ASE membership / registered technician status

I have been a physics technician at an academy 11-18 for 6 years. I am a member of the ASE but I read the RSCiTech forms and it did not seem to apply to me. Seemed more suited to somebody working in research. I don't think I qualify. I do advise non specialists and helped produce new experiments for use in the new GCSE and GCE A levels but that doesn't sound like it fits the bill when you read the application.

Yes, unfortunately a lot of the language used when the competencies were set out by the science council is better suited to research or work in industry (this is after all where the largest proportion of the members of these professional bodies are working. I've just taken a look at the forms and guidance documents used by the ASE and they perhaps have not made it as clear as possible how it's members might meet these requirements. It should be perfectly possible for a technician such as yourself with several years experience to qualify for RSciTech. For example advising non-specialists about an experiment as you mentioned above could be used as evidence towards your interpersonal skills requirements. Developing new experiments for GCSE and A levels could be evidence towards application of knowledge (A1 or A2).

I only have A levels, and no evidence of them as I took them nearly 45 years ago, QCF5 is a degree. I ran an engineering company for 21 years and have not had to produce a certificate for my education since I was in my teens.

In fact the only qualifications I have certificates in anything is as an able seaman, which isn't a lot of help!

The educational requirements shown are often exemplifying and there is some scope to take into work experience as well. However for RSciTech this requirement is QCF3 and your A levels would meet this requirement on their own..
 
I have enjoyed reading this thread and will definitely be considering joining the ASE and registering as an RSciTech, I can possibly get the school to pay for this as I have recently been promoted to, as the head teacher has named the role, lead science technician. I was told that the school would pay for CPD that may assist me in this role.

While doing some research I have seen the description of RSci
"For staff in scientific and senior technical roles – candidates will typically (but not exclusively) be qualified to at least QCF level 5 and will be applying this knowledge to their roles. It provides recognition in its own right but can also be a springboard to CSci status"
And was wondering if its possible to go for this registration instead as I do hold a Degree in biomedical science but I'm unsure if there is even any need for this. As its all new to me as of reading this thread I didn't even know it existed.

Congratulations on your promotion! As you have said, your degree would mean that you meet the educational requirement for RSci rather than RSciTech (I successfully applied directly to RSci rather than RSciTech myself for similar reasons). Further to this you have no taken on a more senior technical role which likely comes with enhanced responsibilities that would probably help you to meet the required competencies for RSci instead. If you look at the two sets of requirements side by side you should see that in most cases they are very similar it is often just the amount of responsibility / autonomy that is required that is different (e.g. for RSciTech B1 says "Work consistently and effectively with minimal supervision to appropriate standards and protocols" while for RSci it requires "Work autonomously while recognising limits of scope of practice").


If in doubt about which you are best suited to apply for the Science council have a tool to help:
http://sciencecouncil.org/scientists-science-technicians/which-professional-award-is-right-for-me/

Otherwise you could always contact the relevant body to ask their advice about which level to apply for.
 

karen b

COMMITTEE
If in doubt about which you are best suited to apply for the Science council have a tool to help:
http://sciencecouncil.org/scientists-science-technicians/which-professional-award-is-right-for-me/

Otherwise you could always contact the relevant body to ask their advice about which level to apply for.

This looks useful for me too. I have (on the strength of this thread) said that I will apply for RSciTech status as part of my appraisal. I had been skeptical about it before
 
I have enjoyed reading this thread and will definitely be considering joining the ASE and registering as an RSciTech, I can possibly get the school to pay for this as I have recently been promoted to, as the head teacher has named the role, lead science technician. I was told that the school would pay for CPD that may assist me in this role.

While doing some research I have seen the description of RSci
"For staff in scientific and senior technical roles – candidates will typically (but not exclusively) be qualified to at least QCF level 5 and will be applying this knowledge to their roles. It provides recognition in its own right but can also be a springboard to CSci status"
And was wondering if its possible to go for this registration instead as I do hold a Degree in biomedical science but I'm unsure if there is even any need for this. As its all new to me as of reading this thread I didn't even know it existed.

