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Monash HR

Staff Development Procedure - Courses and Workshops

Parent Policy

Staff Development Policy


The University is committed to providing staff with access to staff development opportunities that will enable continuous learning and career growth in line with individual aspirations and University goals. The University's goals include being recognised internationally for excellence in research and scholarship and as an excellent employer in all respects.

The University's Research Intranet provides researchers with information about a range of development opportunities to support research excellence. The Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) supports the advancing of excellence in education at Monash by providing high quality, systematic, strategic and targeted learning and teaching support.

Monash HR’s Staff Development Unit (SDU) provides a range of courses, workshops, programs and services to support organisational excellence and career development through team and individual learning. Other providers of development programs and services to support organisational excellence include the Social Justice Unit, Occupational Health and Safety, eSolutions, and the Library.

The purpose of this procedure is to describe the responsibilities of the University and staff with respect to administering and managing Staff Development courses and workshops.

This procedure applies to all academic, professional, and trades and services staff at Australian campuses.


HR Business Partner: is a key member of the Monash HR Business Partnering community and provides strategic advice, guidance and solutions that underpin key client goals, HR strategy and organisational vision to a particular client group.

Performance development process: A planning and review cycle that supports staff to develop their performance, reach their full career potential and to achieve their work goals. The process has three design principles:

  • growth, where every staff member has opportunities to develop through personal and professional activities;
  • feedback, where every staff member has regular, meaningful performance conversations with their supervisor and engages in a process of giving and receiving feedback; and
  • accountability, where every staff member has clearly identifiable and documented performance development plans and is aware of their contribution toward faculty, campus and University goals.

Staff development: Staff development refers to the institutional policies, programs and activities that facilitate and support staff in acquiring the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to undertake current and future responsibilities and roles, in ways that are consistent with the goals of the University. Staff development at Monash University includes:

  • acting at a higher level
  • career development awards and fellowships
  • coaching and mentoring
  • conferences and seminars
  • fieldwork
  • membership of committees, working parties or taskforces
  • mentoring
  • on-line training
  • on-the-job training
  • outside studies program (academic staff)
  • professional memberships, networks and associations
  • secondment
  • staff study support
  • training courses - internal and external.

Staff Development Unit (SDU): Located within the Monash HR's Centre of Expertise for Leadership and Organisational Development, SDU provides advice and support to meet learning and development needs of individuals and work units, identify skill requirements including ICT for staff roles and functions, deliver customised learning programs for work groups, provide a courses calendar, and recommendations and referrals to suitable facilitators for local development initiatives including retreats and strategic planning days.

1. Identifying development needs

Procedures for staff development are continuous and related to present and intended future performance. Discussions about staff development and applications for courses and workshops may take place at any time during employment but the most thorough review of development needs will probably take place during the performance development review.

During the review the staff member and the supervisor will discuss what learning and development is required to enable the individual to improve their performance in the current role and to prepare for anticipated future roles and work. These discussions should include consideration of:

  • the medium to long term goals of the University;
  • the present and future capability requirements of the work unit, faculty or division;
  • any probationary requirements linked to development;
  • regulatory or compliance based training needs;
  • professional accreditation requirements;
  • the current level skills, knowledge and behaviour of the individual;
  • longer term career development options (12 months to 3 year planning);
  • available staff development opportunities (internal and external);
  • applicability of development tools such as 360 feedback;
  • budgetary and resource constraints; and
  • staff access and equity issues.

In certain instances some developmental activities may be restricted to certain classifications of staff, or to specific groups of staff where particular needs have been identified. Any criteria restricting access should be made available to staff on request and have regard to the University's Equal Opportunity Policy.

The staff member should provide information concerning their reasons for seeking particular courses, workshops or other development programs prior to the performance development review so that the supervisor has a clear appreciation of the development aspirations of the staff member.

The supervisor should:

  • check prior to the review that resources related to any likely developmental needs are identified and are available for use (this will save time and avoid disappointments if agreed developmental actions are unavailable);
  • advise the staff member that any agreed development arrangements are recommendations only and that they will be reviewed by senior staff with responsibility for determining where resources should be deployed;
  • ensure that the timing of any recommended training and development will not unduly interfere with the operations of the work unit; and
  • advise their head of unit of their recommendations for staff development and the reasons underlying the recommendations.

The supervisor should ensure during discussions and deliberations that University policies concerning equal opportunity, equity and diversity are given appropriate consideration.

