OCN South East Region

Passionate About Learning



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Access Subject Leader (ASL)

Introduction to the ASL role

As this is a brand-new role within the LASER Access offer, we anticipate that to some extent how the role is discharged will be developed by the post-holders during the first year in liaison with LASER Access Officers. We are aware that the payments are modest and the role is likely to suit individuals with a commitment to developing and supporting the Access Diploma for motives other than substantial financial reward!

The Access Subject Roles are:


Indicative subjects covered



English, History, Politics, Law, Education Studies, Cultural Studies

Social Sciences


Psychology, Sociology, Social Policy, Anthropology

Natural Sciences


Biology, Chemistry, Physics

Creative Arts


Art & Design, Music, Drama

Health and Social Care


Professional practice in nursing, social work, social care and related medical/social professions (e.g. counselling, osteopathy)

Engineering and Maths


Engineering, Maths, Construction

Land Based Studies

Animal Management, Horticulture, Agriculture


 We initially see the role as being one whereby each Subject Leader is responsible for leading the Subject Forum area within our revised online Access Forum which uses a forum website known as Proboards. We are reviewing whether to use this service for 2017-18 or if there is another better option. This review will be complete by the end of August so that we have a platform to use for September 2017.  We do not expect the ASL to be an expert in all the indicative subject areas within the broad subject area.

Aim and scope of the Subject Forums

The online forum will allow for:

  • Individual comments and post to be made
  • Documents to be uploaded/downloaded
  • The ‘moderation’ (i.e. monitoring the discussion with ability to remove any posts that breach the code of conduct) of each subject area by the ASL

The broad aim of the Subject Forum areas will be to get as many Access Tutors as possible signed up and actively engaged in each subject area forum and to facilitate the sharing of good practice and academic subject based discussion.

ASLs to lead each forum by such things as:

  • Posting useful/interesting links to relevant sources of information/teaching ideas that would be useful for tutors
  • Asking for examples of assignments that tutors feel work well and might of use/interest to other tutors in different centres
  • Initiating discussion on stimulating/interesting topics that others will feel worth joining in
  • Responding to individual request for further information

Overview of role: to be the subject lead for an academic subject or discipline area:

The focus of this role is to provide general subject support for colleagues teaching on Access provision within LASER recognised centres.

Terms of employment

The role is offered on an externally contracted basis with a core annual payment of £360 in recognition of the general activities that will be carried out.  Payment will be made three times per year with £120 being paid upon successful completion of the key tasks at the end of each term. The contract will be for one year.

Optional additional contracted tasks may be available for carrying out specific additional tasks as requested by LASER on a case by case basis (see ‘Optional additional paid tasks’ below).

We are hoping to provide ASLs with a LASER email address and a login to our communications system (this is subject to ongoing work on our IT & communications system). This will enable ASLs to be a named source for staff to contact and will provide access to our communications system from any type of device. No computer or other equipment will be provided so applicants should have access to their own IT equipment.

It is unlikely that any travel will be required but should this occur then LASER will pay its standard travel rates (available separately).

1.      Core roles

a)      To provide general support to tutors/lecturers teaching the subject/discipline

  • Contribute to an academic subject web /forum page providing general guidance to support an academic subject or discipline
  • To suggest links to useful websites for teaching and learning relevant to the subject
  • To field general subject related questions from staff working in LASER recognised Access providers and if it is not possible to provide an answer to refer the question to the LASER Access Team.

b)      Lead and moderate the relevant online Access Subject Forum using ProBoards (or equivalent)

  • To initiate relevant discussions within the forum and respond to the views and ideas of participants
  • To moderate their Subject Forum area; i.e. to monitor posts to ensure that they remain within the LASER guidelines for good conduct for Forum participants and to remove any posts where they fall outside the conduct rules (a named LASER officer will also be able to moderate the forum and will be available should the ASL require support and assistance). 

c)       Seek and share good practice across LASER’s Access providers by:

  •  Drawing upon the work related to fielding questions and leading the online forum to disseminate and share examples of good practice in teaching, learning and assessment
  • Contributing to LASER Access news and updates for centres

2.      Optional additional paid tasks

These will be separately paid activities with fees as set out in the current LASER quality and moderation fees (see Appendix 1 below). The provision of any such services as outlined below will be subject to the ASL’s capacity and agreement to undertake such work. There is no obligation for an ASL to undertake any of these tasks but we will approach an ASL first before seeking contributions from elsewhere.

a)      Standardisation

To act as potential support to relevant LASER Access Subject Specialist Examiners (SSEs) by

  • Reviewing and providing commentary on Subject Specialist Examiners marked assignments
  • Reviewing and providing commentary on tutor marked assignments
  • Reviewing and providing commentary on original un-marked assignments

 b)      Unit design and review

As part of LASER’s ongoing redevelopment of its Access Unit Bank we may ask you to design new units within your area of subject expertise and/or to review newly designed or existing units.

c)       Assignment design and review

As part of LASER’s ongoing redevelopment of its Access learning and support materials we may ask you to design new assignments within your area of subject expertise and/or to review newly designed or existing assignments.

Person Specification

  • Have subject expertise in at least one of the indicative subjects within the broad ASL subject area
  • Have experience of teaching and/or engaging with and understanding the needs of Access learners 
  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Be prepared to work with online services for the Access Forum (support provided)

Appendix 1

Standard LASER Fees for additional tasks (as at June 2017)

1.       Quality fees

Subject Specialist Examiner and related QA tasks



Moderation of an assignment produced by a student for a unit


Blind marking of an assignment(s) produced by a student for a single unit


 2.       Other development fees



Writing a new unit with indicative content


Writing assessment guidance for a 3-credit unit


Writing one new unit with indicative content and one complete set of assessment guidance


Producing blended learning resources for a 3-credit unit


Quality assuring a unit/per unit using standardised LASER template


Quality assuring an assignment task(s) for a single unit 






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