in a role then take some time to find out more about it from someone, this could be shadowing or just having a meeting and asking.

Promotion or new roles are not an entitlement, you have to work hard, do your research and make sure you have the necessarily skills to put yourself in the best position. If you don’t get it don’t give up ! Other roles are out there that may be better for you. Networking is key to progression, if people know about you they may think of you for future roles. Starting at the bottom and working your way up, worked really well for me and gives you a great overview of the organisation and how it works.

You will not progress if you don’t show your passion and drive for what you do.  

Current update

Has had a promotion to L&D Adviser from March 2016 and signed up to the CMDA.