Providing a workshop on Professional Registration at the University of Bradford: Laurence Dawkins-Hall


Hear from Laurence Dawkins-Hall, NTDC Specialist Advisor, about his visit to the University of Bradford as alumni to deliver a workshop for technical staff on Professional Registration.

On January 25th 2024, I presented a workshop at the University of Bradford, providing the key note address, in my capacity as (NTDC) Special Advisor for Professional Registration and STEM. This workshop was provided for the University of Bradford as a Partner Affiliate of the NTDC and was part of the University's Technical Training provision in house. Laurence graduated from the University of Bradford in 1987 with a degree in biomedical sciences, so was delighted to be returning in person on behalf of the NTDC. 

What was covered in the Training session?


With reference to my own presentation, this addressed key aspects of applying for Professional Registration and the benefits thereof, including:


Why Register?

How did your key note speech augment the session?


The primary focus of the training session was participation in and the benefits of outreach work as an aspects of CPD. Having considered prior talks, I elected to alter my prose and talk about the benefits of joining a licensed body, like the IST or Royal Society of Biology, and crucially, by choosing to work in an outreach capacity with such organisations, how that impacts CPD and its implications for completing the Competency form, the main stay of an on-line registration application

What was covered in the Registration Training Talk and where can that be found?


The talk primarily focused on subject matter covered in my introductory work shop for Midlands Innovation, archived as a recording within NTDC Professional Registration resources, and Talent Winter fest Introduction. 

In the interests of time, a detailed analysis of working portfolios, constituting competency answers, was not included. However, such material is covered at regular intervals via (my own) Science Council Professional Registration Workshops. Moreover, for a very detailed appraisal of completion of the competency form, a series of Workshops, held biannually, by Midlands Innovation Festival of Talent, (provided by myself as well) are available as video archives on, for example, NTDC Professional Registration Resources.

So, what are the seminal benefits of Professional Registration, both to yourself and in the wider Technical Landscape?

Professional Registration is a mechanism to achieve validation of skills, knowledge and behaviours, culminating in post nominals; A confidence building exercise by virtue of the above; and a way to network with like minded post nominal individuals, particularly through engaging with licensed bodies, whose member ships is an integral part of on-line Professional Registration application. Moreover, participation with licensed bodies affords numerous CPD opportunities and these in turn can be incorporated into the competency script, prior to on line application and subsequently post hoc for registration renewal. In addition, however, there are more tangible benefits and in particular, facilitation in securing outside positions and, in a small subset of cases, enhanced promotion. The latter is particular fulfil pillars III (career sustainability) and IV (job retention) of the Technician commitment and provides the ultimate justification for the utility of Professional Registration.

In terms of impact on my own career, Professional Registration on a personal level, has provided a spring board for novel forms, hitherto unanticipated, of CPD, including becoming a Specialist Advisor for NTDC and associated positions, e.g. Applicant support mentor for the Science Council; Assistant Registrar for the IST and latterly, a foray into the apprentice landscape by virtue of accepting a position with Marshall Assessment as an end point assessor (EPA) and registration  consultant. This in turn has culminated in a plethora of awards, including an elected Royal Society Fellowship with the RSB. For a more detailed picture, I have written about my own CPD in various forums, including this piece for the Science Council, opining my journey from 'novice to accomplice'. 

So, how has your role at the NTDC changed in the last 2 year and how has that impacted on your own CPD?


The NTDC Special Advisors role has provided an opportunity to travel, network and participate in a plethora of technical conferences and stand-alone technical events, both remote and in person, e.g., Newcastle, Glasgow and Bradford. In particular, the workshops I have provided for NTDC have afforded synergy with other analogues, provided for the Science Council, IST and Midlands Innovation. Specifically, with practice and experience, the NTDC and MI formats respectively have enabled me to refine the 1-hour didactic presentation, whereas Midlands’s Innovation in particular have impacted the longer more interactive sessions, traditionally offered by me, as an ASM, for the Science Council.  

What road map is now available to participants in the NTDC Registration workshop as a Partner Affiliate of the NTDC?


As a Partner Affiliate  of the NTDC the University of Bradford is entitled to further support by the NTDC. In the Specific context of my workshops, I tend to work with participant technicians from Affiliate institutions one-on-one to facilitate completion of their respective competency forms

Looking ahead, how do you see your role as a Special Advisor developing? What changes or improvements would you like to implement to further increase the effectiveness of your activities?

Alongside my collective workshops and individual mentoring, I would like to augment my learning resources: At this juncture, there is a registration resource on the NTDC website which reinforces presentation content.


Going forward I would like to add to that tool kit of resources, but also include more bespoke content, including videos and key vignette pieces, exploring specific aspects of Professional registration, recapitulating similar materials I have already produced for the Science Council YouTube site.

How have your workshops provided to Institutions Like Bradford changed over time and why have those changes been necessary?


Three years ago, at the Inception of my NTDC workshops and lectures pertaining to Professional Registration, I had to second guess content. However, with feedback from NTDC Affiliated technicians, I have been able to refine and define content in line with audience needs. In particular, I tend to make more use of polls and interactive tools like Google Padlet to bring together useful information on Professional registration from a variety of sources, which can be viewed prior to the extant workshop or post hoc. What is more, I now tend to gauge audience knowledge at the workshop with snap shot polls such as Slido and encourage personal participation in that knowledge by utilising learning tools, like word cloud, collective participant exercises, promulgated via Jamboard.


Over all, for all workshops, including NTDC workshops, this has elicited to better audience participation and more effusive praise, see below:


“We stayed in touch via LinkedIn, and finally we met in person last month when Laurence delivered a professional registration workshop at my workplace. His passion and enthusiasm shone through in his delivery, and the attendees really enjoyed the session. I have recommended that anyone unable to attend the session sign up to one of his online workshops, so they don’t miss out. We have subsequently had lots of internal interest to pursue registration, and Laurence has kindly agreed to help our in-house mentors support our new applicants. I hope that I will continue working with Laurence for years to come!”