The head of unit should:

  • assess the applications and recommendations of the supervisors and determine development priorities;
  • ensure that where a decision is made not to proceed or to delay a recommended developmental activity provide feedback to the supervisor;
  • ensure that the timing of learning and development activities does not unduly interfere with the operations of the unit and that budget restrictions are met;
  • obtain the support of an appropriate human resources consultant from the Staff Development Unit in assessing overall training needs for the department, where required;
  • ensure alignment of staff development decisions with the unit's operational and succession plans; and
  • provide their dean or executive director with details of their proposed staff development actions, expenditures and resourcing as required.

Where the dean considers that there are reasons why a proposed staff development action should not take place, or may be delayed, this advice will be given to the head of unit, who will advise those involved of the reasons for the cancellation or postponement of the development proposals.

2. Booking into scheduled courses and workshops

Once a staff member has authorisation to attend a course or workshop, they should register for the course(s) of interest as soon as possible as course places are limited. To do this they must:

  • go to the SDU web page to find and complete the online SDU application form, and fax to Staff Development Unit on 9902 9888;
  • select one of the following payment options where a course fee is charged
    1. SAP cost centre and fund code (available from your finance officer),
    2. cheque (made out to Monash University) or
    3. invoice (if from a unit that does not use SAP);
  • ensure that their application to attend training is lodged by the course registration closing date (7 working days prior to course commencement).

SDU will send the staff member two emails in response to a course registration:

  • a 'receipt of application' email - to confirm that the application has been received and successfully lodged; and
  • a 'confirmation of registration' email - to confirm date, time, venue and so on at least one week prior to course commencement.

In the event of a course being fully subscribed, SDU will:

  • place further applicants on a waiting list and notified them of the situation; and
  • inform individuals on the waiting list if a place becomes available.

Cancellation and refunds

SDU will not give refunds to staff, unless the notification of inability to attend is given at least one week prior to course commencement and SDU is able to replace the staff member with another. Alternatively the staff member may be transferred to the next available course.

If the staff member fails to give at least one week's notification of inability to attend, all course monies will be forfeited and no transfers permitted.

3. Arranging customised learning solutions

Supervisors, heads of unit and managers of administrative units should contact SDU for:

  • advice on the range of customised learning solutions available;
  • free initial consultation;
  • quotation of fees for programs, including coaching and mentoring (charged on a cost recovery basis); and
  • referrals to suitable facilitators for local development initiatives including retreats and strategic planning days.

Supervisors, heads of unit and managers of administrative units should confirm the request for a customised learning solution by submitting a Customised Learning Solution Request Form to SDU via email

SDU will charge the work unit for customised learning solutions at an agreed rate using one of the payment options outlined in section 2 above.

4. Attending courses and workshops

Prior to attending courses and workshops, staff should check the location of the various car parking facilities at each campus using the following link:

Staff members should note that:

  • there are parking restrictions that apply across various campuses;
  • they are responsible for making their own parking arrangements;
  • they must comply with local restrictions; and
  • parking fines or infringements may be issued to vehicles that do not adhere to parking restrictions.

Staff members attending courses and workshops should not absent themselves from a course or workshop once it is commenced, except for in exceptional circumstances.

5. Evaluating courses, workshops and customised learning solutions

Staff members who attend courses and workshops are expected to complete an evaluation form and forward copies to their supervisor and the training provider.

The training providers should:

  • evaluate each course and workshop that they deliver;
  • maintain evaluation records; and
  • report evaluation outcomes to Staff Development.

SDU should:

  • use the evaluation process and records as part of an ongoing quality assurance process; and
  • implement in-depth evaluation procedures for major staff development programs to ensure that the skills and knowledge are applied competently.

In the case of customised learning solutions, SDU should:

  • work with the head of unit, supervisor or manager to identify the desired learning and development outcomes;
  • ensure that the training provider's evaluation methods are consistent with the desired learning and development outcomes; and
  • liaise with the head of unit, supervisor or manager following delivery of the customised learning solution to determine if the desired learning and development goals were achieved.

6. Recording and reporting training activities

The staff member should:

  • record all course attendances in their performance development portfolio so that their development activities and achievements are taken into account during their performance review meeting; and
  • record the details of any tertiary qualifications gained on Employee Self Service.

SDU should:

  • record all course and workshop attendances on the Monash HR Information System, SAP;
  • report course and workshop non-attendances to the supervisor of the staff member;
  • use attendance reports to help monitor and project course demand; and
  • provide course and workshop attendance reports to the Executive Director Monash HR as required.