The RSciTech does seem to be somewhat of a well hidden secret. I'm surprised that CLEAPSS for example don't promote it more. I only found out about it from a technician friend who had attended a course where it was strongly advised that becoming a RSciTech would be a positive thing - if nothing more it gives us recognition for the level of work we carry out and the skills and knowledge we use to carry out our jobs. Again, demonstrating that we are far more than the glorified cleaners that some people think we are and our level of pay seems to reflect! Likewise I hold a degree but no technician 'qualifications' so this seems like a good place to start.
 

labtech666

COMMITTEE
I got my RSciTech through the ASE a few years back and it has definitely been a positive thing. It helped massively when I argued for a pay rise for the extra duties I was doing and was also a consideration when the school promoted me to Senior Technician.
 
The RSciTech does seem to be somewhat of a well hidden secret. I'm surprised that CLEAPSS for example don't promote it more. I only found out about it from a technician friend who had attended a course where it was strongly advised that becoming a RSciTech would be a positive thing - if nothing more it gives us recognition for the level of work we carry out and the skills and knowledge we use to carry out our jobs. Again, demonstrating that we are far more than the glorified cleaners that some people think we are and our level of pay seems to reflect! Likewise I hold a degree but no technician 'qualifications' so this seems like a good place to start.

Sadly I think you are absolutely right about this. While the knowledge of these registers has been improving in industrial and academic research (through promotion by the relevant bodies, employers and other organisations) it still seems that in technicians working in schools and colleges are not as widely aware of their existence. Hopefully though that may start to change, if not by the promotion of groups involved, by word of mouth and through forums such as this one. The more people who sign up to these registers and the greater the awareness that it generates can surely only be a good thing in terms of making employers conscious of their value in recognising the important technical role that we carry out.
 
Hi peeps
I am hugely put off by the need to show commitment to CPD. I'm sure we all do micro CPD all the time and it's mostly self taught. We can't give ourselves certificates, however so I'm not sure whether, once registered, I could show enough progress to keep it up year on year. As a sole tech, It is hard to argue for being let out for a day. My school doesn't seem to see any need for support staff CPD. Even T.A.s are only graciously allowed to attend a few of the sessions put on here for teachers. I attend the statutory safeguarding stuff and that's it. Online courses or webinars would be great for the likes of us but I haven't spotted any for a long long time, though I do search online in my own time.
Anyone know of anything?
 
Having a quick browse it appears that we can access RSciTech through various different routes. The Society of Biology, Institute of Physics, Institute of Science and technology etc. I had a look at the society of biology as I have been considering joining due to trying to juggle full time tech and part time OU degree but I just wonder how much time outside of work it takes to complete. Tech courses do appear to have reduced in numbers over the years as has budget. I have attached the files for the society of biology if anyone wants a look.
 

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Nick Mitchener

COMMITTEE
I attend the SPN conference at Charterhouse each year, and we hold local technician meetings. I also follow Talk Physics and PTNC, but there are rarely courses these days that seem relevant. I have done all the ones I need from the usual offerings.

We did manual handling and ladder safety as online courses, I think they are quite cheap and don't involve me spending ages preparing to be away and catching up afterwards which is the usual problem.
 

Nick Mitchener

COMMITTEE
Having a quick browse it appears that we can access RSciTech through various different routes. The Society of Biology, Institute of Physics, Institute of Science and technology etc. I had a look at the society of biology as I have been considering joining due to trying to juggle full time tech and part time OU degree but I just wonder how much time outside of work it takes to complete. Tech courses do appear to have reduced in numbers over the years as has budget. I have attached the files for the society of biology if anyone wants a look.

I joined ASE because they had a very low rate for technicians. IoP charge far too much and don't take into account just how lowly paid technicians are. All these people do specials for poor struggling NQTs who get around a third more than a technician.
 
