Academic Staff Professional Development Policy and Procedures


All academic staff members of the University employed on a full-time or part-time basis for a period of at least one year.


This policy underlines the University’s commitment to the professional development of academic staff and details the procedures that support it.


1. The University is committed to providing its academic staff with the opportunity to become excellent teachers and leading scholars and researchers in their fields, and to developing their managerial, leadership and technical abilities.

2. Its strategies for achieving these goals include the provision of staff development programmes and high quality professional development advice and support.

3. The University will provide academic staff development and training programmes and other opportunities to assist staff members in meeting their short term needs and advancing their long term development objectives.

4. The following principles apply:

  • professional development needs will be considered whenever new technology, policies or procedures are being introduced
  • the expertise of the university's own staff will be used where appropriate, and such contributions will be recognised
  • improved performance will be recognised by the university, including in the context of continuation and promotion decision
  • appropriate professional development is to be available for all staff to support good practise:
    • orientation and induction
    • mentoring
    • training as a lecturer/tutor
    • training for academic heads; and development in academic leadership

5. Responsibility for professional development is shared between each individual and the management of the University.

Related procedures

Professional development in faculties and departments

1. Deans of faculties and academic heads are responsible for encouraging the growth of, and participation in, professional development activities.

2. It is desirable that professional development programmes both address and anticipate needs.

3. The appointment of academic leaders, for example, will be determined sufficiently far in advance for preparatory training to be possible.

4. Professional development supported by faculties and departments will be planned and provided for in annual budgets.

5. Professional development will also be related to other management processes, such as Academic Performance Reviews, Department Reviews, and teaching, course and programme evaluation processes.

6. Academic staff will normally discuss professional development opportunities with their academic head before enrolling for a course, workshop or conference.

Support available for academic practice

7. The Centre for Learning and Research in Higher Education (CLeaR) provide professional development and support for University staff in the academic aspects of their role.

8. The Academic Development Group focuses on academic development that address the scholarship of teaching and learning and supervision skills, including the mandatory courses for new-to-teaching and new-to-supervising academics.

9. The eLearning Group provides e-learning research, learning design, and web development for staff involved in courses that include elements of e-learning.

Researcher development

10. Under the auspices of the LaDDeR (Learning and Development Designed for Researchers) Group chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, a suite of seminar and group based learning offerings are provided by the Research Office.

Treaty of Waitangi and equal opportunity

11. Workshops regarding University policy and practices related to the Treaty of Waitangi, and to equal employment opportunity issues such as recruitment practices and leadership development for target groups, will be provided as appropriate by the Director, Staff Equity and POD in consultation with the Pro Vice-Chancellors Maori and EO.

Human Resources and administrative development

12. POD and HR Advisory will support professional development related to staffing policies and procedures (eg. appointment, continuation, promotion, study leave, health and safety, and conditions of service).

13. POD will support professional development in financial management and organisational development to improve procedures, structures and information systems.

Personal and professional development

14. Generic professional development will be provided by POD to address the needs of all staff. Examples may include:

  • time management
  • problem solving
  • stress management
  • communication skills
  • career planning

Leadership and management development

15. POD, the Vice-Chancellor's Office, and faculties will provide a support and development programme for leaders and managers.

Included will be:

  • University policies, structures and procedures
  • skills in applying academic
  • professional staff collective agreements
  • management and development of staff
  • planning and resource allocation

Provision of professional development opportunities

16. It is the policy of the University to provide the majority of professional development opportunities through CLeaR and POD.

17. However, academic heads have the discretion to approve and support their academic staff to attend professional development opportunities outside the University, where such courses are particularly relevant to the staff member's employment.

18. The department or faculty may meet part or all of the cost of attendance at external courses.

19. Internal providers of professional development, will continually evaluate the developmental process offered and make changes as a result of these evaluations.


The following definitions apply to this document:

Academic head covers heads of departments, schools and other teaching and research units at Level 3 in the University Organisation Structure.

Professional development comprises both formal programmes such as:

  • courses
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • conferences
  • retreat
  • research and study leave

and informal development activities such as:

  • one-to-one support
  • informal peer review
  • work assignment
  • inclusion in groups and networks


  • technical skill development to help academic staff to teach or research more effectively
  • mentoring to provide staff with advice and support and a sounding board for self-review and appraisal
  • work culture development

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part time basis.

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Owner: Director Human Resources
Content manager: Associate Director, People and Organisational Development
Approved by: Vice-Chancellor
Date approved: 8 December 2014
Review date: 1 March 2019