Autumn Update from the Openreach IRC

Autumn Update from the Openreach IRC

This update covers Learning and Development Re-organisation, Controls Model Office launch, Flex - being reviewed shortly and Winter Wellness campaign.

Learning and Development Re-organisation
Prospect met with Jayne Coulson (Openreach Learning and Development Director) In order to discuss plans to build the new centralised Learning and Development organisation. Jayne is holding a call today (Monday 17th October) to which all managers in the L&D space will be invited to attend, and details about the new structure will be shared. There is then a very tight timetable to move forward and appoint people into the newly designed roles.

The company will set out the selection process it wishes to follow on the call. A key principle is to enable Managers to apply for roles via a preference exercise. Where there is an agreed 70% match of an individual to a role and there are not more matching applicants than roles it will be a simple lift and shift for the individual into the new role without the need for an interview. In the scenario where the number of matches exceed the number of vacancies, a competency based interview will take place to determine who transfers into the role.

New roles , that do not have anyone lifting and shifting into them based on an agreed 70% match, will also be decided by interview.

In order to allow for new opportunities, and as there are some roles which are new (or substantially different to existing roles) Openreach are inviting everyone to express a preference as to which roles in the new structure they wish to be considered for. Once Openreach have that information in, they are going to undertake analysis of the preferences and this will allow for clarity on who has to interview, and who can lift and shift. Openreach have been keen to reassure the union that a fair and transparent process will be followed. As a result they have committed to us that the rationale and explanation will be available to those unsuccessful in achieving their first preference and / or who believe they should have been lifted and shifted into a role because they believe they are at least a 70% match to a role.

As part of the preference exercise, individuals will be able to set out to Openreach if they believe they are a match to any of the roles. In addition, Openreach have committed to sharing the outcome of this process with Prospect.

We have committed to giving Openreach feedback (in confidence of course) on membership reaction so would welcome any thoughts members might have at this stage.

Controls: Model Office Launch
The union has been in discussion with Openreach regarding Controls transformation, and members will have seen the business updates this week on the launch of the model office and the pilots taking place. This is still very early days and we don't yet know what the proposals are going to be. Prospect understands the rationale behind transforming Controls and we have a lot of sympathy with the rationale provided by the business. We can see the need for nation-wide consistency, an efficient service, and a better understanding between the Field and the Controls areas. Having everyone working towards a better service for the customer (and not conflicting measurements/targets) seems like an excellent idea and one we very much welcome. We've encouraged the business to invite ideas and input from all managers in Controls - not just those on the pilot. In addition, any thoughts you want to share with Prospect on this are welcome. We are aware that making efficiency gains is one of the stated aims and while we recognise the rationale behind that we would obviously want to be mindful of not cutting too thin, or simply asking members to do more with less. There are no reasons at this stage to suppose that this is a likely outcome, but Prospect will be keeping an eye on the proposals as they develop with that in mind. We'll continue to keep members updated and informed.

We updated members previously on the roll out of this new way of working within the engineering community. Openreach are now in the process of organising a review of Flex Roll-out with the Prospect Openreach IRC which will probably take place in the middle of November. In which case, could members let us know how it's going, and if there are any problems or issues you'd like your union to raise. Let us know!

Winter Wellness Campaign
Now autumn is well and truly upon us, Prospect welcomes the Openreach Winter Wellness campaign and would encourage all members to ensure they get involved with this campaign - look after yourselves and your colleagues this winter. From this week everyone is being given a hand sanitizer gel, so make sure you use it and carry it with you where possible. If you're in one of the vulnerable groups, make time for your flu jab.

Contact Us
Don't forget to keep in touch - we need your help if we're going to be as effective as possible in making a difference to your world of work. In addition, if you're working alongside colleagues who're yet to join the union, please chat to them about the benefits of membership, and how important it is to have everyone working together, getting their voice heard in the company, and supporting one another. It's your union. Join online at

Richard Braley
Kevin Brookes
Archie Glen
Geoffrey Hall
Dave Hughes
Keith Jones
Andy Joseph
Fiona Simpson
Tristan Smart
Bob Thatcher
Bill Tomlinson
David White

The work of the Openreach IRC is supported by Sarah Ward (National Officer) and Sarah Powell (National Office PA).

If you need advice at work you can always call the Prospect Helpdesk on 020 8971 6060 or e-mail