View Current

Professional Development (Academic Staff) procedure

This is the current version of this document. To view historic versions, click the link in the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure is effective from 21 June 2016.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Procedure documents the processes associated with professional development programs for Academic staff.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Procedure applies to University Academic staff.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Policy

(4) This Procedure is pursuant to the Staff Development policy.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Procedure

(5) Staff members may participate in a range of professional development programs, as specified on the Human Resources Division (HRD) (Staff Development) website. Further opportunities are set out below.


(6) Heads of School/Department or Directors of an Institute will assign a mentor to each new Academic staff member within one month of the staff member's appointment, to assist the new staff member to achieve their probation goals (see Probation (Academic Staff) procedure).

(7) Heads of School/Departments or Directors of an Institute are also encouraged to assign a mentor to assist and guide an Academic staff where the staff member:

  1. is returning from a period of extended leave, such as parental leave;
  2. is appointed or promoted to a more senior or substantially different position where new objectives and expectations will apply; or
  3. where the staff member and/or manager identify, as part of the DeakinAchieve Performance and Development Program conversation that assigning a mentor could be beneficial.

(8) A mentor will normally be an Academic staff member in the same discipline area as the staff member, or a related discipline, and of the same or higher academic rank as the staff member. In some cases, a mentoring group may be used. Except when the staff member is on probation, the staff member's views should be sought by the Head of School/Department or Director of an Institute on the proposed mentoring arrangement.

(9) Academic staff may also self-nominate and participate in the Early Career Research Program (ECR). The ECR Program is aimed at Academic staff in the early stages of their research careers. The ECR Program supports the development of individual research programs and encourages research careers in the disciplines supported by the University.

(10) A six month Mentoring Partnership Program (MPP) facilitated by the Human Resources Division is also available to all continuing staff members. The MPP program is designed to support Deakin's LIVE the future strategic plan by facilitating mentoring and networking opportunities to support staff in their professional development.

Research Conference attendance

(11) Academic staff members may apply to attend research conferences within Australia and overseas which are relevant to their employment and align with their Faculty, Institute or individual performance plans. The process and criteria for applying to attend a conference is set out in the Research Conference Attendance (Academic Staff) procedure.


(12) Staff members on continuing or fixed-term (three years or more) appointments may request a secondment to another area within the University, or to another organisation, as specified in the Secondment, Transfers and Job Rotation Guidelines.

(13) A request for a secondment will require written approval from the head of the staff member's organisational unit.

(14) For a secondment outside the University, where the University continues to pay the staff member and the staff member has worked in another country for a continuous period of six (6) months or more, the head of the organisational unit must advise the Executive Director, Human Resources for payroll tax purposes.

Special study leave

(15) An Executive Dean or Head of School leaving their position to resume an academic role at the University, may apply for special study leave (of up to two semesters) to enhance their discipline knowledge and/or undertake relevant research.

(16) To be eligible for special study leave, the staff member must have held an appointment as an Executive Dean or Head of School for at least two terms (equating to at least six years continuous service) and be in continuing employment with the University.

(17) To apply for special study leave, the staff member and their Head of School will prepare a written proposal and submit it to the Executive Director, Human Resources, who will forward it to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education for authorisation.

(18) The staff member must take approved leave immediately following the conclusion of their term as an Executive Dean or Head of School. In special circumstances, approval may be given to take the leave at a later date, provided it is within twelve (12) months of the staff member resuming their academic role.

(19) Any excess recreation leave or long service leave must be taken in conjunction with any approved special study leave. The total period of absence under this arrangement will be limited to twelve (12) months.

(20) The relevant School or Faculty will meet the cost of the special study leave.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Definitions

(21) There are no definitions arising under this Procedure.