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Professional Development (Academic Staff) Procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure was approved by the Vice-Chancellor on 21 November 2008 and incorporates all amendments to 7 October 2009.

(2) This Procedure is pursuant to the Staff Development Policy.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(3) To outline the processes involved in the University's offering for professional development for academic staff.

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This procedure applies to academic staff of the University.

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Section 4 - Policy

(5) Refer to the Staff Development Policy.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(6) 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.


(7) Head of Schools, or Directors, or their nominees, will assign a mentor to each new academic staff member within one (1) month of the staff member's appointment, to assist the new staff member to achieve his or her probation goals (see Probation (Academic Staff) Procedure).

(8) A Mentoring Partnership Program (MPP) is available to all staff members as specified on the HRD (Performance Management) website.

(9) Staff members may participate in the Developing Research Leaders programs, which are coordinated by the Director, Staff Research Development, and provide mentoring and inter-faculty networking opportunities.

Overseas conference grants

(10) Staff members are eligible for an overseas conference grant where they have held a continuing or fixed-term (three years or greater), academic appointment at the University for at least twelve (12) months prior to the conference being held, and where they:

  1. are invited to present a paper at the conference, or
  2. have contributed significantly to a paper being presented at the conference, or
  3. have significant involvement in organising the conference.

(11) Staff members should apply to the head of their organisational area for a grant, which may include leave with pay and/or will cover all or part of the expenses associated with conference participation. The grant may also cover up to 80% of the least expensive return airfare from Melbourne to the conference location (see Travel Procedure).

(12) Where staff members receive external financial assistance for conference participation, the head of the organisational area will take this into account in determining what the grant will cover.

(13) If more than one staff member from a School or Institute applies for a grant to attend the same conference, each staff member must be independently contributing to the conference for a grant to be approved (e.g. in the case of a joint presentation, only one grant will be approved).

(14) A staff member will receive only one overseas conference grant per calendar year, except at the discretion of the head of the organisational area.

(15) Grant recipients must provide a report and a copy of the presented paper to the head of their organisational area within 15 days of returning to the University from the conference.

(16) Where the proposed conference leave exceeds one (1) calendar month, the Academic Study leave criteria and conditions will apply.


(17) 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 and Exchange Guidelines.

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

(19) 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 area must advise the Executive Director, Human Resources for payroll tax purposes.


(20) Staff members may apply for an exchange with an organisation within or outside Australia. Further details are specified in the Secondment and Exchange Guidelines.

(21) Staff members on exchange are managed by the host organisation, but will continue to receive their salary and other benefits from the University.

(22) The area of the University that is hosting a staff member on exchange may, at its discretion, supplement the staff member's salary or vary the employment conditions of the position.

Special study leave

(23) A Pro Vice-Chancellor/Executive Dean or Head of School leaving his or her position to resume an academic role at the University, may apply for special study leave (of up to two semesters) to enhance his or her discipline knowledge and/or undertake relevant research.

(24) To be eligible for the leave, the staff member must have held an appointment as a Pro Vice-Chancellor/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.

(25) To apply for the leave, the staff member and his or her Head of School will prepare a written proposal and submit it to the Executive Director, Human Resources, who will forward it to the Chief Operating Officer for authorisation.

(26) The staff member must take approved leave immediately following the conclusion of their term as a Pro Vice-Chancellor/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 his or her academic role.

(27) 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.

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

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Section 6 - Definitions

(29) There are no definitions arising under the procedure.