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Staff Development Policy

This policy sets out the College's commitment to supporting and promoting staff development and training.

1. Policy Statement

 “The Royal College of Art is committed to the support and promotion of relevant staff development and training. Staff Development is defined as policies, procedures and practices designed to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes of staff and, by so doing, to improve the effectiveness and efficiency both of the individual and the College. The Royal College of Art is committed to the development of all categories of its staff and recognises that the efficient and effective functioning of the College depends on its support and provision of staff development activities for academic and nonacademic staff alike at all levels.” 

2. Training & Development Needs 

2.1 Identification of Training & Development Needs 

The College is committed to the recruitment of suitably qualified staff but recognises that the process of identifying staff development needs is a continuous one. Needs are identified through the following: 

- probation 

- staff appraisal 

- advice from line managers 

- personal identification by the individual. 

and may arise because of: 

- new equipment or technology 

- new responsibilities 

- awareness of new forms of teaching and learning 

- course/departmental changes 

- career changes 

- health and safety requirements 

2.2 Academic Staff Research 

The encouragement of academic research is a major element of the College’s Staff Development Policy. The College has entrusted the Research Committee with the responsibility for promoting and monitoring academic staff research and has established a budget from which the Research Committee can provide financial support for the research work of individual members of staff. 

Applications for financial support for academic staff research should be made to the Research Committee via the Research Office. 

2.3 Self-managed Development 

Staff development is not just about attending training courses, but encompasses a whole range of learning opportunities. A list of different types of learning methods is attached (Appendix A). Individual staff can use this list to review the range of methods suggested and note the approaches that are most suitable and practical in meeting a specific development need. 

Senior staff are also encouraged to organise departmental workshops or staff meetings to enable their staff to reflect on common issues, exchange views and receive useful information. 

2.4 Staff Development Weeks 

The Personnel Department organises a range of staff development activities in the two weeks following the end of the Summer term covering a variety of communication, office and interpersonal skills. Previous weeks have included courses on time management, presentation skills, assertiveness and getting results through negotiation. Details are available in the Summer term. 

2.5 Computer Training 

The Personnel Department periodically organises training on software packages commonly used in the College. The need for a particular course is identified through staff appraisals, the Head of Department or individual requests. These courses will encompass most Microsoft Office packages as well as other technical computer packages. The Personnel Administrator will advise throughout various times of the academic year when these courses will be held. 

2.6 Centre for Learning & Teaching in Art & Design (CLTAD) 

The CLTAD offers a range of short (one day) courses and accredited programmes for academic staff who wish to enhance their practice and understanding of learning and teaching. 

The CLTAD also offers a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning & Teaching in Art, Design and Communication. Successful completion of this certificate provides an accredited route to membership of the Higher Education Academy’s (HEA) Register of Practioners. 

The College fully funds all courses organised by the CLTAD from the Training & Development fund. Should you require further information on specific courses offered by the CLTAD, please contact the Learning & Teaching Coordinator. Applications for specific courses should be made by using the Staff Development Application form available from Personnel or the intranet. 

2.7 Safety 

Safety training is organised by the Safety Officer. Staff who identify a training or development need for a particular area of safety should approach the Safety Officer with their suggestions. General safety training courses are also held within the staff development week. 

3. Administrative Arrangements 

3.1 Financial Support 

Financial support for staff development, other than academic research is provided by a central Staff Development budget, administered by the Personnel Manager. 

The following paragraphs set out the arrangements for the provision of financial support from the Staff Development Budget. 

3.1.1 Eligibility 

All members of staff are eligible to apply for financial support for staff development subject to the following criteria: 

• the activity is relevant to the job and will enhance job performance 

• the activity is supported by the line manager (normally Head of School/ Department) who agrees to release you to attend 

• where the activity takes place during working hours the Department can cover the absence of the member of staff. 

3.1.2 Applying for Financial Support for Staff Development 

Applications to attend any courses should be submitted on a Staff Development Application form (attached). This should be signed by the staff member’s line manager and returned to the Personnel Manager with full details of the course, dates and fees. The course will then be considered for approval. There are not always sufficient funds available to agree to all requested courses. 

3.1.3 Fees and Travel 

Training fees, approved in advance, of up to £500 will be paid in full. 

With the exception of CLTAD which are fully funded, for courses costing more than £500 the College’s contribution will be the greater of 2/3 of the cost or £500 (subject to the availability of funds), the member of staff or his or her department being expected to cover the remaining amount. 

Travel to and from training courses is at the expense of the member of staff or his or her department. 

3.2 Enabling attendance 

If a training course is scheduled to take place on a day when a part-time member of staff is not employed by the College he or she may request to be paid. In the case of CLTAD courses the department may request funds to cover the absence of the staff member. 

3.3 Incentives to Study 

As part of its HR Strategy the College has decided to reward the achievement of required additional qualifications. Following completion of the CLTAD’s Postgraduate Certificate in Learning & Teaching in Art, Design and Communication a member of staff will be awarded a one off payment of £500 and registration on the HEA’s Register of Practioners will attract a payment of a further £500. The College will also pay the HEA’s annual membership fee. 

• Successful completion of the CLTAD’s Research Supervisor training (or an approved equivalent programme of study) will attract a one-off payment of £500. 

• Successful completion of the CLTAD’s Professional Development Programme for HE Administrators will attract a one-off payment of £500. 

• Successful completion of the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health will also attract a one off payment of £500. 

3.4 Study Leave 

Where the College has approved your course of study, you may request paid study leave from your Head of Department. The amount of time granted depends on the level of qualification being sought, but for an undergraduate degree or postgraduate qualification the amount of time would be based on one day of paid study leave per subject before examination. Staff may also request paid leave for the actual day of exams.

For more information or to provide feedback please email 

[email protected]


This page was last updated on 

6 January 2021

This page is reviewed and updated every 12 months.


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