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Toolkit for Personal Tutors

'I am a Personal Tutor'

At Royal Holloway, we aim to offer an excellent education that equips our students with the knowledge and skills that will help them to succeed in a competitive, global workplace. A key component of this support is our employability framework and, in order to ensure that there is a joined-up approach to employability at Royal Holloway, all colleagues need to be aware of the framework.

Our new student-facing three Es framework – Evaluate, Explore, Enact – is a College-wide initiative designed to help enable all students to move on to successful graduate careers. It implements a staged approach for students, and brings together services and support across the College to create a coherent careers achievement plan.

The framework will increase students’ engagement and understanding of how their degree is preparing them for success. A key component of this support is our Personal Tutor network.

Supporting our students' employability

  • From the next academic year 2019/20, we’ll be adding one question to the compulsory Careers Registration Survey that will ask students about the careers support provided by their Personal Tutor. We hope that students would be able to confirm that they’ve had a minimum of one short conversation per undergraduate year about their career aspirations when they are surveyed
  • To support Personal Tutors to deliver this, the Careers & Employability Service team have created online resources (see below) which focus on the ‘Evaluate. Explore. Enact’ three-stage framework
  • The team have worked with your departmental Careers Liaison Tutor to understand the employability guidance you currently provide, so these new resources – in the form of videos and hand sheets – have been designed to ‘dovetail’ with existing careers-related Personal Tutor activities in your department. 

Your toolkit

This toolkit – outlined below in the form of questions and answers, as well as resources – explains what Personal Tutors need to know about the framework and what you need to do to help prepare our students for the the modern workplace.

A separate toolkit is also available for colleagues working in Academic Departments. 



How is this relevant to my role?

  • The Careers Aspiration Framework is a College-wide initiative designed to enable all students to move on to successful graduate outcomes. It aims to implement a staged approach to careers development for students, helping students to prepare best for their aspirational careers, and to bring together services and support to create a coherent careers achievement plan
  • Personal tutors are required to discuss the framework in a careers-based Personal Tutor discussion at least once per year with their tutees
  • The improvement in student employability outcomes produced by the implementation of the framework will impact positively on our results in the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) at both institutional and subject level, National Student Survey (NSS) data, and the Graduate Destinations sections of the league tables
  • Students have a declared interest in and enthusiasm for career development while at university. They are interested in how their degree, including for example particular modules, the form of assessments, and the content of their degrees, prepare them for future success
  • As a tutor, you may well find that even outside of dedicated career discussion appointments, your tutees raise questions relating to their aspirations after university, and how they can use their time at the college to prepare
  • The resources (below) have been designed to support Personal Tutors.

Why is this useful to students?

  • Research in the 2017 Department for Education / Bank for International Settlements (BIS) report, Planning for success: Graduates' career planning and its effect on graduate outcomes, shows that ‘having a career plan upon leaving university was most important in leading graduates into employment or further study….Knowing exactly what job or career to pursue at this point or having a good idea about types of jobs or careers was most important in determining employment or further study.’
  • Therefore, encouragement to engage in career planning has a direct benefit on career outcomes and ultimately, on College and departmental standing and outcomes. 

What do I need to know/do?

  • You don’t need to be a careers expert, to give careers advice, or to know the employability strategy in detail, but it is helpful to understand the rationale behind this project. All colleagues can support the College's joined-up approach to employability
  • Our expectation is that you are aware of the framework so that when discussing employability with your tutees that you can sign post them to the online resources and centralised support from the Careers & Employability Service when required 
  • The Careers Aspiration Framework – the three Es framework  Evaluate, Explore, Enact – will increase students’ understanding and engagement of how their degree and extra-curricular experiences are preparing them for success.

You will need to...

  • Be familiar with this Careers helpsheet for Personal Tutors
  • In your Personal Tutor appointments ask students the careers-related prompt questions contained within the 'Careers Helpsheet for Personal Tutors', sign post students towards the resources (below)
  • The helpsheet and training videos are also accessible on the Careers & Employability Service Moodle course (Moodle > My Courses > Careers & Employability > Personal Tutors)
  • Know who the Careers Liaison Tutor is for your department, who will be a central point of contact with the Careers & Employability Service, and will know of central and departmental careers initiatives
  • Understand what the three Es represent for students:
  1. Evaluate
  2. Explore
  3. Enact
  • Display this poster in your department. Please only print in colour.

Your resources for developing employability skills in tutorials

  • These resources – in the form of videos and hand sheets – have been designed to ‘dovetail’ with other careers-related Personal Tutor activities.

You may need to...

  • You may wish to label departmental events or optional activities such as alumni evenings with this framework graphic, to facilitate students’ understanding of why activities might benefit them or develop their skills.
  • Whether you are organising an event with an employability focus that could be opened up to students outside of your cohort, are recruiting students for part-time or casual work or have suggestions for activities that tie into the strategy, you are encouraged to consider how you and your department can get involved
  • You can:
    1. Contact the Internal Communications team to include your termly activities and events in the 'What's on?' section on the student-facing web page. These events will be regularly promoted in social media posts and in the Careers bi-monthly newsletter to all students
    2. Contact the Careers & Employability Service team for advice on what activities you can include on the EvaluateExploreEnact pages.

What support is available to colleagues in Academic Departments?

  • The Careers & Employability Service team works with colleagues across the College to help with their careers-related activities. The Careers Liaison Tutor for your department is the central point of contact with the Careers & Employability Service, and will know of central and departmental careers initiatives
  • Find out more about the support the team provides to colleagues in Academic Departments.

Any questions?