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Succession planning: Strengthening your talent pipelines

Stronger succession planning and conscious development of people already within the organisation with potential for a range of types of work is one practical approach to reducing the institutional risk of having too many roles that are difficult or expensive to fill. Positive succession management is also a more focused way of developing and motivating staff.

There are, however, often concerns about succession planning such as:

  • Is it possible to plan in such uncertain times?
  • Is it fair to identify and nurture some individuals over others?
  • Does succession planning mean there is no longer a transparent appointment processes?
  • How does succession fit in with broader brush approaches to ‘talent’?

This is a practical workshop designed for HE organisations wishing to develop or enhance their approach to succession planning. Facilitated by Wendy Hirsh of the Institute for Employment Studies (IES), it will help participants to review their organisation’s current and future succession practices through a mix of short presentations drawing on simple models and case study examples and tailored work in small groups.

Areas covered at the workshop will include:

  • The purposes and organisational context for succession planning.
  • Choosing groups of jobs and people to focus upon: ‘key’ or ‘critical’ roles.
  • The succession system: linking succession planning, workforce planning, talent management and career and skill development.
  • Identifying potential successors: timeframes, criteria and evidence.
  • Succession as a collective management process: the succession or talent review.
  • Conversations with individuals about potential, succession and career.
  • Developing and deploying successors: supporting the individual in their own career development.
  • Transparency, fairness and diversity in succession.
  • The organisation’s capability to implement and sustain succession planning.

We would welcome input at the workshop from sector colleagues who are willing to showcase their HEI’s approach to succession planning/developing talent pipelines, or who can provide a frank and valuable insight into how solutions have been found at institutional level to address succession planning challenges. Colleagues who are able to provide a significant input can secure a reduced delegate fee.

Equally, if you are aware of any good practice examples of succession planning/developing talent pipelines from outside the HE sector, please let us know and we can approach those bodies for speakers. Please contact seminars@ucea.ac.uk to discuss either of the above. 

The day will run between 10.15am and 3.30pm (registration from 9.45am) and will take place at a central London (WC1H) location.

A timed programme can be found below:

Succession planning - Strengthening your talent pipelines

This workshop is part of a wider suite of events facilitated by IES looking at strategic workforce planning issues. The other scheduled workshops (more details will be available shortly) are:

Please email seminars@ucea.ac.uk if you wish to be sent more information on these workshops.

Prices and booking processes:

Participants from UCEA member HEIs

£359 per place.

If you work at a UCEA member institution book places via the online booking form


Participants from other HEIs and HE sector agencies

£459 per place.

Please email seminars@ucea.ac.uk for more information.