The head of unit, dean or executive director can contact the HR Reporting team or their HR Business Partner for training reports from SAP as required.


Staff member

The staff member is responsible for:

  • actively seeking opportunities he/she may desire for personal and professional development;
  • discussing development aspirations with their performance supervisor and getting approval for specific course and workshop attendance;
  • attending all mandatory, compliance based training;
  • actively participating in courses and workshops attended;
  • actively participating in customised learning solutions arranged by their supervisor or head of unit;
  • providing feedback to the course or workshop provider using the given evaluation methodology;
  • providing adequate notice of inability to attend a course or workshop and booking into an alternative option;
  • maintaining an up-to-date portfolio of evidence to substantiate development activities; and
  • participating fully in performance development reviews.


The supervisor is responsible for:

  • ensuring that the staff member has the skills and capacities to meet current work requirements;
  • encouraging the individual to develop skills and knowledge to improve their performance and meet career aspirations in line with unit and University goals;
  • providing ongoing and constructive feedback to the staff member on their performance and development needs and achievements;
  • advising and coaching the staff member on available development options;
  • ensuring that staff attend all mandatory, compliance based training;
  • conducting 1-2 formal performance development reviews with the staff member each year (2 for probationary academic staff);
  • treating discussions with staff members in confidence and with discretion;
  • monitoring staff attendance at courses and workshops and associated resources; and
  • considering overall equity and access to courses and workshops in line with unit priorities and resource constraints (including budgetary constraints).

Head of unit

The head of unit is responsible for:

  • ensuring that staff have reasonable and practicable opportunities to take advantage of the development resources offered by the University;
  • ensuring that the unit has the capability it needs to meet its goals;
  • ensuring that staff development recommendations and options are consistent with the resources, budgets and plans of the unit;
  • ensuring that succession plans for their unit are in place so that people are developed to replace staff lost through turnover;
  • ensuring that the University's policies pertaining to equal opportunity, equity and diversity are integrated into staff development actions;
  • actively participate in the planning, delivery and evaluation of customised learning solutions for their unit;
  • mentoring staff as required to discuss career options, aspirations and progress towards goals within their specified duties and responsibilities;
  • treating sensitive matters in confidence and with discretion; and
  • monitoring staff development activities and reporting them and related expenditure to the dean or divisional director.

Dean or executive director

The dean or executive director is responsible for:

  • ensuring that the faculty or division has the capability it needs to meet faculty or division goals;
  • ensuring that faculty or divisional staff have reasonable and practicable opportunities to take advantage of the development resources offered by the University;
  • ensuring that the University's policies pertaining to equal opportunity, equity and diversity are integrated into staff development actions;
  • ensuring that staff development is consistent with the budgets and plans of the faculty or division, including the strategic development of the faculty or division's role and responsibilities; and
  • ensuring that faculty or division succession plans are in place so that people are developed to replace staff lost through retirement, promotions, transfers or other forms of staff loss; and
  • intervening in development decisions where there is a clear need to do so or where they have information that was not available for consideration by others.

Staff Development Unit (SDU)

SDU is responsible for:

  • planning the annual schedule of courses and workshops for academic, professional, and trades and services staff in consultation with client groups across the University;
  • establishing and maintaining provider contracts as per the University's procurement requirements;
  • publishing annual schedules of courses and workshops on the SDU web-site;
  • maintaining the SDU website, ensuring up-to-date information about courses, customised learning solutions, training providers, contact details and so on;
  • providing support and advice to staff, supervisors and heads of unit about learning needs, courses, workshops and customised learning solutions;
  • liaising with clients and providers to identify and develop required customised learning solutions;
  • ensuring that providers have relevant information about the University and its policies and procedures, particularly those relating to equity and diversity, conduct and compliance and Occupational Health and Safety;
  • recording staff attendances at SDU courses and workshops on SAP;
  • reviewing course evaluations and working with providers to improve course content and format; and
  • reporting staff development activity to the Executive Director, Monash HR.

Related procedures

Related enterprise agreement clauses

Monash University Enterprise Agreement (Academic and General Staff) 2014

Monash University Enterprise bargaining Agreement (Trades & Services Staff - Building & Metal Trades Staff) 2009

Monash University Enterprise Agreement (Trades and Services Staff - Catering and Retail, Cleaning and Caretaking, and Miscellaneous Services Staff) 2005

Version: 1.3
Effective date:

6 November 2015

Procedure author: Director, Leadership & Organisational Development
Procedure owner: Executive Director, Monash HR