Professional Development and Study Leave Policy


Next review
Fri, 30 April 2021

This policy outlines the conditions and principles that apply to professional development and study leave for College staff.

Approved on: 30 Apr 2018
Review cycle: 3 Years
Owned by


Approved by

College Board

Policy Contact: 
Chief Operations Officer

The purpose of professional development is to enhance the capacity of the College staff member through:

  • Continuous growth in vocational capacity
  • Scholarly interconnections and publication
  • Research grant applications and structural outcomes
  • Development of interstate and international collaborations
  • Completion or substantial progress toward a postgraduate award.

This policy outlines the conditions and principles that apply to professional development and study leave for College staff.


This policy applies to all permanent College staff including those on part time contracts.



  • To identify and address individual professional development needs related to teaching or organizational requirements
  • To promote and enhance the quality of student learning through a process of continuing professional development of academic staff
  • To provide the opportunity for academic staff to reflect upon and develop their teaching role with the support of their peers.


All staff members are expected to engage annually in some professional development activity. Developmental activities should be in alignment both with the College’s longer term institutional development plans and individual member’s interests within their discipline or the scholarship of learning and teaching.


This includes but is not limited to:

  • Attendance at conferences regarding their discipline or the teaching vocation.
  • The conduct of research and subsequent publishing of material related to the individual’s primary role, discipline, or, tertiary learning/ teaching scholarship.
  • General understanding of issues related to college work culture through individual profiling, group workshops and other modes of team building
  • Development of teaching and learning capacities in formal and semi-formal tertiary education
  • Support of teaching through library and IT resources, computer program learning.
  • Enrolment in formal courses with a view to enhancing the capacity to teach or supervise at the highest levels.
  • Enrolment in formal courses with a view to enhancing vocational capacity
  • Creation of services, studies and research reports that attract external grants
  • Exposure to other institutions through embedding in their teaching or research programs.


Satisfactory progress in the staff member’s role is measured through the evidence provided in an annual performance appraisal and forms the base line for measuring professional development. Staff members are encouraged to divulge any relevant personal particulars which may have had a bearing on their performance in a particular evaluation period.

Professional development is demonstrated through a portfolio which can sustain a member’s claim of progress within that role in terms of achievements in more than one of the following areas across any particular year:

  • New units designed or existing units revised and developed in content or mode
  • Peer reviewed articles, whole books or chapters of books edited or written and published
  • Internal or external courses completed for personal development
  • Conference attendance and presentations made
  • Moderation of internal and external units for other institutions
  • Policy development or development of structures or processes to enhance student experience
  • Supervision of postgraduate research candidates
  • Examination of theses internal or external
  • Research projects taken up through grants.



The purpose is not to consume leave time with normal lecture preparation or other normal duties. The intention of study leave is to enable staff members to immerse themselves in significant levels of formal study, related to their discipline or profession, exposure to other tertiary institutions and teaching environments, or research which enable them to both keep abreast of, and make a scholastic contribution to, the frontiers of their discipline, or, to engage in study leading to the taking out of higher degrees. During this time members would be expected to engage with their peers through research cohorts, conference presentations or immersion in leading institutions and engage with other scholars, particularly those located interstate or overseas.

Some of the above purposes may overlap. They should enhance the capacity of the college to utilize that staff member in broader teaching areas, and/or the teaching and supervision of higher awards thus reinforcing the scholastic strengths of the college offerings. In this regard study leave should be planned in advance during the year preceding the proposed leave in liaison with the member’s Head of School or supervisor.


For Academic Staff study leave will be applied for through the Learning Teaching and Research Committee where any application will be assessed impartially on its merits in terms of the purposes above. Members of the Learning Teaching and Research Committee who have a conflict of interest in the outcome of the decision or who are themselves applying will have to declare this in advance of any particular decision and absent themselves from those deliberations.

All applications are treated in the strictest confidence and materials pertaining to the application will be destroyed by the secretary of the Learning Teaching and Research Committee and the decision to approve or not recorded in the minutes. If successful, the Head of School may require the particular applicant to develop in the preceding semester one or more of their prospective units in a distance mode for the semester during which leave would be taken.

For Administrative Staff, leave will be applied for directly with the staff members Head of Department.


Members may take study leave up to four working weeks a year outside of teaching times. One member of each school or department is permitted study leave at any one time. The order of eligibility is set by the particular Head of School or Department Head. In assessing all aspects of eligibility for study leave, consideration will be given to the measures of academic staff members’ achievements relative to opportunities. Approval will not be granted for academic staff members who are currently not meeting minimum academic performance standards set for their role. The member may also combine study leave with accrued annual leave as long as the total period of leave extends across one semester and the functioning of their school is not hindered by their absence.


Study leave applications should be made on the prescribed Study Leave Application Form outlining details of the following considerations. A justification for their leave in terms of

  • Anticipated study periods at other institutions, potential cross-institutional immersion, conference participation or research outcomes including the numbers of chapters of a thesis, articles or other publications to be either submitted or published.
  • A copy of the report of their previous study leave outcomes
  • Any teaching appointments and appearances at other institutions and
  • Any employment to be undertaken during this time
  • An argument as to the connection of this leave to their normal role or potential benefit to the college, its service or reputation.


On completion of a period of study leave evidence must be supplied to the Dean of Learning, Teaching and Research to confirm that the anticipated progress has been achieved, or if not, the circumstances that mitigated against this achievement. Candidates who do not make effective use of this leave may have their next eligible study leave constrained by the Learning Teaching and Research Committee. Members are expected to give an undertaking to teach for the College for a further two years after taking study leave in a block for the purpose of the completion of a doctorate, or a lesser period commensurate to the course undertaken.


Full time staff are eligible for four (4) weeks study leave in each twelve month period. Part time staff members will be entitled to a pro rata amount of study leave. Unused study leave does not accrue into the next twelve month period and any unused study leave is not paid out when a staff member leaves the College.