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Professional Development Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) Charles Sturt University (the University) aims to develop a culture that fosters life-long learning, builds employee capability and career self-agency. Developing a learning culture through professional development assists the University in meeting strategic objectives, attracting and retaining high-quality employees and helping them reach their full potential. The University will build employee capability by embracing the Charles Sturt University Capability Framework and Values, underpinned by our ethos of ‘Yindyamarra Winhanganha’ – the wisdom of respectfully knowing how to live well in a world worth living in. 

(2) This policy provides an overview of the professional learning and development activities and support that is available at the University and sets out the responsibilities for professional development.


(3) This policy applies to all employees, including visiting and adjunct titleholders where relevant under the Appointments Procedure - Visiting and Adjunct Appointments

(4) Each professional development program or scheme may have its own criteria which may target or preclude certain categories of employees.

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Section 2 - Policy

Professional development objectives

(5) The University supports a culture of continual professional development and life-long learning that:

  1. is aligned with the University Strategy, Capability Framework, University values and other priorities identified from time to time,
  2. is the shared responsibility of individual employees, teams, managers and the University,
  3. empowers individuals to drive their own learning and career development by building their self-efficacy and being focused and determined,
  4. provides access to a broad, flexible and relevant range of opportunities, and
  5. demonstrates capability and application of knowledge and skill within the role and the workplace.

Roles and responsibilities

(6) The heads of organisational units/budget centres (e.g. faculties, divisions or offices) have overarching responsibility for:

  1. developing a capable workforce within their organisational units to deliver desired outcomes under the University Strategy, and
  2. providing their employees with opportunities for experiential (on-the-job) learning and development using the 70:20:10 model of learning.

(7) The Division of People and Culture develops and reviews the Capability Framework to ensure alignment and consistency with the University Strategy, values and organisational objectives, and is responsible for staff reward and recognition programs generally.

(8) The Division of Learning and Teaching is responsible for the oversight and development of teaching capabilities, scholarly activity and teaching excellence reward and recognition programs.

(9) The Office of Research Services and Graduate Studies is responsible for the oversight and development of research capabilities, including development for research supervisors. 

(10) All areas within the University may provide expert advice and/or deliver staff development activities to supplement organisational units’ employee development strategies.

(11) Managers and supervisors are responsible for:

  1. ensuring access to, and the provision of, relevant professional development in the workplace to enable the implementation of strategic and operational plans for their organisational unit,
  2. ensuring their direct reports have completed all necessary inductions and mandatory training,
  3. conducting Employee Development and Review Scheme conversations,
  4. ensuring that academic employees involved in teaching or research supervision engage in ongoing scholarly activity or retain their research-active status as required in the Academic Staff Qualifications and Expectations Procedure,
  5. monitoring workloads and ensuring that time is available for professional development,
  6. encouraging career development and ensuring development goals are set,
  7. providing support, encouragement and input to enable the employee to reach their goals, and
  8. reviewing employee progress and providing feedback.

(12) Individual employees are responsible for:

  1. undertaking regular professional development to increase job skills, maintain currency of skills and knowledge and/or meet the changing needs of the organisational unit and the University,
  2. completing all mandatory and compliance training identified for their role,
  3. engaging in ongoing scholarly, research and/or professional activity as relevant for their role,
  4. using self-reflection to identify competency gaps,
  5. working with their manager to set development goals,
  6. making time for professional development in consultation with their managers and supervisors,
  7. proactively researching and undertaking professional development, and
  8. seeking out and responding to feedback.

Professional development schemes

(13) The University has established a range of centrally coordinated professional development schemes which include (but are not limited to):

  1. induction and orientation,
  2. mandatory compliance training,
  3. Employee Development and Review Scheme (for academic and professional/general employees) and annual performance reviews (for senior and executive leaders),
  4. leadership development programs,
  5. provision of face-to-face and external online professional development programs and activities,
  6. targeted schemes to support First Nations employees,
  7. mentoring and coaching,
  8. communities of practice and opportunities for connections,
  9. reward and recognition strategies, 
  10. study leave,
  11. scholarships and fee support, and
  12. secondment opportunities.

(14) Organisational units may also support professional development opportunities that meet the needs of the unit and its employees. These programs will be:

  1. coordinated, funded and/or resourced by the organisational unit, and
  2. subject to any eligibility and approval requirements of the organisational unit.

(15) Information about centrally coordinated professional development schemes and programs will be promoted on the:

  1. Division of People and Culture professional development website
  2. Division of Learning and Teaching professional development website
  3. Office of Research Services and Graduate Studies professional development website and/or
  4. communicated by the organisational unit(s) coordinating the scheme or program.

Eligibility and approval

(16) Eligibility and approval processes for professional development opportunities will be:

  1. for schemes or programs coordinated centrally, set out in any procedures or supporting information for the scheme, or
  2. for activities coordinated by and for an organisational unit, in accordance with any local processes and at the discretion of the head of the organisational unit or relevant budget centre manager.

(17) Casual employees will be paid for completing mandatory professional development, in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement.

(18) Where approval from the organisational unit is required for an employee to participate in professional development activities, the manager or supervisor approving the activity should consider whether:

  1. the activity relates to the employee’s professional development plan,
  2. the activity aligns with the organisational unit’s priorities, the capability framework and values,
  3. the activity benefits the employee and/or the University,
  4. workloads (both of the employee and the organisational unit) allow participation or attendance, and
  5. approval or non-approval is consistent with the Equal Opportunity Policy
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Section 3 - Procedures

(19) The following procedures support this policy:

  1. Professional Development Procedure - Academic Employee Schemes
  2. Professional Development Procedure - First Nations Employee Schemes
  3. Professional Development Procedure - Professional/General Employee Schemes
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Section 4 - Guidelines and other resources

(20) Conditions or information about other professional development opportunities may be posted to the:

  1. Division of People and Culture professional development website
  2. Division of Learning and Teaching professional development website
  3. Office of Research Services and Graduate Studies professional development website and/or
  4. elsewhere as relevant.
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Section 5 - Glossary

(21) For the purpose of this policy:

  1. 70:20:10 model – means the model for professional learning development adopted by Charles Sturt University, based on the principle that 70% of learning comes from experience, experimentation and reflection, 20% of learning derives from working with others and 10% of learning comes from formal intervention and planned learning solutions.
  2. Professional development – means activities undertaken by employees that develop skills and capabilities that contribute to their current work or future roles and career objectives.
  3. Delegated officer – means a person as set out in Delegation Schedule B - People and Culture of the Delegations and Authorisations Policy.