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Organisation & People Development, Human Resources Department

Last updated - July 2006

Supporting Staff Development Activities

A guide for Sponsors, Managers, Staff and Providing Faculties/Departments

The information contained in this document is intended to help achieve a fair and
consistent approach to supporting staff development. In particular, it provides
guidance on the levels of support for staff development in relation to attendance,
University funding, FE funded activities and claw-back protocol.

Within sections 4.1 - 4.5 the guide provides specific allowances for staff development,
categorised as follows

         Essential Staff Development

         Non-Essential Job related Staff Development

         Non-Job/Indirect related Staff Development

         Encouraging staff, who are not currently engaged in development activities,
          to return to learning

Guidance is also provided on common staff development activities, which includes
internally discounted staff development, conferences, NVQ provision and the Central
Staff Development activities.

Sponsorship Letters for internal and external development activities which encourage
adherence to good practice when making decisions on agreement to staff
development requests, are also contained within the guide.

Organisation & People Development, Human Resources                            Page 1

1. Foreword                                                                  3
2. The Guidelines                                                            3
3. Scope of Provision                                                        3
4.    Levels of Support                                                      4
 4.1 Presenting the Case for Staff Development                               4
 4.2    Essential Staff Development                                          5
 4.3    Non-Essential Job related Staff Development                          5
 4.4    Non-Job/Indirect related Staff Development                           5
 4.5    Employee Development Scheme.                                         5
 4.6    Scholarly Activity                                                   5
 4.7    Associated Staff Development Costs - Extended Programmes of Study    6
 4.8    Time off for Residential Courses                                     6
 4.9    Exam Leave                                                           6
 4.10 The Impact of Learning (Evaluation)                                    6
5.     Progress and Attendance                                               7
6. The Clawback Policy                                                       7
7.     University of Derby Programmes of Study                               8
8. FE Funded Programmes of Study                                             8
9. Conferences                                                               9
10.    The Central Staff Development Programme                               9
11.    Exclusive Staff Development NVQ Programmes                            9
12.    Employee Development Scheme                                          10
13.    Work Based Learning                                                  10
14.    Application Procedure for Financial Support                          11

Organisation & People Development, Human Resources                 Page 2
1.     Foreword

       The University of Derby endorses not only the development of students but
       support for continuous staff development.

       The University is committed to sustaining a highly skilled workforce through
       employees developing skills and knowledge relevant to their role and their career
       development. By ensuring local and central resources for staff development, this will
       help support the University to achieve its strategic aims and objectives.

       In line with the University’s commitment to encourage accredited learning
       opportunities, particularly those available in-house, reductions in fees will be made
       available to members of staff wishing to undertake part time programmes of studies
       where the criteria detailed within section 4 has been met.

       The University has welcomed the HEFCE Rewarding and Developing Staff and the
       DfEE Standards Fund initiatives as key drivers for enhancing the provision and
       identifying and sharing good practice.

2.     The Guidelines

       These guidelines promote equality of opportunity to University staff in terms of both
       access and the resource allocation for development activities. The guidelines provide
       for both internal University of Derby activities and wider, externally funded staff
       development opportunities.

       Training, learning and development are investments in the individual for the benefit of
       both the University and individual, and therefore need to be managed as a
       partnership. These guidelines promote two-way commitment by:

       -   ensuring employees understand their commitment when undertaking a University-
           supported staff development activity;
       -   ensuring managers understand their responsibilities when approving funding and
           resources for staff development;
       -   strengthening the evaluation process for all learning activities undertaken;
       -   enabling recovery of monies where appropriate;
       -   discussing and agreeing with academic staff appropriate scholarly activity, with
           objectives set, in line with Development and Performance Review.

3.     Scope of Provision

       These guidelines relate to all members of University staff.

       ‘Students’ who obtain employment to support their studies may not be entitled to the
       same degree of support. However, through the Review process, development needs
       will be discussed and relevant support will be determined.

