About the National Technician Development Centre

The National Technician Development Centre is your centre: a one-stop shop, providing organisations and their technical communities with access to information, expertise and a range of research and tools (including the nationally recognised TDM Toolkit). These are specifically designed to support the delivery of high-quality technical services across all areas, including Creative Industries, Science, Engineering and Medicine. The National Technician Development Centre (NTDC) is self-sustaining and not-for-profit. The NTDC is run, for the benefit of, and with input from, individual institutions, the technical community and the wider sector as a whole.


The NTDC team has decades of both management and technical experience between them, giving the NTDC a unique understanding of the role of the technician and the problems facing technical services moving forward. The team consists of experts from HEFCE’s Technical Development and Modernisation project, specialists from various universities including the University of Sheffield, Manchester Metropolitan University and Newcastle University, as well as other experienced independent advisors. Find out more about our team here.


The TDM Toolkit was developed as part of the Technical Development and Modernisation project – a three year research project which ran between 2014 – 2017 at the University of Sheffield. The project, funded by HEFCE, aimed to produce some solutions to the issues affecting the technical workforce and service within the HE sector. The project worked with 18 HEIs to create the tools that make up the toolkit. The NTDC team use the TDM Toolkit and their expert knowledge to deliver a bespoke service to meet your needs.

You can find our more about the tools that make up the Toolkit here.


The NTDC supports universities, research institutions and related bodies and industries across the UK to create a sustainable future for their technical staff and services. We also support the sector through attendance at sector-wide events and conferences, delivering presentations and workshops. The NTDC is evolving as the needs of the sector and the issues affecting technical staff evolve.


The NTDC can help your organisation in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to:

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


As a not-for-profit centre, any charges we make for our services are solely to cover the additional costs of NTDC staff and their expertise. However, currently some services are on a cost-free basis. As our work with each institution is bespoke, these charges are worked out on a case by case basis. All our Partner Affiliates of the Centre receive a discount on our services. All initial consultations to discuss your needs and what we can offer are free of charge, so please do not hesitate to get in touch.


While you don’t need to be a Partner Affiliate to access our services, by joining our ever-increasing portfolio of Partner Affiliates you will receive a discount on all NTDC services, a complimentary initial meeting and follow up, exclusive NTDC updates, input on the development of future resources, as well as a welcome pack including a Certificate of Partnership and other marketing materials. Partner Affiliates will be helping to ensure the future of the Centre as we look to become self-sustaining at the end of our funding (see below for more information on how we are funded) and will influence the direction of the NTDC, which can provide evidence for your Technician Commitment. Find out more about becoming a Partner Affiliate here.


We are an independent and not for profit national centre. The NTDC was set up following an investment of £1.125 million, including £546,000 from the former HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund, and funding from the University of Sheffield and other partners of more than £580,000. The responsibility for the oversight of this project was taken on by OfS when it began operations in April 2018.  


Our Governance board is made up of the following people:

Chair: Professor Sir Keith Burnett, CBE, FRS, President of the Science Council, Trustee of the Nuffield Foundation

Professor Jonathan Seville, CEng, FIChemE, FREng, Academic Director of the Collaborative Teaching Laboratory and Professor of Chemical Engineering, The University of Birmingham
Dr Karen Henderson, PhD, CSci, Director of Technical Services, The University of Reading
Dr Tony Strike, University Secretary, Director of Strategy and Governance, The University of Sheffield
Joan Ward, FIScT, Deputy Chair Institute of Science and Technology and Trustee of the Science Council
Dr Claire Hutton, Senior Research Technician, Northern Institute for Cancer Research, The University of Newcastle
Plus co-opted members as required


You can contact us by filling out the contact form on our contact page.
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“We look forward to working with all HEIs across the sector to deliver a sustainable future for technical staff and services, which will sustain our internationally recognised teaching and research capabilities well into the 21st century.”
Terry Croft MBE, Director of the National Technician Development Centre

The National Technician Development Centre is co-funded by the Office for Students, The University of Sheffield and other partners.