Staff Resourcing (including Workforce Planning Group)

The Workforce Planning Group (WPG) reviews and approves requests for new posts or significant changes to centrally funded posts and considers requests for grading reviews for professional services posts. The purpose of the group is to analyse each request, review alternative considerations and assess the strategic need for the post (or changes to the post) to ensure that the staffing profile of Schools/Units matches and responds to University needs.

The flexible financial framework has devolved some spending decisions on operations budgets to Heads of Schools and Units therefore formal group approval is not required for all posts.

Heads of Schools/Units are encouraged to read the Workforce Planning Application Form Guidance and FAQs below which provide support on the WPG process, including what requests are required to go through the full process and what requests can be fast tracked. 

Submit a workforce planning application

Who are the members of the WPG?

The group comprises:

  • Quaestor & Factor (Chair)
  • Master
  • Vice-Principal Education (Proctor) 
  • Vice-Principal (Governance)
  • Vice-Principal (Research & Innovation)
  • Finance Director
  • Director of Strategy & Policy 
  • Director of Human Resources

What is the Workforce Planning Group (WPG)?

The Workforce Planning Group (WPG) reviews and approves requests for new posts or significant changes to centrally funded posts and considers requests for grading reviews for professional services posts. The purpose of the group is to analyse each request, review alternative considerations and assess the strategic need for the post (or changes to the post) to ensure that the staffing profile of Schools/Units matches and responds to University needs.

When does the WPG meet?

The group meets monthly over the academic year.

The application submission and meeting dates for forthcoming meetings are listed below.  Please note, any applications submitted after the deadline date will be carried forward to the next scheduled meeting of the group

Application Submission Date Meeting Date
20 October 2021 2 November 2021
17 November 2021 29 November 2021
24 December 2021 11 January 2022
26 January 2022 8 February 2022
23 February 2022 8 March 2022
23 March 2022 5 April 2022
20 April 2022 3 May 2022
18 May 2022 31 May 2022
15 June 2022 28 June 2022
  No meetings in July
10 August 2022 23 August 2022
7 September 2022 20 September 2022
5 October 2022 18 October 2022
2 November 2022 15 November 2022
30 November 2022 13 December 2022

How do I submit a WPG application?

Applications can only be submitted by the Head of School/Unit or an authorised delegate of the Head of School/Unit. Please use the online portal also found on this webpage under Workforce Planning documents to submit your application. You can also find guidance on using the portal in this section of our webpage. 

Why am I unable to access the application form?

In order to submit an application, you must either be a Head of School or Unit or have delegated authority from the Head to submit applications on the School/Unit’s behalf. Please contact your Head of School/Unit directly to request delegation rights. If you have already received an email telling you that you have been added as a delegate but continue to receive error messages, please raise a call with itservicedesk@st-andrews.ac.uk.

I am a Head of School/Unit – how do I give my staff permission to submit a WPG application on my behalf?

As a Head of School/Unit, you may delegate authority to key managers to submit applications on the School/Unit’s behalf.  To check, add or delete a delegate, click on the ‘Manage your delegates’ button on the left hand of the dashboard page and follow the instructions. 

We would advise you to review your delegates at least annually to ensure that the list remains up to date.  Please note that if a member of staff leaves the University or moves to a different role within the University, they will be automatically removed as a delegate from your list.  Staff moving posts will also no longer have access to historic applications for your School/Unit. 

What requests require full workforce planning paperwork to be submitted to a formal WPG meeting?

The workforce planning application form should be used when seeking approval for any new or replacement posts or for making any long term or significant contractual changes to existing posts which are centrally funded or partially centrally funded. It is essential that Further Particulars and an up to date organisation chart are included with applications for new posts. 

Contractual changes include making posts permanent, increasing hours, extending fixed term posts etc.

Please refer to the WPG_approval_routes (PDF, 529 KB) for details on what paperwork is required for full WPG consideration.