       New employees who are already part way through a staff development activity when
       they join the University may be eligible for support for the remaining period of the
       activity. This will be subject to the considerations of these guidelines and whether the
       programme of continuing studies supports the achievement of the overall business

Organisation & People Development, Human Resources                              Page 3
4.     Levels of Support

       Faculties and Departments are expected to allocate a budget equal to 1% of their staff
       budget for development activity in order to maximise the benefits to both the individual
       and the organisation. This will be enhanced through the additional provision co-
       ordinated and delivered by the Central Staff Development teams.

       The demand for development often exceeds the resources available, and therefore
       criteria will need to be applied.

       Development activities that are not related, or are only partially related, to the
       employee’s current role, will not be eligible for the level of support to those
       deemed essential to the job role (see 4.2/4.3/4.4).

       Staff with additional needs must be afforded the same level of support as other
       members of staff. Therefore it is important that, as required, access to and funding
       for additional support is made available and agreed as part of the process. The
       support to be provided should be detailed within the University sponsorship letter.

       Providing adequate time as well as financial support is an important element of the
       learning agreement. However, whilst the levels of leave detailed within these
       guidelines are intended as a minimum standard, consideration will need to be given to
       operational requirements. Therefore, it may be necessary to study on an evening
       programme, or offer flexibility within the working week.

       Line Managers will determine the degree of support for internal and external provision,
       as detailed below, by considering the priority of the need against the background of
       aims and priorities declared in the Corporate Plan/Local Development Plans.
       Wherever possible, the University and its employees are encouraged to seek ways to
       obtain external sources of funding to support staff development activities.

4.1 Presenting the Case for Staff Development

       Staff requesting support for Staff Development, other than opportunities covered
       within the Employee Development Scheme, should approach their Line Manager
       expressing an interest in support. A University Sponsorship Letter is available (from
       the Organisation & People Development Website) to form the basis of a discussion
       with the Line Manager determining the level of support. The request is then
       formalised by completion of the sponsorship letter (on University paper) and signed off
       by the necessary parties.

       Please note that the process of completing a sponsorship letter prior to enrolment is
       essential for all staff wishing to embark on programmes of study. This is largely to
       ensure that invoices are not received by individuals in error.

       In normal circumstances an employee should not commence a second accredited
       programme of study until the original programme has been completed.

       At local level, the Director of the employing Faculty/Department will decide the
       degree of financial support to be provided, taking account of the following:

Organisation & People Development, Human Resources                              Page 4
4.2    Essential Staff Development

       Staff development essential to meet requirements of the post (e.g. Health and Safety
       training, PGPLT, Certificate in Education, as appropriate, for new lecturers, etc) will be
       supported by the provision of all direct financial costs and appropriate *guided learning
       hours to enable an individual to complete the necessary activities. Employees will be
       expected to complete all essential training. Should there be any dispute over
       expectations to attend essential training, then this matter should be referred to the
       Director of Faculty/Department and as a final stage, ultimately the Director of Human
       Resources for resolution.

4.3    Non-Essential Job related Staff Development

       a) Staff development that relates to the individual’s current job role, and supports
          the achievement of the University’s priorities and provides personal, professional
          development will be supported 50% financially. It is recommended in such cases
          that 50% individual time and 50% release for longer term accredited programmes
          be granted.

       b) Staff development that relates to the individual’s near future career aspirations
          and supports the achievement of the University’s priorities and provides
          personal, professional development will be supported 50% financially, with time
          release at the discretion of the Line Manager.

4.4    Non-Job/Indirect related Staff Development
       Activities that are not related, or are only indirectly related, to the employee’s
       current role should be discussed with the Line Manager. Where the staff development
       activity is to be provided by the University of Derby, then this will attract a 15%
       discount on tuition fees. Resources for external staff development activity will only to
       be made available in exceptional circumstances where all other priority needs have
       been met.

