Policy Redesign Project

All policies and procedures are being reviewed as part of this project. This document is pending review, but remains in effect until the review is carried out.

Professional Staff Development Fund

Establishment:  Vice-Chancellor, 17 October 2014
Last Amended:  
Nature of Amendment:  
Date Last Reviewed:  
Responsible Officer: Director, Human Resources 


B15.1  The University will make available a Professional Staff Development Fund of $350,000 per annum over the life of the agreement.  The amount is not cumulative from year to year.

B15.2  The University’s current Performance Review and Development Framework provides the opportunity for employees, in collaboration with their supervisor, to identify development needs and activities in relation to their immediate role and their future career with the University.

B15.3  Access to the Professional Staff Development Fund will be based on the following criteria:

B15.3.1  approval by the employee's immediate supervisor and the appropriate manager of the School/Division;

B15.3.2  employment on a continuing or fixed term basis with twelve (12) months or more continuous service (not including casual service); and

B15.3.3  relevance to the employee’s current role and/or career advancement within the University.

Policy and Procedures

1. Purpose

The purpose of the Professional Staff Development Fund (the Fund) is to encourage and support professional staff to actively pursue their professional and career development as an integrated element of their employment with the University.

2. Scope

2.1  Flinders University is committed to the individual development of professional staff and providing opportunities for continued career development.  The Fund aims to provide assistance to professional staff to access training and development that is relevant to the individual’s current role and/or career advancement within the University.

2.2  The University provides a wide range of in-house professional development activities/courses to meet the training and development needs of professional staff.  There will, however, be occasions where it is more appropriate, or necessary, for staff to attend professional development activities/courses that are external to the University.  It is important that a review of the full range of in-house professional development activities/courses offered by the University, including the following schemes, is made before making an application to the Fund:

  • Professional Staff Conference Scheme
  • Study Tour Scheme
  • Auditing University Topics

Applications that duplicate the in-house professional development activities/courses offered by the University will not be eligible for the Fund.  However, in special circumstances, where there is not a place available in an in-house activity/course, an application for support from the Fund for a similar, externally-offered activity/course may be considered.

It is not intended that the Fund will replace existing professional development activities/courses that have been offered and funded at the local area.

2.3  The Fund is administered and coordinated through the Professional Development Unit.

3.  Who can apply?

The Fund is open to all professional staff employed on a continuing or fixed term basis with twelve (12) months or more continuous service (not including casual service).  Information about the Fund will be regularly circulated by the University.

4.  Guidelines

4.1  Support from the Fund will be limited to one successful application per staff member, per two years.  The maximum amount of funding per successful application is capped at $3,500.

4.2  The Fund may be used for professional development activities/courses such as course fees, resources required to participate in/complete an activity and related expenses, such as pre-approved travel and accommodation.

4.3  The Fund can be used in conjunction with the Study Assistance for Professional Staff scheme.

5.  Criteria for Applications for Professional Development Funding

Support from the Fund will be awarded on the following criteria:

  • Relevance to an existing or future possible career at the University, as documented through the Professional Staff Performance and Development Framework;
  • Relevance and benefit to the direction of the Faculty/Portfolio/School/Division and the University; and
  • Endorsement by the individual’s immediate supervisor and the appropriate manager of the School/Division.  

6.  How and when to apply

Applications must be received by the Professional Development Unit BEFORE the professional development activity occurs.  Applicants will be informed before the professional development activity as to whether their application was successful or not. No funding will be provided retrospectively.

Staff members should apply for assistance as early as possible as the Fund operates on a first come first served basis, until the Fund has been fully allocated.  Applications made after the funding has been fully allocated may be resubmitted at the beginning of the following calendar year.

All applications for professional staff development funds must be made using the approved form and submitted to the Professional Development Unit.

7.  Approvals

Approval for the development activity and where appropriate time release and/or financial contributions related to the proposed professional development activity must be granted from the individual’s supervisor and the appropriate manager (the approving manager should be at least one level removed from the approving supervisor).  Approval will not be unreasonably withheld.

Endorsement of the application will be granted by Director, Human Resources (or delegate) based on availability of funding and applicability of the professional development activity.

8.  Reimbursement of fees

It is the Faculty/Portfolio/School/Division responsibility to pay the fees up front for the identified activity.  Funds up to the agreed grant value will be reimbursed from the Professional Development Unit to the nominated Faculty/Portfolio/School/Division on receipt of evidence of expenditure.  It is the Faculty/Portfolio/School/Division’s responsibility to ensure that the individual has successfully attended and completed the funded activity.

9.  Evaluation

The individual is responsible for submitting a brief evaluation of the activity and confirmation of attendance to their Supervisor within 3 months of completing the activity.

The Professional Development Unit will gather feedback from successful applicants on a periodic basis.

The University Consultative Committee will be provided with a quarterly report on implementation of the Fund comprising the number of applications approved and the total amount funded.

10.  Review

This policy/procedures will be kept under review for the first 12 months of operation and amended as necessary.