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									                     Staff Learning and Development
                              Policy and Procedures

In this document:

1     Purpose
2     Definition
3     Scope
4     Responsibilities
5     Funding
6     L&D Planning and Reporting
7     Approval for L&D activities
8     Career Development Fund

1     Purpose

1.1   This document provides guidance to staff in Student and Campus Services on
      the Directorate’s approach to staff learning and development (L&D). It covers
      both policy (the principles that govern our approach) and procedures (how
      things are organised in the Directorate).

1.2   This document should be read in conjunction with the College’s Policy on
      Staff Learning and Continuous Professional Development, available from the
      Learning Institute (

2     Definition

2.1   L&D here refers to any activity designed to add to a staff member’s
      knowledge or skills.

2.2   L&D needs include those relating to technical knowledge and skills (relevant
      for a specific job e.g. knowledge of counselling approaches, catering, using
      AV equipment) and those relating to generic knowledge and skills (relevant to
      many job roles e.g. customer service, personal effectiveness, monitoring

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3     Scope

3.1   There are four ‘levels’ of L&D:
      (1) L&D required by law or College policy (‘Mandatory L&D’). This includes
          compulsory activities in the areas of induction, health and safety, fire
          safety, food hygiene, equality and diversity, appraisals and fair recruitment
          and selection.
      (2) L&D required to bridge a gap between the level of knowledge or skills a
          staff member has currently and the level they need to deliver agreed
          operational objectives. (‘Operational L&D’).
      (3) L&D which enables a staff member to build professional knowledge or
          skills not related to agreed operational objectives (‘Career L&D’).
      (4) L&D which enables a staff member to build personal knowledge or skills
          not related to the work of the Directorate (‘Personal L&D’).

3.2   The Directorate prioritises these levels of L&D as follows:
      (1) Mandatory L&D activities.
      (2) Operational L&D activities (organised and funded as far as possible).
      (3) Career L&D activities (organised and funded from the SCS Career
          Development Fund – see section 8).
      (4) Personal L&D activities (not organised or funded by the Directorate, in line
          with the College’s policy).

3.3   Staff development can be facilitated through a wide range of L&D activities,
      not only formal training courses and qualifications. These activities include:
      360° feedback             E-learning                    Reading
      Action learning           Feedback                      Reflective learning
      Benchmarking              Job rotation                  Research
      Briefings                 Job swaps                     Role modelling
      Coaching                  Mentoring                     Secondments
      C’ttee membership         Networking groups             Shadowing
      Conferences               Observing and listening       Special interest groups
      Consulting                Policy development            Video feedback
      Delegation                Presentations                 Visits
      Development centre        Project team membership       Volunteering
      Dialogue/discussion       Psychometric tools            Workshops
      Distance learning         Questioning                   Writing reports, articles

3.4   This policy, by necessity, focuses largely on issues surrounding the provision
      of L&D activities which have a cost associated with them. Nonetheless,
      managers and staff are encouraged to engage in activities which most
      effectively address their learning needs: learning will often be achieved most
      effectively through interventions which cost little or nothing.

                                      August 2011
4     Responsibilities

4.1   Members of staff have different responsibilities in planning, delivering and
      monitoring learning and development in the Directorate:

      Individual staff members
       Identify their own L&D needs, in discussion with their line manager,
         especially during their annual appraisal
       Ensure that the relevant application procedure is followed
       Undertake mandatory and agreed L&D activities
       Keep their line manager up to date at every stage of the process
       Notify the relevant people of any changes or cancellations as early as

      Line managers
       Demonstrate a commitment to learning and development, engaging in the
         L&D process as fully as possible
       Ensure staff are aware of this policy
       Agree development objectives with staff members at their annual appraisal
       Co-ordinate their operation to enable staff to be released for L&D activities
       Follow through with the member of staff to ensure that agreed activities
         are completed and that the activities are evaluated.

      Section Heads
       Overall responsibility for the planning, delivery and evaluation of L&D in
        their service
       Budget holders for Operational L&D in their service.

      Business Services
       Organise all Mandatory L&D activities, in conjunction with line managers
        and staff
       Budget holder for Mandatory L&D.

      Head of Organisational Development
       Advises all Directorate staff on identifying L&D needs and meeting those
        needs effectively
       Works with Section Heads on planning and reviewing L&D
       Organises cross-Directorate L&D activities
       Budget holder for Career L&D
       Produces annual Directorate L&D report.

