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  1. The University aims to train and develop all its staff. It sees the achievement of this is through providing accessible, high quality development opportunities in education, learning and research. The quality and commitment of the University’s staff are fundamental to achieving its vision and strategy; the University aims to foster a professional approach in all our staff and to encourage their contribution as team members of the University.
  2. The development of all University staff is integral to the pursuit of quality, effectiveness and success. The University seeks to maximise individual contribution at all levels by providing appropriate opportunities for personal and professional development.


  1. “Staff Development” is the acquisition and development of skills and knowledge through a planned and deliberate learning process in order to improve personal and organisational effectiveness. More broadly, staff development also includes other personal development activities and opportunistic learning which will enhance the individual’s contribution in the work context.
  2. The staff development process encompasses:
    • the identification of individual staff development needs
    • the design of individual development plans
    • the provision of appropriate development activities within the Schools/Services and University wide
    • access to development outside the University, all set in the context of School/Services and University development.

Scope of the Policy

  1. All individuals contribute to achieving the organisation’s objectives. Since individuals and their roles vary, staff development activities will vary too. The University will seek to make appropriate development opportunities available for all staff, and will ensure this policy statement applies to all staff groups within the University.
  2. Although the wider development needs of the University take precedence, the University also aims to support those development activities which are relevant to individuals in the context of their work and future careers. Thus the personal and professional needs of staff will be considered and supported where possible.

Responsibility for Staff Development

  1. The Vice Chancellor has overarching responsibility for policy implementation and promoting the development of all staff. Individual staff, however, should expect to take ownership of their own development and are actively encouraged to do so.
  2. Deans of School and Heads of Professional Services are responsible through the University planning process for formulating and implementing an annual plan for their School or Services. Staff development plans and priorities should be part of this plan. Individual development needs, which arise from structured staff development and review meetings, are taken into account in this context.
  3. Staff with managerial responsibility for others will be expected to give active support to staff to help them identify their training needs. Managers should also establish appropriate mechanisms for meeting these needs and review with the individual the success of any development process.
  4. The Learning and Teaching Committee and the Human Resources Department each have particular University-wide responsibilities in respect of staff development which are summarised below. In addition, Schools and Services, including Computing Services, the Centre for Learning and Teaching Development (CLTD) and Research and Enterprise, make a significant contribution to the provision of training and development across the University.

The Learning and Teaching Committee, as a sub committee of Academic Board will:

  • Promote School and University development for staff particularly in relation to teaching and learning;
  • Encourage the implementation of good practice across the University;
  • Maintain an overview of national teaching and learning initiatives and consider their appropriateness and implementation;
  • Offer a lead in respect of initiatives relating to staff development for teaching and learning.

The Human Resources Department will:

  • Work with the other departments responsible for staff learning and development to develop and maintain a coordinated organisational development plan;
  • Provide a programme of staff development activities for all categories of staff;
  • Offer advice, guidance and support to Schools and Services;
  • Assist in the implementation of the University’s staff development and review scheme and arrange appropriate learning and development programmes for line managers and employees;
  • Offer induction training for all staff;
  • Work with CLTD and Schools to ensure academic staff required to undertake the CPLHE or achieve Fellowship of the HEA through the accredited CPD scheme engage with development opportunities and achieve accreditation within agreed timescales;
  • Provide learning and development that supports the University’s Equality Policy and Health and Safety Policy and professional support for action under associated procedures and guidelines, such as those dealing with Harassment;
  • Provide learning and development for staff involved in recruitment and selection;
  • Monitor and keep under review the learning and development programmes provided by the University;
  • Continue actively to support staff development programmes that support the University in achieving its strategic objectives;
  • Support Professional Services and Schools as appropriate in designing, delivering or sourcing specialist learning and development;
  • Operate as a “clearing house” for information about learning and development opportunities.

Identification of Development Needs

The staff development and review process and its relationship to development plans

  1. Staff development and review is a fundamental part of the staff development process. It encourages the systematic identification of staff development needs by providing an opportunity for individuals to discuss their performance and development and to discuss and agree an individual development plan with their line managers. These plans contribute towards the formulation of School/Service and University-wide central development programmes.
  2. The staff development and review process does not replace the need for discussions between formal review meetings about performance and staff development needs that may arise. Both the line manager and employee are responsible for ensuring that development plans are implemented and that they remain relevant by means of regular review.
  3. University and School strategic and operational plans will lead to appropriate learning and development programmes being implemented. The development needs of each member of staff will be considered in the light of these plans.


  1. Funding for individual staff development activities for academic staff is held by the individual Schools. Deans of School will determine how resources can be prioritised effectively to meet the needs of the School and the individual. Funds that are allocated for that purpose will be identified in annual School budgets.
  2. Funding to support staff development for professional services staff is held by Human Resources which also holds the budget for central development activities informed by the University strategy and job-related professional qualifications, excluding the Certificate of Professional Learning in Higher Education (CPLHE) or Masters in Professional Practice in Higher Education (MAPPHE) which are delivered by the CLTD.
  3. Personal development may be achieved in a number of ways, some of which may be less resource demanding than others e.g. action learning sets, e-learning, flexible learning materials, networking etc, When development needs are identified, consideration should be given to the appropriate mechanisms for meeting needs. It is also important to recognise that the development of staff can provide an important means of responding to increasing work pressures and that opportunities for development often arise as a natural part of work.

