F6: Staff Development Policy

1.    Introduction

  • ORMS aims ‘to provide an outstanding and distinctive intellectual social and physical environment in which learning and development may flourish, and all students and staff reach their potential’.
  • ORMS recognises that our success depends on all staff whatever their role having the relevant skills, knowledge and competencies. A strategic, professional approach to staff development helps us to attract and retain high-calibre staff with the skills and competencies necessary to deliver its objectives.
  • Staff development refers to all the policies, practices, and procedures used to develop the knowledge, skills, and competencies of staff to improve the effectiveness and efficiency both of the individual and ORMS as a business.
  • We are committed to providing staff with development opportunities to ensure that individuals and departments are able to contribute fully to the achievement of ORMS objectives in the context of our strategic plan.

2.    Scope

  • This policy applies to all staff. Formal endorsement of staff development should be given by the respective Director.
  • Staff development embraces all forms of development activity including personal study, e-learning, internal or external courses, workshops, work shadowing and planned experiences. We will aim to support individuals through a variety of means within the prevailing budgetary provision and identified business need.
  • Development activities which have no direct relevance to the individual’s role or objectives of ORMS are not within the remit of this policy.

3.    Aims and objectives

  • The main aim of the policy is to provide managers and staff with a framework that supports and encourages the development of all staff in line with the delivery of ORMS’ corporate plan and departmental objectives as agreed during the annual planning and budgetary cycle. Clear guidance notes are provided to support the achievement of the following objectives:
    • Staff development provided by ORMS is informed by its strategic aims and operational requirements, taking into account the needs of the individuals and where possible the career aspirations of staff as well as the success of their departments.
    • All staff are supported and encouraged to acquire and develop the relevant knowledge, skills and competencies to enhance their performance in their current role and, where they are involved in succession planning, for their next role within ORMS.
    • An appropriate balance is created between the desire for individual staff members to maximise their potential and for ORMS to obtain a return on its investment in staff development.
    • All staff receive an appropriately organised ORMS induction in timely fashion.
    • Staff develop the skills to respond effectively to internal and external demands.
    • There are appropriate controls in place to enable all staff to be trained at the levels appropriate to their role, in order to ensure ORMS is compliant with respect to its statutory and legal obligations.


4.    General principles

  • ORMS shows commitment to the development of its staff through encouraging an environment conducive to development.
  • All staff development activities will be conducted in accordance with ORMS’ C8: Equality and Diversity Policy.
  • All staff have equitable access to staff development opportunities, appropriate to their role and aligned to their objectives.
  • All internal training activities will support the need to heighten awareness of equality and diversity issues. Where relevant, this will be reflected in the design, content and delivery of each activity. Where a staff development activity is commissioned from an external provider, the training specification supplied by ORMS will include the need to heighten awareness of equality and diversity issues and meet the needs of all attendees.
  • ORMS is subject to a number of statutory regulations and it must ensure that staff are trained to levels appropriate to their roles in order to perform legally in the best interest of themselves, of others and of ORMS as a business. Participation in certain staff development activities will therefore be mandatory.
  • In order to gain the most benefit, ORMS’ staff development processes need to be closely aligned to other planning and review cycles including staff induction at individual, departmental and executive level; performance review programmes; the annual planning cycle; annual academic and periodic subject reviews.
  • Funding and/or study leave for the purpose of staff development must be approved by the appropriate Director or nominee.
  • Heads of Departments are expected to encourage and support all staff (regardless of job role, grade and work patterns) to take advantage of internal and external staff development opportunities relevant to their identified development needs. It is ORMS’ expectation that all departments participate in appropriate staff development activity.
  • ORMS also recognises that, for its Staff Development Policy to be effective, staff must take responsibility for their own development. In addition to undertaking mandatory and relevant training defined nationally and locally and as requested for a particular role, they are expected to avail themselves of the development opportunities provided to enable them to keep their skills updated and respond flexibly to change.

5.    Identification of needs

  • Staff development needs are identified in a number of ways:
    • Managers are expected to discuss staff development needs with each of their staff at least annually as part of the Performance Review Process.
    • The needs of staff new to ORMS should be identified in accordance with the probation policy within one week of taking up their appointment.
    • The needs of staff transferring to a new role within ORMS should be discussed within four weeks of taking up position.
    • Through the needs identified by departments during their annual planning and budgetary cycle.
    • Heads of Departments observations and requests
    • Actions arising from the staff opinion survey results
    • Evaluation of feedback from current programmes
  • Staff development needs may be identified throughout the year. The planning processes will retain flexibility for agreement of additional development needs as they become necessary.

6.    Monitoring and Review of Policy

  • All staff development activities will be evaluated. The Head of Administration and other providers of in-house staff development activities are responsible for evaluating the effectiveness and impact of what they provide.
  • We are committed to the continuous improvement of our staff development provision and encourage feedback from staff. Where appropriate, best practice will be shared as part of our commitment to improve our service provision.
  • Those responsible for managing staff should, together with the staff member participating in staff development activities, evaluate the extent to which development undertaken has achieved the intended objectives, and where necessary agree appropriate next steps with the staff member during their annual Performance Review.
  • Application of the policy will be monitored by the Commercial. Annual reports will be made to the Quality and Standards Committee.