I joined ASE because they had a very low rate for technicians. IoP charge far too much and don't take into account just how lowly paid technicians are. All these people do specials for poor struggling NQTs who get around a third more than a technician.
You can claim for expenses such as ASE professional membership from HRMC Nick.:)
 
Hi peeps
I am hugely put off by the need to show commitment to CPD. I'm sure we all do micro CPD all the time and it's mostly self taught. We can't give ourselves certificates, however so I'm not sure whether, once registered, I could show enough progress to keep it up year on year. As a sole tech, It is hard to argue for being let out for a day. My school doesn't seem to see any need for support staff CPD. Even T.A.s are only graciously allowed to attend a few of the sessions put on here for teachers. I attend the statutory safeguarding stuff and that's it. Online courses or webinars would be great for the likes of us but I haven't spotted any for a long long time, though I do search online in my own time.
Anyone know of anything?
A fair point Fran. For the lone Technician providing CPD evidence is difficult.:);)
 
It can be a bit of a struggle finding courses for technicians, getting time to attend them, squeezing the money out of budgets to pay for the etc. Although I can't offer you many ideas for specific courses I would like to point out that the CPD required to maintain your registered status does not need to be exclusively from this kind of formal course / conference etc. (although they obviously are useful if you have attended them).

Instead it can often the kind of thing that we might do as part of our normal work e.g.
Self directed learning such as reading CLEAPSS guides / books / articles etc. to improve your knowledge on a particular topic or a new experiment.
Shadowing of colleagues to learn on the job (or indeed training others in skills that you have). In-house training at your school such as safeguarding, health and safety etc. (It doesn't specifically have to by science related CPD, so long as it improves your ability to practice in your job).
Organising events, technician meetings etc.
Volunteering is another big CPD opportunity, even if it is not directly related to your work place, so long as you can relate back how it has benefitted you or your employer.

These types of activities are reasonably commonplace, so I hope this reassures anyone who may be put off by the idea of CPD being a difficult or expensive commitment to make.
 
Also, I forgot to mention that the RSC revalidations do not require you to provide certificates, evidence etc. other than an explanation of what activities you have done, how they have benefitted the quality of your practice and how it has benefitted the users of there work (i.e. the school / teachers / pupils). I assume the same is true of all of the other societies / institutions who are involved in the registers as well.
 

Nick Mitchener

COMMITTEE
You can claim for expenses such as ASE professional membership from HRMC Nick.:)

I realise that you are probably a higher rate tax payer George, but for the rest of us mere mortals on a salary that works out not that much more than minimum wage, claiming 20% tax back on a fee of over £100 is not much of an incentive.
 
I realise that you are probably a higher rate tax payer George, but for the rest of us mere mortals on a salary that works out not that much more than minimum wage, claiming 20% tax back on a fee of over £100 is not much of an incentive.
If you join as a technician, membership is (only) £45. Still painful if its coming out of your own pocket though...
 
Hi peeps
I am hugely put off by the need to show commitment to CPD. I'm sure we all do micro CPD all the time and it's mostly self taught. We can't give ourselves certificates, however so I'm not sure whether, once registered, I could show enough progress to keep it up year on year. As a sole tech, It is hard to argue for being let out for a day. My school doesn't seem to see any need for support staff CPD. Even T.A.s are only graciously allowed to attend a few of the sessions put on here for teachers. I attend the statutory safeguarding stuff and that's it. Online courses or webinars would be great for the likes of us but I haven't spotted any for a long long time, though I do search online in my own time.
Anyone know of anything?

Although this is something I am definitely going to look in becoming I have the same view as yourself, what do I actually do year on year that counts as CPD? Will have to have a think if the school manages to pay for me.
 

Nick Mitchener

COMMITTEE
If you join as a technician, membership is (only) £45. Still painful if its coming out of your own pocket though...

I had never seen the concession rates before, and had spoken to IoP staff about the fees, nobody ever mentioned those rates.

It is actually cheaper for me to join the IoP than the ASE so I shall switch. (only works if I just use my income as a tech but I assume that is what they mean.)

thanks

http://www.iop.org/membership/rates/page_56634.html
 
Rather off topic but does being an RSciTech mean we can counter-sign passports? as we should then be considered professionals.
 
I had never seen the concession rates before, and had spoken to IoP staff about the fees, nobody ever mentioned those rates.

It is actually cheaper for me to join the IoP than the ASE so I shall switch. (only works if I just use my income as a tech but I assume that is what they mean.)

thanks

http://www.iop.org/membership/rates/page_56634.html
I just went online to join up and ticked the box for technician membership - job done, no questions asked!
 
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