Equality of Opportunity

  1. This Staff Development Policy and its implementation will be consistent with the aims and objectives expressed in the University’s Equality policy statement.
  2. School and Services annual planning reviews will consider staff development activities in relation to equal opportunities.
  3. The University recognises the role that learning and development can play in relation to achieving equal opportunities through positive action aimed at particular individuals or groups and will seek to support this wherever possible.

Links to Other Policies

  1. This policy statement provides the general framework for staff development within the University. It therefore encompasses other staff development policies such as that relating to teaching and learning.

Monitoring and Evaluation

  1. The University is committed to the evaluation of its learning and development programmes.
  2. Deans of School and Heads of Professional Services are responsible for ensuring they monitor the effectiveness of all staff development activities in their areas through de-briefs with staff as appropriate and periodic reviews of the learning and development plans drawn up in the staff development and review process.
  3. Human Resources will provide regular reports to Deans of Schools and Heads of Professional Services on L&D activity in their area.
  4. Deans of Schools and Heads of Professional Services will be required to provide information annually on the effectiveness of the staff development that has taken place. This will be collated and presented to Policy Advisory Group as part of the People Metric report.

Applications and Funding Procedure

Application for Staff Development

  1. Unless specified, these procedures apply to all groups of staff employed by the University.
  2. For all staff development activities that an individual wishes to undertake, they must apply for funding/leave of absence via the “Application for Learning and Development” form, available on the Human Resources web-pages.
  3. The application must be fully completed and countersigned by the line manager. Where the funding is held by the School as described in Resources above, then the line manager can authorise the L&D. A copy of all training requests that are authorised in these circumstances must be sent to Human Resources for inclusion in the individual's training record. All administration for attendance at the event is the responsibility of the individual employee.
  4. Where funding is held centrally by Human Resources as per 6.2, the line manager can countersign the form and it is then passed to Human Resources for authorisation. If agreed, the Human Resources Department will handle all associated administration for the booking of the event.
  5. Decisions on whether the development event is supported will depend on a variety of factors:
    • Appropriateness of development activity in line with the requirement of the post;
    • Availability of funding and the cost of the development activity;
    • Availability of staff to ensure suitable cover whilst the employee attends the development event;
    • Anticipated benefits from attendance at the training event for the University and the individual, in that order.


  1. Funding for professional updating, seminars, conferences, workshops and development relating directly to the individualís responsibilities are paid in full by the University. This includes any qualifications that are required to progress through the Pay Framework as part of a Career Path i.e. CPLHE, CIMA & CIPD. Applications for funding are made as detailed above in points 1 and 2 under the heading Resources.
  2. Funding for academic and professional qualifications, if applicable for the development of the job and the individual, may be met at a cost of 50% of the fees due. This includes Degree and Masters programmes and Doctorates as well as any relevant professional qualifications e.g. PGCE, AAT.
  3. Where the Masters programme or Doctorate is delivered by Bath Spa University, the individual may apply for a 75% discount using the Application for L&D form (50% from the School budget and 25% from HR). Once this has been signed off by the Dean of School, the completed application form should be sent to the HR Department.
  4. Where the Masters programme or Doctorate is delivered by another HEI, the individaul may apply for a contribution of 50% towards their fees using the Application for L&D form. The completed application form should be sent to the HR Department.

Expenses and Time

  1. Expenses for attendance for professional updating are paid in accordance with current agreed expenses and travel payments. These will be borne by the School or professionl services department and not by HR.
  2. Expenses for ongoing academic or professional qualifications are paid as follows:
    • Essential study material i.e. text books will be funded up to £40 per annum;
    • Exams fees will be paid in full for first attempts. Resits will be paid at 50%.
  3. Time will be given for the following, if during the standard working day:
    • Attendance for the course of study,
    • Study leave for exams, or written assessments, at a rate of a day and half per exam or assessment paper up to a maximum of one week per annum;
    • Time off to sit the exam.
  4. Funds or time will not be provided for the following:
    • Travel expenses for costs incurred attending regular classes connected with academic or professional qualifications;
    • Time for residential courses connected with professional or academic qualification;
    • Stationery, pens, postage, telephone calls, newspapers, professional journals, library subscriptions, membership subscriptions of professional associations etc;
    • Cost of childcare.
  5. Part time staff attending staff development events that fall outside of their contracted hours, but within the standard working day, will be allowed time off in lieu.
  6. Part time hourly paid lecturers attending staff development outside of their contracted hours can claim an attendance rate, based on their basic hourly rate, up to a maximum of 5 hours.
  7. In exceptional circumstances, employees can request unpaid time off for training under the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 (on the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) website). To be eligible, employees must have been continuously employed for at least 26 weeks, and show that the training will help them to be more productive and effective at work, and help the University improve productivity and organisational performance. Employees will be permitted to make one request in any 12-month period.
  8. Requests should be made in writing to the line manager and include the amount of time off requested. Please also copy, or send a copy to the HR Department via internal post.
  9. BSU are able to refuse requests where there is a good business reason for doing so, including where they feel that the requested training will not help.

Withdrawal/Repayment of Funds

  1. Where employees fail their exams or assessment at the first attempt, the University will support them with funding and time as detailed above. Should the employee remain unsuccessful after a second attempt or continue to make unsatisfactory progress, the University will provide no further financial support or time.
  2. If an employee leaves the University before completing the whole or a defined part of a recognised qualification, the employee may be required to repay the financial assistance given to them.
  3. If an employee voluntarily leaves within two years of completing a course of study, they may be required to repay, in full, the expenditure incurred by the University.
  4. Funding may be withdrawn by the University at any time if satisfactory progress is not being made.
  5. Any books purchased by the University related to the course must be returned to the University.