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Professional Enhancement Program Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Procedure sets out the principles, conditions and application process that apply to the Professional Enhancement Program for senior and executive managers of Charles Sturt University (the University).

(2) The program enables senior and executive staff to undertake research or professional activity in areas of strategic importance to the University and/or to enhance their professional development, which normally cannot be undertaken within their duties at the University.

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Section 2 - GLOSSARY

(3) Nil.

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Section 3 - Policy

(4) Nil.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Eligibility

(5) The Professional Enhancement Program is open to senior and executive managers of Charles Sturt University from remuneration levels 1-5 who have satisfactorily completed their probationary period.

(6) Normally a Professional Experience Program would occur prior to commencing a second appointment period at the University, or to allow the senior manager a consolidation period to undertake research or professional activity, or before returning to their substantive role within the University.

(7) Eligibility to participate in the Professional Enhancement Program is subject to satisfactory performance, as determined through the performance management process.

(8) An unsuccessful applicant is eligible to re-apply in the following year.

Part B - Conditions

(9) A professional enhancement activity may be undertaken for a period of up to three months. In special circumstances, a longer period may be approved.

(10) The professional enhancement activity must align with the University's strategic goals, and enhance the senior or executive manager's performance and/or the capability of the University.

(11) An approved professional enhancement activity may be taken consecutively with another approved period of leave, namely annual leave, long service leave, or special leave with or without pay.

(12) If leave with pay is approved, then the period of professional enhancement activity will be recognised as service for the purposes of accrual of leave and salary progression.

(13) The senior or executive manager will be responsible for making any arrangements with an external organisation(s) for the purpose of his/her professional enhancement activity. These arrangements must be confirmed in writing by the external organisation(s), including details of insurance cover for workers' compensation, public liability and professional indemnity.

(14) A senior or executive manager will not make any significant changes to the approved professional enhancement activity without first obtaining written approval from his/her performance management supervisor.

(15) If, for any reason, a senior or executive manager decides to cancel the approved professional enhancement activity, then he/she will notify the performance management supervisor as soon as possible.

(16) The senior or executive manager will retain the right of return to his/her appointed position at the conclusion of the professional enhancement activity.

(17) All applicants are required to complete a written undertaking to return to the service of Charles Sturt University for a period that is not less than the duration of the professional enhancement activity.

(18) If the period of after-service is not completed due to the senior or executive manager's resignation or retirement, then the University will be reimbursed on a pro rata basis to the value of the grant provided for service not completed.

(19) Normally within one month of resuming duty, a senior or executive manager will submit a report to his/her performance management supervisor, specifying the outcomes of the professional enhancement activity.

Part C - Financial Support

(20) The funds for a professional enhancement activity will be drawn from the senior or executive manager's budget, in accordance with the amount and purposes approved by the performance management supervisor. NOTE: There is no separate budget for the Professional Enhancement Program.

(21) A senior or executive manager will, subject to normal deductions, continue to receive ordinary salary, including any increments or award determinations due.

(22) A senior or executive manager may apply for funding to cover expenses associated with the professional enhancement activity, e.g. travel, accommodation and/or overseas travel insurance. NOTE: Meal allowances do not apply.

(23) The maximum funding will be based on the following percentages of the salary base (calculated at the mid-point of remuneration level 3):

  1. 5% for the senior or executive manager; and
  2. an additional 2.5% if the senior or executive manager is accompanied by his/her spouse or partner for a continuous period of at least three weeks.

    NOTE: The term "partner" refers to a bona fide de facto relationship that meets the following conditions:
  3. the relationship is publicly known and deemed to be permanent; and
  4. the partners maintain a common household; and
  5. 1.25% for each dependent child accompanying the senior or executive manager for a continuous period of at least three weeks.

    NOTE: The term "dependent child" refers to a child under 18 years of age, who is wholly dependent on the senior or executive manager.

(24) Within two weeks of returning to duty, the senior or executive manager will submit a statement of substantiated expenses to his/her performance management supervisor and/or reimburse the University for any unused or unsubstantiated portion of the funding.

(25) If, for any reason, a professional enhancement activity has been cancelled, then the financial assistance will be repaid in full by the senior or executive manager, normally within one month of the cancellation or otherwise within a time frame that has been negotiated with the Division of Financial Services.

Part D - Application Procedure

(26) Senior and executive staff may apply for a professional enhancement activity as part of the performance management process.

(27) Applicants must lodge a written proposal, outlining the following details:

  1. a summary of the proposed professional enhancement activity, including the activities to be undertaken, organisation(s), location(s), and start/finish dates of the leave period;
  2. how the proposed professional enhancement activity aligns with the University's strategic goals;
  3. the potential benefits in terms of enhanced individual performance and organisational capability;
  4. a detailed budget specifying the financial assistance sought, e.g. travel, accommodation, and/or overseas travel insurance;
  5. names of the spouse/partner and/or dependent child(ren) accompanying the senior or executive manager;
  6. a statement by the senior or executive manager, certifying that his/her accompanying spouse/partner and/or dependent child(ren) meet the conditions outlined in clause 11 of this procedure; and
  7. an undertaking to return to Charles Sturt University after the professional enhancement activity, in accordance with the conditions outlined in Policy on the Professional Enhancement Program.

Part E - Approval Procedure

(28) The decision concerning approval of the proposal be determined by the performance management supervisor on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. potential for assisting the University to achieve the goals and/or priorities specified in strategic planning documents;
  2. potential professional development benefits for the senior or executive manager;
  3. the proposed duration of the professional enhancement activity.

(29) The performance management supervisor forwards a copy of the approved application to the Division of Human Resources for the purposes of monitoring the usage of the Professional Enhancement Program and recording statistical data in aggregate.

(30) Before commencing the professional enhancement activity, the senior or executive manager is responsible for submitting:

  1. written confirmation from any external organisation(s) about the arrangements that have been made in relation to the professional enhancement activity to his/her performance management supervisor;
  2. a written quote for each budget item requested in the application (other than salary) to his/her performance management supervisor;
  3. if required a completed Outside Professional Activity form to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Graduate Training) for approval.
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Section 5 - Guidelines

(31) Nil.