- Background Information
- Policy Statement
- Policy Purpose
- Application of Policy
- Professional Development Opportunities
- Revisions made to this Policy
- Further Assistance
1. Background Information
Australian Catholic University is committed to a working environment which enables staff to develop their skills and effectiveness within the University, and to promote improved performance in support of university goals and priorities.
The University is committed to a culture of excellence. Professional development supports the University’s ongoing investment and development of its staff to create and maintain a culture of excellence.
2. Policy Statement
ACU will provide opportunities for Professional Staff to undertake relevant professional development consistent with the Mission and supportive of the strategic directions of the University. Professional development at ACU is informed by several frameworks that express the University’s expectations of staff. This ensures that professional development undertaken by staff in consultation with their nominated supervisor directly supports organisational success and sustainability. These frameworks include:
- ACU Strategic Plan 2015 - 2020
- Catholic Identity and Mission
- Code of Conduct for All Staff
- ACU Capability Development Framework (CDF)
- Higher Education Standards Framework
- ACU Service Principles
- ACU Staff Enterprise Agreement including provisions in relation to Performance Excellence
3. Policy Purpose
The purpose of this policy is to:
- define the responsibilities of managers and supervisors at all levels in relation to professional development (Section 5.1);
- define the role of the Human Resources Directorate in coordinating the provision of professional development opportunities (Section 5.2);
- define the responsibility of the individual staff member (Section 5.3); and,
- describe the opportunities available for staff to pursue their professional development (Section 5.4).
4. Application of Policy
This policy applies to all Professional Staff at ACU who are employed on a continuing or fixed term basis.
5.1. Responsibilities of managers and nominated supervisors
The University recognises the critical role that managers and nominated supervisors have in building capability and shaping culture to achieve organisational success. Managers and nominated supervisors, therefore, have an important role in:
- Embedding the CDF in the day to day leadership and management of staff. This is through identifying and developing individual staff and team competencies to levels of expectations and behaviours in the CDF;
- identifying the professional development needs of staff under their leadership and direction. This can be achieved by observing performance, undertaking formal and informal discussions with staff, analysing performance in relation to expectations and completing, with the staff member, the Professional Development Plan as part of the Performance Review and Planning process;
- ensuring that staff in their area of responsibility undertake any compulsory training provided by the University to meet legislative and other requirements under the Legal Requirement Training Policy;
- assessing and implementing cost-effective methods for meeting the professional development needs of staff.;
- arranging the provision of targeted organisational professional development programs which meet the needs of specific work units and staff members, especially on-the-job training;
- foreshadowing new areas of developmental need in the workplace, especially in response to change, and feeding this information into processes designed to establish organisational training needs;
- evaluating the outcomes of staff professional development and providing feedback to the staff they supervise in relation to their personal and professional development;
- ensuring equity principles are upheld in providing staff access to professional development opportunities;
- funding, where appropriate, the provision of professional development programs which cater specifically for the relevant needs of individual staff members or teams, and which do not fit within the programs offered by ACU providers of professional development;
- facilitating the transfer of, and use of skills introduced at professional development programs, by following up with staff members who attend professional development programs to assist with transfer of learning to on-the-job application;
- funding, from organisational unit budget, where appropriate, the travel and incidental costs associated with attendance of staff under their leadership and direction at an approved training program; and
- encouraging use of study support provisions so that staff may acquire relevant formal qualifications.
It is the responsibility of senior managers to consider and make appropriate arrangements, including budgetary allocation, for the support of staff professional development within their organisational unit.
5.2. Responsibilities of Human Resources Directorate
Human Resources staff are responsible for:
- developing and coordinating a Professional Development Program based on established university priorities and the ACU Strategic Plan 2015 - 2020, aligned with the core competencies of the CDF;
- the design and delivery of formal programs (in collaboration with relevant University subject matter experts) within the Professional Development Program;
- Collaborating with other ACU providers of professional development, these providers include, but not limited to the Learning and Teaching Centre, Library, Finance, Research Services, Student Administration, Information Technology and Identity and Mission;
- providing advice and guidance for managers and supervisors to identify and meet professional development needs of staff;
- facilitating the development of a university-wide induction program, that has shared responsibility with managers and supervisors at all levels;
- providing resources and expertise as available in support of on-the-job learning and development;
- providing on-line learning opportunities in support of developmental needs and assisting the University meet its obligations under the Legal Requirement Training Policy;
- coordinating the provision of formal leadership development programs;
- providing administrative support for ACU Scholarships i.e. Certificate IV in Leadership and Management, Certificate IV in Business Administration and the Emerging Leaders and Managers Program (eLAMP);
- evaluating professional development programs in consultation with staff, managers and supervisors at all levels;
- maintaining staff professional development records in the Human Resources Information System; and
- ensuring equity principles are upheld in providing staff access to professional development.