4.5    Employee Development Scheme.
       The University operates an Employee Development Scheme to help promote a
       learning environment for all staff. The scheme supports those who work out of core
       hours and who do not possess qualifications above an NVQ level 2. Financial
       assistance will be provided from the central staff development budget but the learning
       activity should be undertaken in the individual’s own time. See section 12 of these

4.6    Scholarly Activity
       Within the academic contract, there is an expectation to undertake scholarly activity,
       as agreed with the Line Manager. Whilst the nature of such activity may be carried
       out throughout the year and integrated within the overall pattern of a staff members’
       duties, it is envisaged that normally periods outside normal teaching and holidays will
       be primarily devoted to research and scholarly activity.

       The University undertakes to give such support as is reasonable in the circumstances
       in order to help individuals realise the objectives set.

Organisation & People Development, Human Resources                               Page 5
4.7    Associated Staff Development Costs - Extended Programmes of Study

       In line with the levels of support described above, financial support from the relevant
       local Faculty/Department budget for development activities can include provision for:

       a) Exam fees for first sitting, fees for re-sits will be at the discretion of the Line-
       b) Membership to professional bodies, during periods of study, which are a
          requirement of the award;
       c) Fees/expenses for attending residential programmes required as part of the
       d) Additional support, such as note-takers, interpreters etc.;
       e) Books – to a maximum of one book per module from the recommended reading
          list. The books are the property of the University and should be returned to the
          supporting Faculty/Department after completion for other members of staff to use.
       f) With the exception of single events external to the Institution, the individual
          employee will ordinarily pay for travelling expenses incurred. Where an individuals
          own car is being used and travel being claimed, then it is the individual’s
          responsibility to ensure their vehicle is insured for business use.

4.8    Time off for Residential Courses

       Any residential element should be discussed with the relevant Line Manager and time
       in lieu agreed using the 4.2/3/4 guidelines up to a maximum of 7 hours per day. Note
       that the timing of any leave should be agreed with the Line Manager.

4.9    Exam Leave

       Award bearing programmes will attract leave sufficient for the individual to participate
       in any relevant exams.

4.10   The Impact of Learning (Evaluation)

       Within the University's Staff Development Policy it states it is the responsibility of
       individual managers to evaluate the impact of learning on personal and professional
       development within their respective Faculty/Department.

       Whilst this responsibility to evaluate within the Faculty and Department will aid
       improvements on a wider scale, it is important that the learner also has individual
       ownership in evaluating and feeding back on their experience, whether this is through
       continuing professional development (CPD) or other related activities.

       The level of evaluation will be for the Line Manager and the individual to decide jointly.
       The level of evaluation will depend on the:
          a) priority given to the staff development;
          b) duration over which the activity has occurred;
          c) impact it will have on others, which may include cascade training;
          d) cost invested in the learning.

       Modes of evaluation can include reaction sheets, projects within the workplace, which
       utilise knowledge and skill developed as part of the learning or a more informal

Organisation & People Development, Human Resources                               Page 6
       As a minimum, the Line Manager and individual should have a focused discussion on
       whether the initial objectives have been met and how their learning can shape future
       behaviour/performance within the workplace.

       Evaluation of staff development should be included as part of any review of
       Faculty/Department staff development activity.

     Reference within this section is made to Guided Learning Hours. The following
     are suggested as activities, which may be classified as:
     Lectures, Workshops, Tutorials, Accessing e-learning materials. Where levels of
     study take place at Masters degree level and above, which necessitate more
     individually-led learning and development, then agreement between the individual
     and Line Manager will need to take place to determine learning objectives and
     appropriate time allowance to support their achievement.

5.     Progress and Attendance

       The following is provided as a guide:

       a) If an employee fails to: sit an examination; achieve the required attendance
          record; complete the staff development activity; or show satisfactory progress,
          he/she may be withdrawn from the activity and may be required to refund all or
          part of the funding received, except where there are extenuating circumstances.

       b) The continuation of funding may be dependent upon the receipt of satisfactory
          progress reports. The University has the right to request attendance/progress

       c) If at the end of the staff development activity the necessary standard has not been
          achieved, a review will be required with the employee and Line Manager to agree
          further action. The employee will not be expected to reimburse costs to the
          University if the non-achievement is for reasons other than those in 5a) (above).

