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Training and development policy

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Training and development policy

  1. 1. 1Training and development policyPurpose and scopeQAA believes that effective training and development benefits the individual and theorganisation as a whole, and contributes to the achievement of QAA’s objectives.These benefits include:high standards of work performancegreater understanding and appreciation of factors affecting workperformancesharing ideas and dissemination of good practiceeffective management and implementation of changebuilding strong and effective teamsincreased motivation and job satisfaction for individualsprofessional developmentgreater understanding of QAA business.QAA aims to ensure that:its stated objectives are meteach member of staff understands what his or her work role involveseach person is developed to enable them to achieve their work objectivesstaff are prepared and equipped to deal with changes in QAAeach individual is encouraged to develop his or her potential, both personallyand professionallylifelong learning is supported and encouraged for all staff.QAA is also committed to meeting and maintaining the Investors in People standard,as well as making progress against the wider Investors in People frameworkThis policy applies to all staff.Principles of the training and development policyTraining and development makes QAA a more effective organisation. QAA’scontinued success depends upon meeting the objectives set by the Boardand agreed with our funders and partners. This will be achieved throughstaff who are competent in their roles.Training and development can be defined as any activity designed to helpindividuals become more effective at their work by improving, updating orrefining their knowledge and skills. It encompasses a range of activitiesincluding, for example, involvement in various projects, attendance attraining courses, conferences or seminars, visits to other institutions, workshadowing, formal study, coaching and mentoring.QAA believes that training and development is a continuous process. Thereis an expectation that staff will keep abreast of developments within theirown area of expertise, and all staff are encouraged to undertakedevelopment activities throughout their working lives. The QAA performancereview system allows for specific input from individuals in relation tosuggestions for development at least twice a year.
  2. 2. 2QAA’s approach to the provision of training and development is to considerthe development needs identified and how these should be met. This is inline with both Investors in People and QAA’s definition of training anddevelopment, and it focuses attention on development activities that addvalue to the business, enabling QAA to meet its strategic objectives.The responsibility for identifying training and development needs andcarrying out agreed training and development activity is shared between theline manager and member of staff. QAA will encourage and supportappropriate training and development. Reasonable time and financialsupport may be allocated.Line managers are responsible for providing support and guidance inrelation to the training and development of those reporting to them,particularly in relation to the identification of training and development needsand making sure that appropriate action can be taken as a result.Each member of staff is expected and encouraged to take ownership andresponsibility for their personal development in relation to their work, withinthe framework of support provided by QAA. This includes analysing one’sown skills, aptitudes and potential development needs, as well as having apositive attitude and proactive approach to development.QAA is committed, through its performance review process, to the creationof training and development opportunities for all staff, and will work toensure equality of opportunity across all training and development activity.Equal opportunities will be monitored specifically and reported on annually toDirectorate.QAA will monitor and evaluate training and development activity so as tocontinually learn and improve provision. All staff are expected to participatein the evaluation of training and development.The training and development policy, and accompanying guidance notes, provide aframework within which decisions can be made and supported with regard to thedevelopment of individuals and groups within QAA. In addition, please refer to thepolicies and guidance notes on induction and the performance review process.
  3. 3. 3Training and developmentGuidance notesContents1 The range of training and development opportunities1.1 Types of training and development activity1.2 Drawing on the expertise and experience of others1.3 Processes by which people learn2 Responsibilities2.1 The individual2.2 Line managers2.3 Senior management2.4 The Human Resources (HR) function3 Links to other HR policies and initiatives3.1 Performance review and review process3.2 Induction3.3 Investors in People3.4 Capability policy4 Planning training and development4.1 Identification of needs4.2 Training and development plan5 Access to training and development5.1 Entitlement to development support5.2 Equal opportunities6 Resources for training and development6.1 Budget for training and development6.2 Time allocation for training and development6.3 Non-attendance at training7 Formal qualifications7.1 Funding of training/further qualifications7.2 Career development loan7.3 Time for qualifications, study and exam leave8 Monitoring and evaluation8.1 Continuing Professional Development, recording and evaluation8.2 Professional memberships8.3 EvaluationAppendices1a Types of activities that may be considered developmental1b The Learning Cycle and keeping a learning log1c Learning log template
  4. 4. 41 The range of training and development opportunities1.1 Types of training and development activity1.1.1 There are many different types of activity that contribute to an individual’spersonal development, and colleagues are encouraged to consider the range ofopportunities available to them.Some activities are undertaken with the specific aim of enhancing skillsand/or imparting information. Examples of these include attending a seminaror training course, undertaking a qualification reading, work-shadowing andmentoring.Other activities offering the potential for development may arise in thecourse of normal work activity. Examples of these include being involved ina project where the individual acquires new skills or knowledge or discussinghow to deal with a particular problem with a colleague. In these situations,learning is far greater where the opportunity is identified in advance, withattention drawn to identifying the generic skills or general principles that willbe developed and considering how they may be applied in other similarsituations.Individuals may apply for short term secondments of up to a month or for theequivalent in days/blocks. The seconding Group would meet any costs forcover and continue to pay normal salary. Any travel, accommodation andsubsistence would be met from the training budget. Secondments would beorganised by the individual, following approval of their Group Director andthe Head of HR through the Training application form. Applicants wouldneed to demonstrate how the secondment would enhance their skills,experience and/or knowledge to improve their contribution to the QAAactivities. The application would include SMART (Specific, Measurable,Agreed, Realistic and Time-bound) objectives for the project. Following thesecondment a written report for Directorate would be required, todemonstrate learning, as well as cascading information to colleagues, asappropriate. The secondment may be into an organisation or institution,either in the UK or overseas. A Director or the Chief Executive may alsonominate an individual for secondment.Further examples of the type of activities that may be considereddevelopmental are given in Appendix 1a, including both those designed orintended for that purpose and those which are integrated with normal workactivities.1.2 Drawing on the expertise and experience of others1.2.1 Where possible, development activities will draw on the knowledge andskills of QAA staff. This has the advantage of allowing advice, guidance and on-the-job training to be given in a way that is directly applicable to the work context, andhighly relevant to the post holder. Various people may be involved in supporting thedevelopment of others; in particular a person’s line manager, colleagues, networkingcontacts, mentors etc. Development by these means may take many forms,including, for example, one-to-one discussions, seminars, secondments, hands-ondemonstrations and coaching.
  5. 5. 51.3 Processes by which people learn1.3.1 There are various ways in which a person might learn, for example bylistening, reading, observing or seeking feedback. Colleagues are encouraged torecognise the different means by which they learn and make best use of those whichsuit to their own style of learning. Examples of the processes by which people learnare given in Appendix 1b.2 Responsibilities2.1 The individual2.1.1 The process of training and development is most effective when eachindividual takes responsibility for his or her own learning. This includes taking anactive role in planning one’s own personal development, undertaking agreeddevelopment activities, and evaluating the effectiveness of these. Maintaining alearning log helps individuals recognise what they have learned and how they appliedthe outcomes of training and development activity in their work.2.2 Line managers2.2.1 Line managers are responsible for implementing QAA’s policy on trainingand development.2.2.2 Specifically, their role is to ensure that the training and development needsof their staff are identified, taking account of both individuals and groups, and thatthese are appropriately addressed. Line managers have an important part to play inencouraging/facilitating people’s involvement in training and development activities,both as participants or organisers, and in providing guidance/feedback with regard tothe skills and knowledge required for their current role. Also see 5.3 below.2.3 Senior management2.3.1 Senior management is responsible for actively encouraging training anddevelopment as a means to enable QAA to meet its business objectives, and forensuring that resources are made available for this purpose.2.4 The Human Resources (HR) function2.4.1 The HR function has a facilitation role in relation to training anddevelopment. This includes:providing the tools to support training and development (eg, the performancereview process and learning logs – see 3 and 4 below).advising and encouraging individuals and those with line managementresponsibilities about training and development matterscoordinating the delivery of certain training and development activities thatare organised centrallymanaging the centralised budget for training and development and ensuringconsistency of allocationmaintaining records with regard to the development of QAA staffsupporting QAA’s efforts in relation to its aim to maintain accreditation as anInvestor in People
  6. 6. 6preparation of organisation wide training needs analysis and an annual QAAtraining plan.3 Links to other HR policies and initiatives3.1 Performance review and review process3.1.1 The performance review process is an important part of the QAA approachto training and development.3.1.2 It involves twice yearly meetings between individuals and their linemanagers, to discuss and review the post holder’s work activities and their personaldevelopment, and to plan ahead for the future. The performance review meetingsprovide the time and space to identify development needs, plan how these should beaddressed and evaluate the effectiveness of development activities undertakenpreviously. QAA’s policy on training and development is therefore closely related tothat of the performance review process. The policy on the performance reviewprocess and accompanying guidance notes provide further details on how thismechanism may be used to support training and development. Also see 4.1.3 below.3.2 Induction3.2.1 An effective induction process is important for settling new members of staffinto QAA, and ensuring the smooth transition of those who move to roles in otherdepartments/teams.3.2.2 It involves both ensuring that the person has the necessary skills andknowledge to perform their role effectively, and familiarising them with the detail ofthe work that they will be performing. The line manager is responsible for monitoringthe progress of the new member of staff, and for ensuring that any developmentneeds are identified and met.Please see QAA’s policy on induction, within the Recruitment, Selection andInduction Policy for further details.3.3 Investors in People3.3.1 QAA is committed to fulfilling the standards of the Investors in Peopleinitiative, an award which signifies that the organisation recognises the importance oftraining and development in achieving corporate objectives, and invests in its peopleto bring about a variety of benefits.3.4 Capability procedure3.4.1 QAA operates a capability procedure which means that should an employeelack the knowledge, the skill or the ability to such an extent that they cannot carry outhis/her duties to the standard required, training and development may be provided inan attempt to improve performance.The capability procedure applies to all QAA employees including those on probation.
  7. 7. 74 Planning training and development4.1 Identifying development needs4.1.1 Development needs may be identified at several levels: those that apply tothe organisation as a whole, those at a group or team level and those which apply toa particular individual (or group of individuals). Mechanisms are in place to identifytraining and development needs at each of these levels (as described below), andcollectively these are summarised in the QAA training and development plan (see4.2).4.1.2 Organisational training and development objectives are aligned to strategicpriorities in the QAA Annual Plan, and the longer term QAA Strategic Plan. HR willalso consult with senior management. Service delivery statements (SDS) are alsotaken into account, as are external and internal influences that may affect QAA’sperformance. An example of organisation-wide development needs would be arequirement for more advanced IT skills brought about by a new system, or the needfor greater awareness of equal opportunities issues across QAA.4.1.3 Group training needs will be identified through the planning and budgetaryprocess and Group SDS.4.1.4 At team level, information is gathered from a variety of sources to identifytraining and development needs common to a group of staff. As above, responsibilityfor this lies with HR and line managers, in consultation with senior management.Sources of information used for this purpose are likely to include performance reviewprocess documentation (see 4.1.4 below), discussions with line managers and staff –both formal and informal, findings from the annual staff survey and team plans withregard to existing local priorities.4.1.5 At the level of individuals, the performance review process is the mainvehicle for recognising and planning training and development. Line managers areresponsible for ensuring that individuals’ training needs are followed through, and forparticular courses, or where the method of meeting the development need has notyet been decided, the job holder and line manager should complete a trainingapplication form and pass it to the Training and Development Manager for discussionand action.4.2 Training and development plan4.2.1 HR will produce a training and development plan by the end of theoperational year, for the following year based on the budgetary and planningprocess. This will then be modified as required once all performance reviewdocumentation has been received and analysed. This will summarise thedevelopment needs identified at the level of QAA as a whole, for particular groups orteams, and for individuals, based on the variety of information sources set out in4.1.1 to 4.1.4 above. The training and development plan will be submitted to theSenior Management Committee for comment.
  8. 8. 85 Access to training and development5.1 Entitlement to development support5.1.1 The extent to which a training and development activity can be supported byQAA will depend on a number of factors including:the relevance of the development need to achieving the strategic plan andSDSfinancial costs to QAAhidden costs – including, for example, the amount of work time required tocomplete the development activityany additional cover required and impact on colleaguesthe amount of development support that it is reasonable for any one memberof staff to undertake in a given periodavailability of funds in the training and development budgetparity with similar applications.5.2 Equality of opportunity5.2.1 QAA seeks to ensure that development opportunities are available for all.This principle does not, however, imply an automatic right of individuals to particulardevelopment activities or a right to undertake development actions within specifiedperiods of time.5.2.2 Line managers are responsible for ensuring that the development needs ofall staff are given fair consideration and that the needs of staff employed on a part-time or short-term basis are addressed equitably.6 Resources for training and development6.1 Budget for training and development6.1.1 The budget for training and development is managed by the Training andDevelopment Manager, with the Head of HR being the budget holder. The budget isbased on the Training and development plan as drawn up according to 4.1 above.6.2 Time allocation for training and development6.2.1 Training and development activities required by QAA will usually take placeduring work time and agreed costs will be reimbursed.6.2.2 Training and development activities that are encouraged by QAA but notessential may take place during work time, or may involve study in the participant’sown time, during evenings and weekends. For time to study for qualifications, pleasesee 7.3 below.6.2.3 Where training and development takes place in normal work hours, the linemanager will arrange cover where necessary.6.2.4 Part time colleagues who work additional hours to participate in training anddevelopment activities required by QAA outside of their usual pattern of work (butwithin normal work hours) will usually be able to agree time off in lieu.
  9. 9. 96.3 Non-attendance at training6.3.1. Staff should make every effort to attend training that they have committed toattend. If staff must withdraw from training, they will first seek their line manager’spermission to do so, before confirming this to HR, along with an explanation for thenon-attendance.6.3.2 Individuals may find someone else to attend training in their place, as longas the training is relevant and appropriate for the substituted individual.6.3.3 In terms of non-attendance at information talks, which are by their naturemore informal, staff are still expected to make every effort to attend talks andbriefings for which they have signed up. If they are unable to attend, they shouldsend their apologies to the organiser of the event, as well as removing their namefrom the sign-up list.7 Qualifications7.1 Funding of training/further qualifications7.1.1 Where a member of staff wishes to undertake a qualification, they, or theirline manager, should seek advice from HR at the earliest opportunity. If aqualification is desired but the exact course has not yet been identified, a careerdevelopment meeting with the Training and Development Manager can be offered toassist with identifying possible routes.7.1.2 The qualification should be discussed as part of the performance reviewprocess and following the performance review meeting the individual shouldcomplete an application stating how the qualification will benefit his/her team andGroup, and QAA as a whole. S/he may also be asked to supply further details aboutthe proposed development activity.7.1.3 QAA is prepared to consider funding and study/exam leave for completion ofa first degree, where the individual does not have one. Preference will be given tosubject areas most relevant to QAA work, and this will be reflected in the proportionof funding QAA is able to grant7.1.4 The line manager and/or group director will be asked to comment on thedesirability of a proposed course or qualification taking into account the followingcriteria:staff development that is necessary in order to do a job; or where there is ahigh level of demonstrated benefit to QAAstaff development where there would be some benefit to QAA, and wherestaff might be given some support to recognise this, anddevelopment that is principally about personal development/interest, wherethere is little or no direct benefit to QAA.Any funding will largely be dependent on the extent of demonstrated benefit to QAAand will determine whether it could be supported to a greater or lesser extent.7.1.5 Requests for qualifications need to be made separately for each year ofstudy. Requests for all qualifications, and for training with fees of over £1,500 in total
  10. 10. 10(including VAT) will be considered by the Group director and Head of HR/Trainingand Development Manager. Where part of a qualification, for example the thesisstage, spans more than one year, but fees are paid at the outset of that particularstage, then the learning contract will span the whole timescale. This means thatfunding received by the staff member does not have to be pro-rated or split over theseparate operational years covered by that stage.7.1.6 Applications for any support for qualifications must be given to HR by 31March for study taking place in the following operational year (August – July), andbefore a commitment to fees is made.7.1.7 A decision on support after the first year of study will be contingent onbudget availability and evidence from the institution of satisfactory progress made bythe individual.7.1.8 Staff will be required to sign a learning contract which sets out repaymentguidelines, should they leave QAA, as follows:if a member of staff leaves employment (through resignation or a dismissalwhich is not due to the staff member’s post being made redundant) duringthe study year or if they fail to complete the study or sit any requiredexaminations within a reasonable timescale the full cost of the funding willbe required to be repaidif a member of staff leaves employment within 12 months of the completedcourse or study year, repayment will be calculated as 12 monthlyinstalments, reducing by one twelfth in respect of each calendar monthcompleted from the end of the study year (Example: An individual whocompletes a course in May and then leaves in October will be required torepay seven twelfths of the cost)if a member of staff fails exams that have been financially funded by QAAthey will be required to fund any exam resits and attend any college days orsimilar in their own time.7.1.9 Staff members are expected to update their line manager and HR on theirprogress on at least a quarterly basis and to notify them immediately of any issuesaffecting the potential completion of their study. A copy of certificates and/orconfirmation of completion of each study year should be forwarded to HR.7.1.10 Staff may be required to give an information talk or presentation tocolleagues on the outcomes of their course and how the organisation has benefitedfrom their learning.7.1.11 Staff are expected to provide their own textbooks if these are not includedas part of the course fee.7.1.12 A contribution towards time to attend a course and/or course exam fees maybe agreed where training is not directly relevant to the individual’s job.7.2 Career Development Loan7.2.1 In cases where the funding criteria are not fully met or part funding providedby QAA, but a case for personal development can be made, an interest free career
  11. 11. 11development loan can be requested. The loan is intended to meet course fees up tothe maximum amount allowable for interest free loans set by Her Majesty’s Revenueand Customs (currently under £5000 in any year at August 2011). This amount is thetotal for interest free loans from an employer to an employee and could thereforeinclude the cost of a season ticket loan or bicycle purchase loan where these werealso in place. Employees will be required to sign an undertaking to repay the loanfrom their pay over a twelve month period or the duration of the course which ever isthe lesser period.7.3 Time for qualifications, study and exam leave7.3.1 Qualifications are generally expected to be undertaken in the individual’sown time. Where qualifications require attendance during working hours study leave(see below) or annual leave may be used, a flexible working application may bemade, or hours may be made up upon agreement with the line manager. Options canbe discussed with HR to find the best individual solution.7.3.2 If a qualification is instigated and organised by QAA for a number of staffwho are required to complete the qualification in order to fulfil a business need, thena decision on time given towards the qualification will be made by HR together withthe line manager commissioning the training.7.3.3 Where an individual is undertaking a formal qualification in their own time,QAA will consider applications for paid study and exam leave. The timing andamount of leave allowed for these purposes is at the discretion of the relevant Groupdirector in consultation with HR and will be decided at the outset before the learningcontract is agreed.7.3.4 Employees may be permitted to take up to a maximum of five days paidleave for the purposes of study or exams in any operational year when undertaking aqualification supported by QAA. Any additional time required must be taken asannual leave or unpaid leave.7.3.5 Various criteria will be used to decide how much study leave will be granted,including but not limited to the following:the length of the qualification; study leave will be considered for long-termstudy, that is to say lasting a minimum of six monthsthe percentage level of funding being offered to support the qualificationbeing undertakenthe level of the qualification being undertakenwhether the qualification is being carried out in work time or in the staffmember’s own time.7.3.6 Once study leave has been granted in principle as part of the supportoffered by QAA, an individual who requests to use this study leave should providetheir line manager with details of how the study leave will be used. Documentaryevidence of examination dates or college workshops may be required. Study leavewill be noted on the Annual leave card by the line manager.7.3.7 In considering requests for study leave to be used, the line manager willneed to be reassured that the group can make adequate alternative arrangements foroffice cover etc.
  12. 12. 128 Continuing Professional Development, recording and evaluation8.1 Continuing Professional Development and recording8.1.1 All members of staff should maintain records of development activities inwhich they have been involved. Learning logs or Continuing ProfessionalDevelopment (CPD) logs should be completed after each training or developmentactivity and then stored in a learning log file as the ideal method for keeping suchrecords. The collated learning logs should be referred to during the performancereview meeting and attached to the performance review form. Learning logs may berequested when an application for training and development as a record of howprevious development activity has been applied at work.8.1.2 HR will maintain records of any formal development activities and will usethis to produce management information with regard to participation, costs andcategories of staff undertaking training and development.8.2 Professional memberships8.2.1 QAA will support staff to maintain a professional membership subscriptionrelevant to their role, by paying for fees, within reason, for one professionalmembership per member of staff per operational year. Staff may claim payment backfor professional fees via the staff expenses claim form, with any queries beingdirected to the HR team.8.3 Evaluation8.3.1 Training and development activities will be evaluated, in respect of theireffectiveness from both an organisational and a personal perspective. There areseveral ways in which this can be done.8.3.2 Evaluation starts at the outset of the training cycle by identifying evaluationcriteria both for the course and for the individual at the stage when training is appliedfor, or when delegates are invited to attend training. Both the individual and the linemanager should take time to reflect on what both will notice has changed or indeedwhat will no longer happen, after the training that will tell both the individual and theline manager that the learning objectives have been successfully achieved.8.3.3 The staff member and line manager should also agree how the training willbe put into practice and what, if any, support will be required to implement thelearning from the training undertaken. This may mean for example, identifyingparticular work tasks or projects where the learning can be used and new skillspractised.8.3.4 The performance review process is the primary means of evaluating trainingand development of all types. The individual and their line manager should use theperformance review meeting to evaluate the extent to which agreed developmentactivities have achieved the intended objectives and, where necessary, plan the nextsteps. Unplanned development opportunities that arise in the course of normal workactivity should also be reflected upon in order to identify how this might improvefuture work activities. Following the performance review meeting, a written summaryof all the matters discussed should be produced and forwarded to HR, in accordancewith the performance review process.
  13. 13. 138.3.5 The training and development evaluation form consists of two sections. Thefirst is a response to the training or development activity, the second is about actionplanning in order to implement training. The purpose of these forms is to evaluatethe effectiveness of training and development, and ensure that resources are wiselyemployed. An individual is asked to complete this immediately after eachtraining/development event. A copy of this is forwarded to HR and kept on theindividual’s training and development file.8.3.6 HR is responsible for analysing the performance review documentation andtraining and development evaluation forms with regard to the effectiveness of trainingand development activity, and where necessary taking follow up action. Theevaluation data will inform future practice with regard to advising staff on the trainingand development opportunities available to them and booking training courses.8.3.7 QAA-wide training courses may be followed up with evaluation surveys orinterviews at six-months, and /or at one year after training has taken place. Staff areexpected to participate in all evaluation exercises as required.8.3.8 Annually a brief report will be produced by HR for the Board summarisingthe impact of training and development on work performance and any relevantfeedback from the staff survey.November 2011
  14. 14. 14Appendix 1a: Types of activities that may be considered developmentalIt is recognised that individuals have different learning styles and there are manyworkplace activities that, when used in combination, can make up a highly efficientand effective development programme. The term ‘blended learning’ is used todescribe this style of learning, where a blend of different structured activities carriedout over time, create a stimulating and very effective learning programme. The listbelow includes a number of activities that can be blended together.Learning on the job in this manner requires a degree of self-awareness about thetype of activity best suited to your own style. It also requires good planning, so youcan identify opportunities that lie ahead. If you are unsure of your own preferred styleand need assistance with identification, HR will provide advice and tools to help withthis.Examples of activities which when blended together enhance personaldevelopmentReading (books, journals, reports, newspapers)Networking (both internally and with people external to QAA)Instruction - being shown how to do something and subsequently putting thisinto practiceAttending conferences/seminars/development forumsBeing a member of committees or working groupsWork shadowingAttending