Our staff are our key asset and are fundamental to successful delivery of our objectives. Our staff survey gives us great reassurance that the HTA is a good place to work, but offers insight into areas we can improve. More fundamentally, in order to achieve our vision to be a more resilient and sustainable organisation by 2021, our People Strategy will require a significant review that will also influence our Estates and Business Technology plans.
We will consider options for widening the pool for recruitment outside London and the South East, as well as ways we can remodel our induction and training to allow staff to become competent more quickly and be less dependent on location.
As a small, expert regulator, it is imperative that we retain the specialist skills of our staff for longer, which is challenging with current financial restraints. We will continue to promote work/life balance and flexible working, with a renewed focus on effective line management, training and development to make the best use of our expert resources.
Our People Strategy, as outlined above will largely drive our approach to estates. We continue to control our accommodation costs as far as possible by sharing office space; however, our current lease expires in 2021 meaning that we need to evaluate future options.
Expanding our workforce outside London and the South East over this period gives us the opportunity to develop as an organisation that works remotely by design, whilst ensuring that our culture and connectivity are maintained. As well as allowing us to increase the geographic pool from which we recruit, this may also produce rental savings that could be reinvested to address emerging business needs.
Our business technology has never been more crucial to the success of the organisation and underpins much of what we set out to achieve. Our new strategic vision will require development of IT architecture, which is not dependent on location in preparation for a future office move. We will support our staff with the technology they need to work effectively and efficiently, in the office and remotely. We also recognise the opportunities for technology, digital and data to improve the services we offer, reduce burden and target our resources most effectively.
We take our commitment to information and cyber security very seriously, and will strive to meet our obligations under data protection legislation, the National Data Guardian’s data security standards and relevant UK Government cyber security frameworks.
The HTA is funded through licence fees and Grant-in-Aid from the Department of Health and Social Care. For a number of years we have worked hard to keep costs down by finding efficiencies, sharing office space and sharing Director and Head posts with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). Our recent review of the arrangements with HFEA highlighted further opportunities to boost the resilience of both organisations by developing a stronger strategic alliance.
We are aware of the budget constraints faced by many of our licensed establishments and remain committed to living within our means. We will also investigate alternative income streams where these align with core business activity, learning from other Arm’s Length Bodies. As part of our sustainability programme, we aim to signal our budget intentions over the next three years, with a view to providing certainty on fee levels for establishments.
Our Deployment objectives are:
- Manage and develop our people in line with the HTA’s People Strategy
- Ensure the continued financial viability of the HTA while charging fair and transparent licence fees and providing value for money
- Provide a suitable working environment and effective business technology, with due regard for data protection and information security
- Plan and prioritise our resources to carefully balance activity across the organisation
In the period covered by this strategy, we will:
- Act on the feedback provided by our staff surveys to address key issues of concern;
- Remodel our training and induction programme;
- Consider the introduction of a new senior inspector role to improve technical development of staff across the organisation, focussing on training others, quality assurance and providing input to development projects;
- Develop more formal arrangements for greater use of home working to support our recruitment strategy;
- Give greater priority to data management and risk, ensuring that we comply with our requirements under relevant Data Protection legislation;
- Give further consideration to alternative and additional income streams;
- Implement the recommendations of the shared services review with HFEA to improve the resilience of both organisations;
- Improve our video conferencing, online meeting and collaboration capabilities;
- Produce an options appraisal for different models of working as an organisation, which puts our staff at the heart of what we do.