5.3. Responsibilities of Staff Members
Staff members are responsible for:
- Understanding the University’s expectations of them as to skills and capability, including the core competencies set out in the CDF;
- actively participating in the Performance Review and Planning Process as a means of identifying professional development needs for current and future roles. The identification of strategies to meet these needs is the joint responsibility of the staff member and the supervisor.
The University will endeavour to assist individual staff members to achieve their developmental goals in directions which are relevant to the work of the higher education sector and ACU in particular;
- developing and applying their knowledge and skills in the performance of their role to ensure continuous improvement and a culture of excellence. This involves actively managing their own professional and career development (See section 5.4);
6. Professional Development Opportunities
The professional development of staff is an ongoing process of potential benefit both to the University and staff. There are a number of ways in which professional development can be facilitated. These include, but are not limited to:
Coaching is a training and development intervention, conducted by a subject matter expert. It aims to improve the performance of an individual or a team so that they can be more successful and more easily accomplish their assigned tasks. Coaching most often takes place on-the-job at a time when a development need is identified, which can be addressed without the need for formal training.
Mentoring is a form of coaching in which an experienced person supports and guides a staff member’s development via ongoing guidance, counsel and example. A mentor is usually someone other than the staff member’s supervisor who agrees to enter into a mentor relationship with the staff member.
6.3 On-the-Job Training
On-the-job training is an option that is utilised to assist a staff member learn a new skill, and where attendance at a formal training course is not appropriate or available. Time needs to be planned to ensure that on-the-job training is achieved.
6.4 Off-the-Job Training Courses
Off-the-job courses are arranged to address professional development needs and supplement coaching, on-the-job learning and other forms of development. The University offers professional development programs to support manager/supervisor development and meet generic needs of staff. In addition, external staff development and training providers, conduct various courses and programs that, at times, can be accessed to meet specific learning objectives.
6.5 Special Work Assignments
The provision of ‘special’ work assignments is a practical way for a staff member to develop key skills.
6.6 Internal Transfers
Transfers to other work units within ACU can provide another avenue for staff development. Approval for transfers to other positions which provide a staff member with an opportunity to develop additional knowledge and skills which will be of benefit to the University can be supported as an additional means of development.
6.7 External Secondments
Secondments to other organisations outside ACU can also provide an avenue for staff development. The approval of the relevant Directors and/or Member of the Senior Executive is required prior to any secondment arrangement taking effect.
Attendance at conferences/seminars can provide developmental opportunities. Maintaining up-to-date knowledge of current trends, best practice and networking with external professional colleagues can be achieved through attendance at selected conferences/seminars.
The University has membership with a range of Associations where membership benefits may include free or membership prices.
6.9 Further Education
The University provides support to staff to undertake further education through the provision of study support which enables staff to have access to time off work to attend classes or exams, and with financial assistance to assist defray the costs associated with formal study programs.
6.10 Professional Development Support for Professional Staff who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
To specifically support and assist Professional Staff members who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, the University will grant an extra 50% of time release under study leave provision to support pursuit of accredited fee-based courses that are approved by, and relevant to the University.
6.11 Membership of Professional Associations
Membership and participation in the activities of professional associations provides another method of maintaining up-to-date knowledge of current trends, best practice and professional networks. Financial responsibility for such membership rests with the individual staff member.
7. Revisions made to this Policy
Major, Minor or Editorial
9 July 2018
Change wording of ACU Service Principles to “Service Excellence Framework”.
18 February 2019
Change of name for “ACU Strategic Plan 2015 – 2020” and HEW Level 9 to 10 as per ACU Staff Enterprise Agreement 2017 – 2021.
The University may make changes to this policy from time to time to improve the effectiveness of its operation. In this regard, any staff member who wishes to make any comments about the Professional Development for Professional Staff Policy may forward their suggestions to Human Resources.
8. Further Assistance
Any staff member who requires assistance in understanding this policy should first consult their nominated supervisor who is responsible for the implementation and operation of these arrangements in their work area. Should further information or advice be required staff should visit Service Central.
- Professional Development for Professional Staff Policy (Policy, PDF File, 107.2 KB)
|Policy applies to||
|Approval Authority||Vice-Chancellor And President|
|Governing Authority||Chief Operating Officer|
|Responsible Officer||Director, Human Resources|
|Date of Last Revision||15/04/2019|
|Effective Date of Last Revision||15/04/2019|
|Date of Policy Review *||15/04/2022|
* Unless otherwise indicated, this policy will still apply beyond the review date.
Page last updated: 2019-04-15
Short url: https://policies.acu.edu.au/171094