Professional Staff Career and Development Policy and Procedures


Permanent staff members and fixed term staff members with agreements of 12 months or over.


To outline the commitment the University makes to support and assist the professional development of its staff members and to enhance the University’s performance.


1. The University is committed to providing professional staff with career and professional development opportunities to support the University's stated mission and goals.

2. Development opportunities will aim to:

  • improve skills and knowledge
  • improve the quality of workplace performance
  • enhance job satisfaction
  • encourage retention

3. The development of staff members is a responsibility shared by the individual, academic heads/managers and the University.

4. Professional staff members are encouraged to improve their capabilities, prepare for career opportunities and to take responsibility for their own career development planning.

5. The University will provide development opportunities, programmes and other experiences likely to increase the staff members' capabilities to enhance their performance in their current roles and prepare them for future roles.

6. The University, through its deans/directors and academic heads/managers will encourage all professional staff to participate in such opportunities and programmes.

7. Access to staff development activities, financial support and study leave must be balanced with the operational requirements of the faculty or service division.

Related procedures

Career development

Career development has been defined as planned effort to achieve a balance between individual career needs and organisational needs:

8. Staff members are encouraged to take responsibility for their own careers by identifying skills and knowledge that will assist both within their current job and to anticipate future employment possibilities.

9. In return, the University will endeavour to provide a supportive environment in which staff members can identify their work/developmental goals and receive feedback on their performance.

Induction and orientation programmes

10. The University provides an induction and orientation programme for all new professional staff member appointees.

11. It is the responsibility of faculties and service divisions, in conjunction with the new staff member’s immediate manager to ensure induction is provided to all new staff.

12. People and Organisational Development (POD) are responsible for co-ordinating orientation for new staff members.

13. New staff members are expected to attend this within three months of commencing employment.

14. Both of these are to be the first professional development after appointment.

Access to staff development

15. All staff members are encouraged to participate in career and professional development opportunities within agreed time allowances and time-off for study.

16. A level of consistency is to be maintained both within and between different departments/sections.

17. Staff members will discuss development options with their academic head/manager and seek their support before enrolling in any course. This is consistent with professional staff conditions of employment.

18. Development options will reflect prioritised training or development needs identified by the staff member and supervisor through Tupu, the annual performance and review process or through other processes, such as induction.

19. Fair allocation of time for development will include consideration of equity. Some target group members may need additional training, development and support.

20. Academic units will make provision in their budgets for costs relating to specialist and external staff development and training needs identified and agreed in the Tupu Objective and Development Form.

21. Agreed training or development will, whenever practicable, be arranged at a time when an academic unit can best accommodate the staff member being away in the normal course of events.

Academic head/manager responsibility

21. All academic heads/managers have a responsibility to assist in the professional development of their staff members.

22. Tupu, the annual performance and review process provides them with the opportunity to assist the staff member to identify their professional development needs and to discuss how the University might assist their short and long-term development goals.

23. Academic heads/managers should not attempt to retain a staff member when doing so would go against the career and professional development interests of the individual. Academic heads/managers need to be aware of and consider the options outlined below in assisting staff members who wish to develop their careers.

Staff member responsibility

24. Staff members have the opportunity, as part of Tupu, the annual performance and review process, to plan professional development and career goals in consultation with their academic head/manager.

25. Staff members should consider their medium-term and long-term professional and career goals, and how the University might assist in achieving those goals, which could include one or more of the options outlined below.

Options for career and professional development

26. The academic head/manager will ensure staff members know how to gain further advice about career and professional development, including in relation to the options listed below:

  • People and Organisational Development (POD) in Human Resources provides a comprehensive list of training and development activities for all staff and requests for other training are always welcome
  • ASPIRE, the online Career Centre is available to professional staff to assist with their career development planning
  • other career development opportunities include:
    • mentoring
    • shadowing
    • job rotation
    • staff exchanges
    • secondments
    • coaching – peer, manager and executive
    • 360 feedback
    • scholarships and awards
    • university study
    • external programmes
    • conferences

Note - Recognition should also be given to the 70:20:10 model which highlights that 70% of learning and development comes from experience in the workplace, 20% learning and development from other people and 10% from structured courses and programmes.

360 degree feedback

27. The 360 degree feedback administration and coaching process may be offered to senior staff members, with results designed to improve individual, team and organisational performance. It is to be used for professional development and should not be used in place of or as part of performance management.

28. Following a 360-degree assessment process, there is no obligation for the participating staff member to share results with their manager or anyone else. There may however be an agreement to share objectives emerging from the development process. A summary of aggregated themes emerging from a group of 360-degree assessments, usually in the form of a report from the 360-degree assessment provider, may be supplied to managers.

Further advice

Further advice and information is available from Organisational Development (OD) or from HR managers.


The following definitions apply to this document:

Academic head means the head of the department/school/research centre/institute or other academic unit in which the staff member is employed.

Career development is the planned effort to achieve a balance between individual career needs and organisational needs.

Professional development refers to a large range of activities including:

Workplace learning – projects, day to day development activities, informal managerial feedback, coaching, job rotation

Formal activities – programmes, courses, seminars, workshops, e-learning, conferences, retreats, awards, further study leave, secondments, staff exchanges, webinars

Informal activities – informal peer review, networking, shadowing, mentoring, social media

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

University means Waipapa Taumata Rau | 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
Approval date: 2 May 2023
Review date: 2 May 2028