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Teaching and Professional Work Function Policy - Professional Activity

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy describes the professional activity component of the Teaching and Professional work function.


(2) This Policy applies to all academic staff who are classified with a Teaching and Professional work function and have a continuing or fixed term appointment.

(3) This Policy does not apply to academic staff employed in a casual capacity.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(4) Nil.

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Section 3 - Policy

Professional Activity Work Function

(5) Charles Sturt University (the University) has three work function categories for academic staff:

  1. Teaching and Research;
  2. Teaching and Professional; and
  3. Teaching Focussed.

(6) Work functions describe the major focus of the work of an academic. They do not limit the range of academic activities that may be undertaken by the academic. Consultation on the range of activities will be undertaken during probation and performance planning and review meetings, and may vary based on employment conditions or the strategic needs of a discipline, School or Centre. The University's strategic direction informs the balance and breadth of activities undertaken by staff.

(7) The Teaching and Professional work function aligns with the University's objective to be "a globally networked university, dedicated to scholarship, research and practice and which helps to shape the future of the professions".

Parity of Status Between Work Functions

(8) The Teaching and Professional work function is equal to but different from the Teaching and Research and Teaching Focussed work functions. A staff member is accountable for his/her performance in any work function.

(9) Equivalent opportunities for recognition and reward are available for all work functions, e.g. promotions and Awards for Excellence.

(10) Equivalent opportunities for professional development are available for all work functions, e.g. Special Studies Program, seeding grants for innovation and professional development, professional conferences and fellowships.

(11) Each work function has equivalent workloads, though the mix of activities will vary with the work function, discipline area and level of classification. The default teaching load for a particular classification level is equivalent in Teaching and Research and Teaching and Professional work functions.

Classification of the Teaching and Professional Work Function

(12) The Teaching and Professional work function concentrates on teaching and professional practice. Like the Teaching and Research work function, it provides a valid way for academics to maintain currency and contribute to the development of a field. The professional practice element focuses on academic work and outcomes that have a positive value to the University in its aim to be a "University for the professions".

(13) Staff classified as Teaching and Professional normally engage in a range of professional activities such as:

  1. transferring/applying new professional knowledge to members of the profession and the broader community through publications, seminars, conferences, websites, etc;
  2. professional consultancies;
  3. engagement with or in clinical environments;
  4. developing, leading and/or evaluating continuing professional education;
  5. external professional reviews;
  6. professional practice;
  7. gaining an advanced professional qualification;
  8. maintaining professional accreditation;
  9. research with, for and about the profession and about professional practice; and
  10. contribution to the development and improvement of policy and practice through involvement in professional/industry associations, accreditation authorities, conference organisations, advisory bodies, and national or international delegations.

(14) A staff member's work function is normally identified on appointment or at the initial probationary meeting with the Head of School/supervisor to determine objectives and expectations.

(15) A staff member's work function may be changed at a probation review or performance review, or on request six months before the proposed change in function. The change may be initiated at the request of the staff member or by the Head of School/supervisor. A request between reviews will generate a full review and planning meeting.

(16) Work function decisions are normally made by consensus between the staff member and Head of School/supervisor. The Head of School's/supervisor's recommendation is submitted to the Executive Dean for consideration and approval.

(17) The period of a change in work function is normally two years, after which time the staff member returns to their previous work function. However, the period can be modified with the mutual agreement of the staff member and the Head of School/supervisor, normally with a six months' period of notice.

Dispute Resolution

(18) The workloads dispute mechanism in the Charles Sturt University Enterprise Agreement may be used where there is a dispute between a staff member and their supervisor in relation to a change of work function.

(19) The default position until a dispute is resolved is the status quo, i.e. the work function that was last approved.

Data Collection

(20) The Executive Deans responsible for notifying the Division of People and Culture of the classification or reclassification of academic staff. This will normally occur through the appointment, probation and performance review processes.

(21) The Division of People and Culture records the work functions of academic staff in the Alesco database.

Standards, Expectations and Qualifications

(22) Externally verifiable professional standing may be judged as equivalent to a Doctor of Philosophy/Professional Doctorate qualification for a Teaching and Professional position (e.g. for recruitment and promotion purposes).

(23) Professional activities are expected to contribute to the University's strategic outcomes and be of strategic benefit to the academic's discipline/School.

(24) Information about professional activity standards is contained in the Academic Staff Qualifications and Expectations Procedure.

Performance Quality

(25) Teaching and Professional staff are accountable for their individual performance across their teaching and professional activities through probation and performance review and development processes.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(26) Nil.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(27) Refer to the Teaching and Professional Work Function Guidelines - Professional Activity Workload.