a formal training event (both internal and external)Taking on new tasks or additional responsibilities to develop particular skillsyou identifyMoving into a new or different work roleWatching training/educational videosBeing involved in role plays or simulationsUsing case studies to develop your knowledge (both those described inbooks/journals, and cases that colleagues or acquaintances may be able totell you about)Using diagnostic instruments (eg, learning styles questionnaire, Belbin teamtypes questionnaire)Asking for feedback on your own performance from those who work closelywith youWatching relevant documentaries/news items on the television or listening toselected radio programmesInvolvement in coaching/mentoring relationships (can be developmental forboth parties)Keeping a personal development journal – reflection on experienceParticipating in a group discussionWorking towards a qualification (academic, professional, or vocationalqualifications)Belonging to an action learning group (meeting with peers to discuss workrelated issues with the aim of finding solutions to problems)Involvement in activities related to a professional body or employer’sassociation (eg, attending branch meetings, giving a presentation to fellowmembers)E-learning – a large selection of computer-based courses is now availableand can generally be completed from the comfort of your own desk. E-
  15. 15. 15learning tends to be interactive, carefully designed (to meet the diverseneeds of as many people as possible) and may include video, sound,pictures, as well as text and check tests to measure understanding.Benchmarking – using a similar business operation (eg, a business thatconducts audits or reviews) to compare work processes with a view tolearning, developing and possibly improving the performance of yourorganisation. A true benchmarking exercise will be reciprocalSecondments - a secondment is where for a given period of time, you workin another work area, department or even organisation to experience tasksnormally associated with other areas of the supply chain than you normallyoperate. Secondments can be both internal to QAA but equally, byagreement, with an external partner organisation (eg, HEFCE.) In all cases,the line manager, relevant director and HR will need to be consulted beforeit can be approved. Consideration has to be given to the benefits it will bringto QAA, an appropriate timescale and, if external to QAA, salaryarrangements for the period of the secondmentReferring to standards of best practice (National Standards) for guidance onhow to do your job and to identify specific development opportunities/needs.Examples of potentially developmental experiences which may arise in (or beintegrated into) the course of normal work activityAttending various meetingsBeing involved in a review visit beyond the normal scope of your workactivitiesWorking with external committeesUsing the internet or intranet to research somethingWorking on a task which requires you to solve a problemGiving, or preparing, a presentation on a topic with which you are notfamiliarDiscussing how to deal with a particular problem with someone you workwithUndertaking a project or assignment that is in some way different to thoseyou have worked on previouslyTaking advantage of a reciprocal internal secondmentObserving how others deal with a particular problem or respond in a givensituationDelegating tasks to othersBeing a member of a working groups or task forceBeing involved in various tasks (both those which are familiar and unfamiliarto you)Adjusting to a new or changed work roleManaging a changePreparing for your performance review – looking back on what you havedone over the last six to 12 months and planning ahead for the futureManaging a team, or co-ordinating a project groupTalking things through with your line manager at your performance reviewTaking on additional tasks and responsibilities that present you with achallenge.
  16. 16. 16Appendix 1b: The Learning Cycle and keeping a learning logA learning log (see also Appendix 1d: Learning log template below) is a useful tool totrack your learning, professional development and training undertaken. Your learninglog can be used to help you to develop your skills, knowledge and experiences; toembed learning; as part of your career development since it may be a helpful way toreflect upon skills developed and knowledge acquired. These aspects can beparticularly useful for your Performance review meeting with your line manager whenthinking about further areas of development, either in terms of training, or in terms ofareas of work in which you which to progress. Your learning log is also helpful forapplying for new roles and for interview preparation as you can show yourdevelopment and have a clear record of how you have developed your skills.The learning log is designed to work through Kolb’s learning cycle (below) to:to have some kind of experience from which learning can be drawn and tonote the experience (stage one of the learning cycle)Reflect on and review the experience (stage two of the learning cycle)reach conclusions and lessons learned (stage three of the learning cycle)plan what to do differently and to experiment (stage four of the learningcycle).Kolb’s Learning Cycle (Kolb, David, Experiential Learning: Experience As TheSource Of Learning And Development, 1984)
  17. 17. - 17 -Appendix 1c: Learning log templateLearning logHere is a simple format for a learning log, which, if you wish, you could incorporate in asimilar way into your diary. This is a suggested template, but you may feel free to usewhatever works for you.Date ofactivityWhat happened Lessons learned Action(s)