When will I be notified of the outcome of a WPG application?

Notification of application outcomes will, where possible, be given within 48 hours of the Workforce Planning Group meeting.  Approval is normally valid for 3 months from the date of the meeting. If posts have not been advertised or changes to posts have not been enacted within 3 months of approval, it is expected that a further application will be put forward to the group.

A minimum of four members of the group must be in attendance before any decisions can be made.

What type of requests do not need full workforce planning paperwork?

Applications which can be approved more quickly via Human Resources (for staffing complement management) and Finance (for budget management) can be found in the non_WPG_approval_routes (PDF, 415 KB) .   

 Heads of School/Unit must still complete the appropriate paperwork as detailed in the diagram however, for those requests which require a workforce planning form, only the initial sections need be completed and the ‘Business case’ ‘Implications of not getting the post’ and ‘Alternatives considered’ sections may be left blank before the form is submitted to workforce@st-andrews.ac.uk . These applications will be checked against the University budget and if everything is in order, contractual changes and advertising of posts will be actioned within 3-4 days of receipt of application. 

What staffing requests should I send directly to HR?

The following should be routed to your HR Business Partner:

Maternity cover

  • You must provide details of who is going on maternity leave, expected start date and duration of cover required, Advert/Further Particulars or details of how you will cover the leave. 

Acting up (including sickness cover) 

  • You must provide details of start/end dates, reason for acting up/who is off work, details of work to be undertaken while acting up/providing cover (in order that HR can ascertain the grade and rate of pay). 

Flexible working requests

The following should be routed to HR:  

Wholly externally funded posts or changes to posts should be routed via HR:

  • You must email vacancies@st-andrews.ac.uk if you wish to advertise a post along with your Advert/Further Particulars, cost centre and details of your panel.
  • You must email support@st-andrews.ac.uk with details of any contractual changes including start/end dates, cost centre and, a job description if this is changing.

WPG exempt posts i.e. those frontline professional services posts with a reasonably high turnover and which can be replaced or redesigned without recourse to WPG as long as the request fits with overall staffing complement and budget. Heads of Units will already be aware of which posts these are, but advice can be sought from workforce@st-andrews.ac.uk if you are unsure.

  • Please email vacancies@st-andrews.ac.uk if you wish to advertise a post along with your Advert/Further Particulars, post number being replaced and details of your panel
  • Please email support@st-andrews.ac.uk with details of any contractual changes including start/end dates (where appropriate), details of hours to be altered and names of staff who are affected.

Staff Named on grants 

  • In order to issue an offer to staff named on grants, you should email a job description, CV of the named person, grant cost centre, start and end dates to HR.

Flexible Worker contracts to be paid from casual salary budgets should be sent to Salaries following the instructions on the webpage.

I already have budget or approval for a new post or changes to a post, do I still need to complete a form?

Under the new flexible financial framework, some applications do not need to go to the full WPG for consideration but can be assessed more quickly via Human Resources (for staffing complement management) and Finance (for budget management).

You must still complete the appropriate workforce planning application form, but this will be a shortened version and the form will guide you as to what can be omitted. These applications will be checked against budgets and if everything is in order, contractual changes and advertising of posts will be actioned within 3-4 days of receiving the application. 

General guidance on workforce planning and using the WPG application form

Full guidance on staffing requests including applications and how to use the online Workforce Planning Application form can be found Workforce Planning Application Guidance (PDF, 1,474 KB) .

If you have any questions not covered by this guidance, please contact the Workforce Planning Administrator or your HR Business Partner

What is the best route to fill a temporary staffing gap of a few weeks?

Temporary Staff Reassignments (TSR): A simple, flexible approach that enables the University to reassign staff from their normal duties for up to 12 weeks to support other Schools or Units who have a temporary shortfall in resource or a short term skills deficit.  See the TSR page for full details and how to advertise assignments.  Enquiries can also be sent to the TSR team.