Professional Development (General Staff) Procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure was approved by the Vice-Chancellor on 19 June 2016.

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

Section 2 - Purpose

(3) To outline Deakin's professional development offerings for general staff and provide details of the eligibility criteria and approval process for supporting these offerings.

Section 3 - Scope

(4) This procedure applies to all general staff, excluding casuals.

Section 4 - Policy

(5) Refer to the Staff Development Policy.

Section 5 - Procedure

(6) There are a number of professional development opportunities available to general staff at Deakin. Supervisors and staff members are encouraged to discuss these opportunities as part of their Performance Planning and Review discussions.

Study support

(7) Staff members on continuing or fixed-term appointments of more than twelve months are eligible to apply for study support where the study is relevant to the staff member's work. Further information about eligibility criteria is available on the Human Resources Division Study Support website.

(8) Applications are subject to the written approval of the Head of the Organisational Unit who will determine the type and level of support to be provided.

(9) To support and encourage the health and wellbeing of staff undertaking work and study, Deakin recommends that staff complete no more than one unit/subject per semester/trimester to ensure the staff member can effectively balance work expectations and study loads. Accordingly, study support is capped at one unit/subject per trimester for Deakin courses, and one unit/subject per semester for courses at external institutions, where the same study option is not available at Deakin.

(10) Staff may opt to undertake further units/subjects within the same semester/trimester, but study support will be limited to only one applicable unit/subject.

(11) The Supervisor's Assessment Tool in the Study Support form is to be used be as a guide for determining the appropriate level of study support to be granted. Study support can include:

  1. unpaid leave and/or provision of flexible working arrangements to meet the need for travelling time
  2. up to four (4) hours per week paid leave during normal working hours (and a day for examinations)
  3. reimbursement of course fees are at the head of the organisational area's discretion according to a sliding scale percentage up to a yearly maximum amount (see Business Expenses Reimbursement Procedure).

(12) Study support is granted from the organisational area's budget and will be at the discretion of the head of the organisational area.

(13) Managers must ensure that the organisational area can maintain operations during staff absences for study. Study support will not normally be granted if it necessitates the employment of replacement staff, paid overtime or time off in lieu of overtime.

(14) At the end of each teaching period staff members must provide their managers with a statement of their results and original receipts for fees paid in order to be reimbursed. Where a staff member's progress is unsatisfactory, study support will not be continued.

(15) Staff members must submit an application for study support each year.


(16) 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. Further details are outlined in the Secondments, Transfers and Job Rotations Guidelines.

(17) A request for a secondment will require written approval from the Head of the staff member's Organisational Area.

(18) 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 Division for payroll tax purposes.

Conference attendance

(19) General staff members on a continuing or fixed term (more than 12 months) appointment may, following discussions and with the support of their supervisor, make a written request to the Head of their Organisational Unit to attend a work related conference. Where possible, staff and supervisors are encouraged to discuss conference attendance as part of their Performance Planning and Review discussions (Refer Performance Planning and Review procedure).

(20) Conference attendance is capped at 5 working days per annum for general staff, unless further leave is requested by the staff member and their supervisor and this is approved by the member of the Executive responsible for their work area.

(21) Where conference attendance is approved by the Head of their Organisational Unit or a member of the Executive, the staff member must enter the conference attendance leave dates (including any approved travel dates) into DeakinPeople prior to the commencement of the conference.

(22) During their attendance at the conference, including travel to and from, general staff members must comply and behave in accordance with all University policies and procedures including the University's Code of Conduct.

(23) As part of the approval process, the Head of the Organisational Unit or member of the Executive will advise the staff member whether they are required to prepare a specific report or presentation to their work area following their attendance at the conference. In the absence of a specific report or presentation being required, it is still the staff member's responsibility to ensure that knowledge gained through a professional development activity is applied, communicated and shared with their supervisor and/or colleagues

Mentoring partnership program

(24) A Mentoring Partnership Program (MPP) is available to all fixed term and continuing staff members. Further details, including the application process, are available on the MPP website.

(25) Managers must provide reasonable support for staff to participate in the MPP, and are encouraged to participate as mentors.

Vice- Chancellor's Professional Development Awards

(26) Staff members may apply for a Vice-Chancellor's Professional Development Award to undertake a program that addresses development needs and/or goals identified as part of the Performance Planning and Review (PPR) process. Further details on the award are available on the VC's Award website.

Section 6 - Definitions

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