6.     The Clawback Policy

       As staff development represents a significant investment it is important that the
       University receives a return on that investment. A general automatic clawback on staff
       development casts a negative shadow, and can discourage participation in important
       professional/employment activities, therefore clawback will only be operated in
       exceptional circumstances.

       The following guidelines should be used to determine the implementation of
       exceptional recovery of fees from staff members:

           a) Where there has been abuse of the support awarded;

           b) Support granted beyond an annual financial threshold;

Organisation & People Development, Human Resources                            Page 7
          c) In circumstances where individuals hand in their notice during or within a year
             of completing 'high cost' development then the Executive will reserve the right
             to recover all or part of the investment made by the University. High cost
             investment is suggested as £2000 or more contribution in a year (whether or
             not the staff member contributes him/herself).

          d) The scales of reimbursement of financial support through clawback are as

                  -   An employee leaves during the current programme – 50%
                  -   An employee leaves up to 12 months of the end of the programme –

       The fee recovery mechanism will take place automatically from the payroll system.
       Where the final salary amount is not able to cover the contribution a repayment
       scheme will be discussed and agreed between the organisation and the individual.

       A nominated member of Executive, in accordance with the policy, will resolve cases of
       uncertainty, dispute or appeal.

7.     University of Derby Programmes of Study

       Where the requested internal part-time programme of study or conference, open to
       external as well as internal members, supports the achievement of the university’s
       priorities and fulfils the requirements within sections 4.1/4.2/4.3, then the following
       discounts from the providing Faculty will apply:
           - University staff will benefit from a discount on fees of 50%,
           - UDSU employees will benefit from the same discount (50%),
           - University of Derby staff, undertaking non-job/indirect related Staff
                Development, or associated bodies (e.g. Associate Colleges, NOCN) will
                benefit from a 15% discount in fees. Note that this discount in fees for internal
                members of staff is not classified as a taxable benefit, in accordance with the
                guidance received from the Inland Revenue (2004/5).

          a) Note that registration and examination fees may be applicable for courses
             involving professional/statutory body recognition and will not attract a reduction
             in funding from the providing Faculty/Department.

          b) Enrolments will only be processed where individual contributions, as
             appropriate are met in full and a sponsorship letter is provided on University
             letter headed paper and signed off appropriately.

          c) The Director of Faculty/Department has the authority to ‘cap’
             recruitment/renegotiate the discount relating to their programmes where, due
             to the number of internal applicants for a particular programme, there is the
             threat of costs being pushed beyond the marginal.

8.     FE Funded Programmes of Study

       Staff attending FE programmes, which attract funding, must attend tutor-led activities
       (ie guided learning hours) within their own time. To ensure equity of support, within
       the terms of 4.2/3, a log of guided learning hours should be maintained by the learner
       and either matched or 50% time allowance made available for study time or other non-
       tutor-led activities.

Organisation & People Development, Human Resources                               Page 8
9.     Conferences
       Where a request is made to attend a conference/external event then the level of
       support will be determined, as detailed in section 4.

       Should the conference be deemed as essential staff development, then
       accommodation and travel expenses should be supported. Any other level of support
       (sections 4.2/4.3) will determine the level of financial provision made available to the
       individual in terms of conference fees, travel and accommodation.

       Any request for such staff development should be made using the University
       Sponsorship Letter and completed following the guidelines set out within sections 6
       and 14.

10.    The Central Staff Development Programme

       Organisation & People Development and the Quality Enhancement Department co-
       ordinate a Central Staff Development Programme of events. These aim to address
       organisational and common needs in a group environment by the use of internal and
       external facilitators.

       Events scheduled as part of the Central Staff Development Programme will be
       supported via the Central Staff Development Budget, with the exception of:

          a) Accredited programmes with substantial outgoings;
          b) Dedicated groups allied to one Faculty/Department.

       Where the request to attend a fee bearing event is not deemed essential then the
       level of support should be discussed and agreed with the Line Manager, taking
       guidance from section 4 of this document. In such cases a sponsor letter should be
       generated and forwarded to Organisation & People Development.

