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Staff Development Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Objectives

(1) This Policy sets out the University’s commitment to the development of its staff, the broad range of development activities available, the responsibilities of the parties involved and the funding arrangements for staff development activities.

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Section 2 - Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

(2) No entries for this document.

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Section 3 - Policy Scope/Coverage

(3) This Policy applies to all University staff.

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Section 4 - Policy Statement

(4) The University is dedicated to the pursuit of learning, but is itself required to be a "learning organisation", so that it can continually improve the provision of learning opportunities to its students. Staff development is a vital investment from which our staff and the University itself will benefit.

(5) This Policy and development activities offered under it are designed to:

  1. provide development opportunities essential for staff in induction, upgrading skills required for their current and future positions, attaining required competencies, and in personal development related to job performance;
  2. enhance the standard of performance of all staff in their current jobs;
  3. maintain and increase job satisfaction;
  4. provide support for career advancement, so that the University will retain staff who perform well and staff are prepared for possible future responsibilities in the University;
  5. improve and develop the ability of staff to initiate and respond constructively to change,;
  6. maintain and improve organisational effectiveness and efficiency; and
  7. support the University's principles of equity.

(6) All University staff have the right and responsibility to continuously improve the capabilities required for their current role, and to consider development required for their possible future role at a higher level or in another organisational unit. While staff should proactively develop their capabilities, staff development is a shared responsibility; heads of organisational units and supervisors have key responsibilities in supporting staff to identify their skills and development needs through regular feedback and the performance appraisal process, and to take up development opportunities.

(7) Discussions of the staff member’s career aspirations and creation of a development plan must occur with their supervisor as part of the annual performance appraisal process, in addition to more frequent informal conversations. Career progression cannot be guaranteed for any staff member, and it is noted that not all staff desire to move to a higher level. Some gain greater job satisfaction by seeking continuous improvement in their current role, or by moving at level to another organisational unit. Promotion occurs in accordance with the University’s policies and procedures relating to career development, increments and staff recognition, and the Recruitment, Selection and Appointment Policy.

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Section 5 - Types of Development Opportunities

(8) The University encourages staff to develop their capability through a broad range of activities, including (but not limited to) the following:

  1. attending formal training courses and seminars (such as the Staff Development Program suite of courses);
  2. on-the-job training;
  3. participation in mentoring, as a mentor or a mentee (see Mentoring Policy and Designing and Implementing a Mentoring Program Guideline);
  4. participation in action learning programs;
  5. lateral transfers and job rotation;
  6. staff interchanges or secondments;
  7. internships;
  8. conferences;
  9. Special Studies Program (see Special Studies Program Policy and Special Studies Program Procedure);
  10. study visits;
  11. inter-university visits;
  12. multi-skilling;
  13. temporary performance of higher duties;
  14. support from a coach;
  15. involvement with networks or professional associations;
  16. private study to improve skills or qualifications (see Study Assistance Scheme for Professional Staff Policy and Study Assistance Scheme for Professional Staff Procedure); and
  17. participation in professional development activities relating to teaching, learning and research (for academic staff).
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Section 6 - Responsibility for Staff Development

University Staff Development Committee

(9) Responsibility for the development of this Policy and a program of formal development activities for the University rests with the University Staff Development Committee, which advises the Vice-Chancellor. The Terms of Reference for the Committee and information on the Staff Development Program that it oversees each year are contained in Staff Development Guideline.

Heads of Organisational Units

(10) Heads of Organisational Units bear the primary responsibility for implementing this Policy by ensuring that staff are engaged in the performance appraisal process and are given access to relevant development opportunities.


(11) Supervisors play a key role in staff development by assisting staff to identify their strengths and development needs, offering regular feedback, and by providing encouragement and the time to participate in development opportunities, and to reflect on, share and apply what they learn as part of their work.


(12) The effectiveness of any staff development activity depends on the active and purposeful participation of the individuals involved. Staff have a clear responsibility to identify their strengths and development needs, seek feedback, and develop their skills to enhance performance in their current position and adapt to changes in their work, and to be ready to assume further responsibilities.

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Section 7 - Equity

(13) Staff development activities must be accessible on an equitable basis, must promote the principles of equity, and must reinforce the aims and objectives of the University's Equity and Diversity Plan. Where appropriate, courses must accommodate any specific needs of employment-disadvantaged groups. Courses must build understanding of equity issues relevant to the topic.

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Section 8 - Funding

(14) While many effective development activities do not require specific funding (e.g., mentoring, on-the-job training), organisational units must allocate funding for formal staff development from the funds under their control.

(15) In addition, the University Staff Development Committee proposes an annual budget for University-wide staff development activities and deploy it appropriately when allocated, including funding the annual Staff Development Program suite of courses.