5     Funding

5.1   Budgets for Operational L&D activities are managed by each section. This
      budget is reserved for expenditure on:
       Staff participation in external training events such as courses, workshops,
         seminars and conferences
       Indirect costs related to such events (travel, accommodation, reasonable

                                      August 2011
         Learning resources for staff (books, DVDs, e-learning)
         Materials for use in internal workshops (e.g. workbooks, pens)
         Subscription to publications

5.2   The budget for Mandatory L&D activities and all associated costs is managed
      by Business Services.

5.3   The budget for Career L&D activities is managed by the Head of
      Organisational Development (see Section 8).

6     L&D Planning and Reporting

6.1   The Directorate adopts the following approach to planning and reviewing staff
      learning and development:

6.2   In March, each Section Head produces a draft budget for the following
      financial year (August to July), detailing L&D activities projected for staff in
      their section. This budget represents costs of (a) learning activities that have
      already been identified for particular individuals or groups, and (b) unallocated
      costs in anticipation of learning activities arising from the appraisal process.

6.3   Every member of staff has an appraisal meeting in April / May. Alongside
      looking at progress over the previous year and agreeing performance
      objectives for the coming year, time is devoted to agreeing development
      objectives: areas where that staff member could benefit from development.
      These development objectives should be pursued and monitored on an
      ongoing basis by the member of staff and their line manager.

6.4   By October, each Section Head produces an L&D report for the previous year
      (August to July) and a plan for the coming year (August to July). The report
       a review of the year’s activities, assessing achievement against the
          previous L&D plan and an evaluation of the effectiveness of activities
       L&D needs for staff in the section, along with proposed activities to meet
          those needs, evaluation measures, estimated costs and timescales.

6.5   Any element of the budget identified in March which is not subsequently
      linked to an identified activity in the plan will be transferred into a central
      Directorate contingency fund.

6.6   In early December, Business Services organises an awards ceremony to
      recognise the achievements of everyone who has successfully completed
      recognised courses and qualifications over the previous year.

6.7   The Head of Organisational Development and Business Services will liaise
      with sections throughout the year, providing support in the production and
      delivery of their plans and any other questions or concerns about staff
      learning and development.

                                        August 2011
6.8   L&D plans provide a framework for the year, ensuring that a systematic
      approach to learning and development is adopted. However, it is
      recognised that planned activities may cease to be appropriate (for any
      number of reasons) and that other needs may arise during the year.

7     Approval for L&D activities

7.1   Each Section operates its own system for applying for and approving learning
      activities. The only Directorate requirement is that the system is fair and
      transparent, and that it embodies the responsibilities for L&D set out in
      Section 4.1.

7.2   The following criteria will be used by Section Heads when considering
      applications for Operational L&D activities:
       Extent to which the L&D need identified affects the Directorate’s capacity
         to achieve its strategic objectives and overall purpose: to promote student
       Extent to which the L&D need identified affects the relevant section’s
         capacity to deliver against its service quality measures, as identified in the
         operational plan
       Applications which relate to items in the L&D plan and/or individual
         QMPAS appraisal will, other things being equal, be given priority over ad
         hoc applications.
       Value for money
       Availability of a less expensive or more effective L&D activity
       Extent to which approving the application would result in one individual or
         group receiving a disproportionate amount of funding
       Quality of information included in the application and any related
         discussions which provide evidence for the above

8     Career Development Fund

8.1   Whilst the Directorate seeks to prioritise mandatory and operational L&D
      activities, it also recognises the importance of activities which will provide
      professional career development for staff.

8.2   Career L&D activities are defined here as activities which enable a staff
      member to build professional knowledge or skills not related to agreed
      operational objectives i.e. not related to objectives directly linked to the
      section’s operational plan and not related to performance objectives agreed in
      the individual’s appraisal. Typically, these activities will involve studying for
      professional qualifications, but applications for other activities will also be

8.3   Note that no funding will be provided for personal L&D activities, as defined in
      section 3.

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8.4   Applications for Career Development need to be made to the Head of
      Organisational Development using the Career Development Fund application
      form (

8.5   The following parameters apply to the funding of Career L&D activities:
       Applications for funding will be accepted from August 1st each year and will
         be dealt with on a first-come, first-served basis.
       Activities will be funded up to a maximum of 50% of the total cost of the
         activity (including tuition fees, exam fees, travel, accommodation, books
         and materials but not including exam re-sits or membership of a
         professional organisation).
       Applications will only be accepted from staff in Student and Campus
         Services who are on a permanent contract and who have completed their
       Applications for activities which span more than one year will be accepted,
         but approval for one year does not guarantee funding for future years.
       In the event that the member of staff does not complete a course or leaves
         the College before completing a course, that member of staff will be liable
         to refund contributions made by the Directorate. The level of refund will be
         calculated on a pro-rata basis according to the proportion of the course
         time remaining when the member of staff discontinues and/or leaves the
       Staff members applying for funds remain eligible to apply to the College’s
         Professional Development Fund:

                                     August 2011

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