Staff Learning and Development
Policy and Procedures
In this document:
6 L&D Planning and Reporting
7 Approval for L&D activities
8 Career Development Fund
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 (www.learninginstitute.qmul.ac.uk).
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
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
(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.
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
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.
Overall responsibility for the planning, delivery and evaluation of L&D in
Budget holders for Operational L&D in their service.
Organise all Mandatory L&D activities, in conjunction with line managers
Budget holder for Mandatory L&D.
Head of Organisational Development
Advises all Directorate staff on identifying L&D needs and meeting those
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.
5.1 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
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.
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
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
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
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
8.4 Applications for Career Development need to be made to the Head of
Organisational Development using the Career Development Fund application
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
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: