Public Engagement Professionals Network

The NCCPE's new public engagement professionals network (or PEP Network) aims to support public engagement professionals across the UK working in higher education and research to access CPD, peer support and the latest thinking on engagement.

Our training and continuing professional development (CPD) consultation showed a clear demand from those in public engagement related roles in higher education and research for more external provision of CPD, and support for a national membership network run by the NCCPE. On the basis of this we have prioritised the development of our public engagement professionals network (PEP Network).

Who's it for?

This network is aimed at public engagement professionals (or PEPs) working in professional services roles in higher education institutions (HEIs) or research institutes across the UK. Whether public engagement is formally part of their job description or not, this group face a series of common and often unique challenges in working to support the embedding of high quality public engagement within higher education institutions or research institutes. We also welcome those working in similar roles in the sector, working with HEIs, research institutes or funders to coordinate, support and facilitate public engagement.

What's the purpose?

PEPs often work in quite isolated roles in the sector, and this national network aims to conteract that by mobilising the collective experience and skills of this group and supporting their career development. It will provide access to the latest thinking and expertise about engagement policy and practice, offer opportunities for CPD and training, support members to share solutions and problems, and establish peer support mechanisms. During the first year of the network we will also work with members and other to explore options related to accrediation. We believe that membership of this network will benefit PEPs personally and professionally.

How will it work? 

The PEP network will be focused around an annual calendar of face-to-face events held across the UK regions. Each event will provide a mixture of formal CPD - tailored for members at a variety of career stages and with a variety fo roles; structured networking and skills sharing; and, a chance to hear from the NCCPE and other invited experts about the latest developments in the sector.

In between these face-to-face events we will provide an online space where you can connect with peers and catch up on the learning from any events you've missed. We will also encourage and facilitate additional local and regional meetings.

We recognise that many PEPs have limited budgets for their CPD and so we will aim to keep basic membership fees low to ensure the network is inclusive but will offer a range of different membership options.

How do I get involved?

Before we formally launch the network at the start of the 2018-19 academic year, we plan to hold a number of free PEP Network taster events across the UK between June and September for those interested in being a part of this network. These will help us to:

  • Determine other details about the format and provision of CPD 
  • Further consult on PEP priorities for the network in the short, medium and long term
  • Explore the particular skills and competencies involved in various PEP roles and map the variety of those roles across UK HEIs

We have planned the following taster events:

  • Belfast - 11th June
  • Cardiff - 19th June
  • Glasgow - 19th June (as part of the ScotPEN Annual Meeting for Public Engagement Professionals in Higher Education and Research)
  • Manchester - 10th July

Booking is now closed for our taster events.

If you'd like us to hold a taster event in your area:

Offer to host a taster event

If you can't come to any of these events but would like to express your interest in becoming a member and want to keep up to date with the latest plans:

Register your interest in the PEP Network

You can find out more about the results of our consultation in our summary brief.

For any enquiries, please contact heather.lusardi@uwe.ac.uk.