National Centre Celebrates One Year Anniversary

NTDC Press Release:

The National Technician Development Centre is today proudly celebrating one year since its official opening.

Based in Sheffield, the National Technician Development Centre (NTDC) was officially opened by Lord Sainsbury one year ago today, on the 13th of February 2018.

Over the past year, the NTDC have been working with over 30 Higher Education and Research Institutions, 17 of who are now official Partners.

The expertise of the team at the National Centre has grown over the past year. It has taken on more staff, providing further expertise for the in-demand Skills Audit (TDM Toolkit), as well as increasing its number of consultants, who are now based all over the UK, from Newcastle to the South West.

The Centre team have covered the length and breadth of the UK running workshops and presenting at events, from Technician Commitment events in Belfast and the Tower of London to the Staff Development Forum Conference in Bournemouth.

The NTDC helps organisations in a variety of ways including:

  • Advising on reviews and restructuring of technical communities and technical services
  • Guidance on talent recruitment and retention
  • Activities to increase Professional Registration
  • Helping to develop technical networks
  • Delivering presentations and bespoke workshops
  • Supporting an institution’s Technician Commitment

The NTDC was set up following an investment of £1.125 million, including £546,000 from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and funding from the University of Sheffield and other partners of more than £580,000.

Image of Terry Croft, Lord Sainsbury and Sir Keith Burnett at the opening of the National Technician development Centre in 2018.

The Centre is a one-stop shop, providing HE and Research organisations with access to information, expertise and a range of research and tools (including the nationally recognised TDM Toolkit) specifically designed to support the delivery of high-quality technical services across all areas, including Arts, Science, Engineering and Medicine.

The work of highly skilled professional technicians can often be overlooked by the HE sector and the challenges of recruitment are widely known. Research by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation suggests that the UK needs 700,000 more technicians in the next decade.

The Centre is particularly pleased that there has been a flourishing of activity in relation to recognising technicians. The increasing recognition of the importance of Professional Registration and the Technician Commitment are a sign that the sector is recognising the value of its technical workforce.

Lord Sainsbury of Turville, founder and chairman of the Gatsby Charitable Foundation said:

“Championing professional registration and career development for our nation’s technicians has been a priority for my Gatsby Foundation for many years. The interest in the services provided by the NTDC is testament to the growing acknowledgement of the vital contribution of technicians in our universities.

It is most heartening to see that across the sector, so many are working towards improving visibility, recognition, career development, and sustainability for the HE technical community.”

Sir Keith Burnett, President of the Science Council and a long-standing supporter of professional technician education said:

“I would like to add my warmest congratulations to the National Technician Development Centre on an all the important work it has done in this first year to further the professional recognition of technicians upon whom so much of U.K. Science, Medicine, Industry and Innovation depend.

Technicians have for too long been unsung heroes and it is right that our institutions and the country as a whole support technician professional development and networks which strengthen the careers of individuals and the total contribution technicians make to our understanding of the world and the productivity which supports our economy.

As a scientist, I am deeply conscious that the work of my peers and of those who make up our learned societies is underpinned by technical expertise of the highest level. The National Technician Development Centre helps support and recognise that contribution.”

Terry Croft MBE, Director of the NTDC said:

“We are delighted with the work we have done in our first year of operation as the National Centre. With our expanding team of consultants and rapidly growing list of partners, we are working with HEIs and Research Institutions across the UK.

We would like to thank all our Partners and institutions that we have worked with. We would particularly like to thank the Office for Students, the University of Sheffield and Manchester Metropolitan University for their funding contributions, without which the centre would not exist.

We look forward to continuing our work in 2019 and beyond. If you think your institution could benefit from working with the National Centre, please get in touch as soon as possible because our diaries for 2019 are filling up fast.”

A full list of NTDC Partners includes: the University of Sheffield, Manchester Metropolitan University, MRC Harwell, the University of Reading, the University of York, HEaTED, the Institute of Science and Technology (IST), the University of Manchester, De Montfort University, the University of Cambridge, the University of Newcastle, Technical Managers in Universities (TMU), Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bradford, the University of Lincoln, University Bioscience Managers’ Association (UBMA) and Edinburgh Napier University.

Read the latest NTDC Newsletter Here

New TDM Report Released

Recently released, the TDM report entitled ‘Spotlight on Technicians and Technical Services in Higher Education’ covers the work of the Technical Development and Modernisation (TDM) research project that ran between 2014 – 2017.

You can read the full report on our website.


  • The National Technician Development Centre for Higher Education was set up following an investment of £1.125 million, including £546,000 from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and funding from the University of Sheffield and other partners of more than £580,000. The Office for Students (OfS) was established as the new regulator for higher education in January 2018 and began operations in April 2018. The OfS will continue to monitor the investment.
  • You can find out more information about the work of the National Technician Development Centre at their website on or contact them on