Professional Development

Document Currently Under Review

Current Status: In Collaboration - Stakeholder Consultation 9 February 2017

Professional Development Policy

Policy Code: HR1540


To affirm the University’s commitment to:

  • fostering a culture of professional learning, in association with and informed by organisational learning and organisational development
  • developing staff capabilities which support the achievement of strategic directions and organisational goals of the University
  • incorporating professional development performance measures alongside other key performance indicators of the organisation.


This policy applies to all staff of the University.


Action Learning: A systematic process of learning in cross-functional teams, often called action learning sets, which involves practical application in the workplace followed by individual reflection. Action learning requires the implementation of projects and activities which will have a real-time impact on procedures and processes, thus making the learning action-orientated. It is the implementation of the work-based project which distinguishes action learning from regular group work learning.
Organisational Development: Institution-wide application and transfer of knowledge to planned development, improvement and reinforcement of strategies, structures and processes, at both macro and micro levels, that lead to organisational effectiveness.
Organisational Learning: The process by which all members of an organisation are engaged in adding to its knowledge base, in identifying and solving problems and where there are systems in place to capture information, thereby enabling the organisation to continuously experiment, improve and increase capacity.
Professional Development: Organised personal, career and/or professional training which contributes to the staff member’s ability to undertake their role in an effective and satisfying manner and which leads to career and personal enrichment.
Work based Learning: Structured learning managed by an organisation and focused on learning through work.

Policy Statement

Federation University Australia is committed to supporting the professional development of staff through the application of the following principles:

  1. Professional development will be accessible and available to every member of staff.
  2. Professional development is a responsibility shared by the individual staff member, the individual staff member’s supervisor/s and the University.
  3. Professional development is an integral part of the University’s strategic planning.
  4. Annual priorities for professional development activities will be developed from the University’s key objectives and planning processes within each Portfolio.
  5. The University Portfolios will provide appropriate professional development and/or staff training to ensure staff develop or maintain specific specialist skills as well as generic skills and knowledge required to meet external compliance requirements and/or to competently apply FedUni systems, policies and processes.  
  6. Development activities offered through FedUni will focus on action learning and work-based learning strategies. Wherever appropriate, development activities will be underpinned by mentoring and coaching.
  7. Staff accessing internal or external development activities will be expected and supported to share and apply their new skills and knowledge in their work practice.
  8. Supervisors will manage individual and team work so as to ensure that professional development is incorporated into every staff member’s role.


The Institute for Professional and Organisational Learning (IPOL) Advisory Board, which includes the Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Vice-Presidents and the Chair of the Academic Board, will have responsibility for the maintenance of this Policy.

Legislative Context



The Professional Development Policy will be implemented throughout the University via:

  1. an Announcement Notice under 'FedNews' on the ‘FedUni’ website and through the University Policy - ‘Recently Approved Documents’ webpage to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy;
  2. inclusion on the University's online Policy Library, and
  3. presentation to the Vice-Chancellor's Forum.