       Travel expenses incurred whilst attending a central event (including induction) should
       be met through the local budget. Therefore, these costs must be agreed with the Line
       Manager prior to attending.

       Whilst sponsorship letters are not required for free central events, individuals should
       still put forward a rationale for support to their Line Manager, in order to gain
       agreement on objectives, attendance and expectations of the programme, prior to
       reserving a place.

       Non-attendance at Central Programme events, with less than 48 hours notice, may
       initiate an internal transfer cost of up to £100, dependent on the costs incurred.

11.    Exclusive Staff Development NVQ Programmes
       Through Organisation & People Development, opportunities are available for staff to
       undertake National Vocational Qualifications up to and including level 4. Details of the
       awards available are available from Organisation & People Development.

       The cost of these programmes will be minimal and refundable upon staff successfully
       completing these awards.

Organisation & People Development, Human Resources                              Page 9
       In addition to the University enrolment procedure, staff wishing to embark on this
       programme will be required to complete an NVQ application form and undertake a
       vocational interview with an assessor to determine the scheme/level best suited to the
       candidate’s vocational competence.

12.    Employee Development Scheme

       a) The University operates an Employee Development Scheme (EDS) as a means of
          encouraging staff who, typically work out of core hours and are not currently
          engaged in development activities, to return to learning. This mechanism provides
          an award up to a maximum determined by the Head of Organisation & People
          Development per financial year for an individual to undertake a relevant
          development opportunity. The learning should be structured and have an impact
          on job performance e.g. confidence building.

       b) To receive a learning allowance an Employee Development Scheme Application
          Form should be completed and submitted to the Organisation & People
          Development by the agreed closing date.

          This scheme is intended for those who;
             i.     have had a gap in learning of 2 years or more on first application;
             ii.    do not currently have an NVQ 2 or equivalent qualification;
             iii.   work part-time/outside normal core hours of work;
             iv.    work in manual/craft occupations.

       c) Those who have previously received a learning allowance from this scheme will be
          considered according to funds available.

       d) Financial support will not be granted to individuals who have already received 2
          payments from the Employee Development Scheme fund within a 5 year period.

       e) The scheme will not support work-related activities that should be funded through
          local budgets.

13.    Work Based Learning

       It is important that consideration is given to opportunities that occur within the work
       setting to develop individuals, i.e. work shadowing, projects with a development focus,
       reading of work related journals, web-based learning, CD-ROMs. In many cases,
       because they are free and flexibly used they sometimes are not sufficiently valued.

       Where such activities are identified as a mode of study/development activity which
       bridges a gap in an individual’s knowledge or skills-base, then a discussion should
       ensue which addresses the resources and time required to allow the development to
       take place. As with other staff development, the support afforded to the request
       should be in line with those descriptors contained within section 4.

Organisation & People Development, Human Resources                            Page 10
14.    Application Procedure for Financial Support

       a) Employees wishing to apply for funding for staff development, following
          discussion, should confirm their intention by completing a University Sponsorship
          Letter as a joint process with their Line Manager.

          Prior to sign-off, and providing staff development needs have been prioritised at
          local level, a full discussion should occur to determine specific levels of support,
          responsibilities and clawback, as appropriate. This should be documented and
          agreed within the sponsorship letter. Should the staff development include more
          than one activity, each activity must be applied for separately.

       b) The sponsorship letter should be submitted at enrolment, as retrospective
          claims for discounts/support will not be honoured. Whilst Line Managers are
          advised to consider the full implications where courses of studies are carried out
          over more than one academic year, an application for support is only based on
          one academic year. Therefore a renewed application will need to be submitted for
          any additional learning activity/academic year.

       c) Employees wishing to be considered for a learning allowance through the
          Employee Development Scheme should complete and submit an Employee
          Development Scheme Application Form. Organisation & People Development will
          confirm notification that a learning allowance has been agreed in writing, and this
          should be obtained prior to taking up a development activity.

Organisation & People Development, Human Resources                             Page 11

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