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Briefing Note 8

Part-time contract staff in the visual and performing arts

1. This briefing note gives additional guidance on whether part-time contract staff in the visual and performing arts may be included in Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) submissions. It should be read in conjunction with RAE 2/99, Guidance on Submissions.

2. Many Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) make extensive use of staff on part-time contracts in the visual and performing arts fields. Such staff are frequently practising artists and performers who contribute their professional expertise to teaching and research programmes. They are known by a variety of job titles including visiting tutors, teaching assistants and part-time lecturers. Work in these areas is most likely to fall within the remit of RAE Units of Assessment:

64Art and Design
65Communication, Cultural and Media Studies
66Drama, Dance and Performing Arts

3. RAE 2/99, paragraph 3.10 states:

Academic staff eligible to be included in Categories A, A* or B are those individuals in an HEI who are (or have been) employed under a contract of salaried employment with the HEI and whose primary employment function is (or was) teaching, research or both. Academic staff do not include casual/hourly paid staff, or individuals employed under consultancy contracts or on the basis of payment of fees for services, without a contract of employment.

In addition Paragraph 3.19 acknowledges that the eligibility of some categories of teaching assistants for inclusion is subject to a degree of discretion.

4. Many part-time staff in the visual and performing arts have contracts which are based on a number of hours teaching and/or other academic activities, with remuneration calculated on an hourly rate. Such contracts are often for a fixed term (typically one year) even if they are regularly renewed. Payment for a number of hours at an hourly rate, however, does not, in itself, determine the eligibility or non-eligibility of individuals for inclusion in RAE submissions.

5. If an individual receives payment automatically through an HEI's payroll, net of tax and national insurance contributions, during the contract (typically in monthly instalments) then they will generally qualify as having a salaried contract of employment. This applies regardless of whether the payment due is calculated on an hourly rate basis. The eligibility of such individuals for inclusion in RAE submissions will be even clearer if they enjoy similar rights to other employees such as sick pay, annual leave entitlements or pension arrangements.

6. If an individual is paid in response to a claim or invoice submitted by them they will generally be regarded as receiving payment for fees for services. Accordingly, they will usually not be eligible for inclusion in RAE submissions. This will be much clearer if the individual is paid without tax or NI deductions and/or if they do not enjoy similar rights to other employees.

7. In some cases where payment is made with tax and NI deductions but in response to a claim, an HEI may decide that the individual concerned is eligible for inclusion. This may apply, for example, where the individual is regularly re-employed on the same basis over a number of years. Individuals paid without deductions against a personal or company invoice, however, will be regarded as consultants and will not be eligible for inclusion in RAE submissions.

8. In all cases, HEI's must be consistent in their treatment of staff on the same type of contracts. If including as research active some staff on a particular type of contract, the HEI must declare all staff on that contract type in their RAE return, whether selected as research active or not.

9. For further information please contact:

The RAE team,
Northavon House,
Bristol BS16 1QD

Email: rae@hefce.ac.uk

Last updated 16 August 2000

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