Staff Development and Training

October 2002

STAFF DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING POLICY AND PROCEDURES

The Policy

NMGW is committed to providing development and training opportunities for all its employees so that:

  • they can contribute as effectively as possible to the achievement of NMGW's overall objectives
  • they have appropriate opportunities to develop personally and to further their careers
  • they are supported at all levels by managers who have the right kinds of skills, knowledge and understanding
  • they acquire a range of knowledge and skills, both specialist and general, so that NMGW develops a workforce with a broad skill base

The following practices underpin the provision of development and training throughout NMGW:

  • induction training is provided for all new staff;
  • objectives are set for all development and training activities;
  • individual members of staff take active responsibility for their own development and training;
  • line managers have a responsibility for the development of their staff and are assisted to fulfil that responsibility;
  • there is an on-going NMGW training plan, based on training needs identified at individual, group and organisational levels;
  • varied methods of provision are carefully considered so that the most appropriate are used for meeting specific training needs;
  • where appropriate, development and training activities lead to nationally recognised academic, vocational and professional qualifications;
  • all individual development and training activities will be evaluated and their effectiveness assessed.

The identification of development and training needs

At NMGW, the following are the main elements which influence the identification of development and training needs:

  • Directorate and Management Forum agree the Corporate and Operational Plans identifying key objectives
  • Heads of Department and staff agree their departmental plans, contributing as appropriate to the achievement of these key objectives.
  • Line managers and their staff agree individual objectives along the same lines so that everyone within the organisation is working towards the same overall key objectives and can see where their role plays a part in NMGW's success.
  • An assessment of current performance through PDR (Performance and Development Review), will help identify development and training needs at individual levels and these will be incorporated into NMGW's on-going training plan.
  • Managers will also identify staff who possess potential for broader roles, and will actively encourage the development of such individuals to acquire skills and knowledge to fit them for further career development.

Needs may be in terms of personal or group skill, knowledge, understanding, behaviour or attitude. They can arise from new technology, a new job, a change in the duties or some external change eg. legal.

Setting of objectives

Individuals and their line managers are responsible for identifying objectives for all training and development activities. They should be clear what the desired outcomes are in terms of new skills, knowledge, understanding etc. and also how they will assess whether or not those outcomes have been achieved.

Induction Training

It is essential that all new staff receive induction training on appointment and it is the responsibility of their line manager to ensure that the induction programme is followed properly. This is so that new staff become fully effective in their new job as quickly as possible.

NMGW's induction programme consists of two parts. One part is managed within the individual's department and the more general, employment-related part is managed by the Human Resources Department through an in-house programme of delivery.

Methods of development and training

Once development and training needs have been identified and prioritised, the appropriate method of meeting the need is considered, bearing in mind the objectives agreed and the learning preferences of the individual.

Training, development and learning opportunities include:

  • relevant on-the-job training or coaching/mentoring
  • attendance at conferences/seminars for specific learning opportunities external courses
  • internal courses - run by external trainers
  • internal courses/training sessions - run by members of NMGW staff
  • use of distance-learning packages - by groups of staff at NMGW or by individuals in their own time
  • further education/evening classes/qualification courses
  • secondments to other organisations for specific learning opportunities
  • involvement in National Museum/Cultural Heritage sector training initiatives

External courses will normally be arranged by the Human Resource Department. Once individuals have been booked onto external courses, they will only be allowed to withdraw in exceptional circumstances. If withdrawal from an external course results in the forfeiting of the course fees, the costs will be charged to the individual's own department.

Travel and subsistence costs for external courses organised by NMGW will be met from departmental budgets.

In order that all training and development activity can be centrally recorded, Heads of Department should advise the Human Resources Department about any which they organise themselves, whether or not it is funded from the central training budget.

Further Education and Personal Study

NMGW encourages staff to further their own education and development through further qualification, by means of evening classes, distance learning or, where appropriate, day release courses. Where funding permits, a proportion of NMGW's training budget will be made available each year to support such development and study leave will be made available if it is considered appropriate.

Application Procedure:

Requests for support in terms of both funding and time should be discussed in the first instance with the line manager and with the head of department/site manager, who should consider the request against the following criteria prior to completing the appropriate Application Form for support:

  • the extent to which the course leads to an academic or professional qualification which is essential to/desirable for the development of the individual's competence in his/her post at NMGW;
  • the individual's demonstrated commitment to his/her role within the organisation and to developing that role;
  • length of service;
  • the extent to which the course will enhance the individual's career development.

The head of department/site manager should consider the level to which NMGW should support the individual in terms of funding and time and complete the relevant sections of the application form. The following guidance should be used:

Funding:

NMGW will provide financial support as follows, subject to relevance of the course and availability of funding:

  • up to 80% towards the cost of course fees;
  • up to 80% of the cost of examination entry fees;

Help towards the cost of essential text books and course materials up to a maximum of £50 (to be paid on the production of receipts), unless the books are available through NMGW libraries

Continued financial support for a course of more than one year's duration will be subject to satisfactory examination results and/or progress reports from the institution where the individual is studying.

Repayment of fees:

Financial support is given on the understanding that both the individual and NMGW will benefit from the improvement in the individual's knowledge and skills. Should individuals leave the employment of NMGW within one year of completing study they may be required to repay part of the fees. Normally, the maximum level of repayment required will be 50% of final year fees only. In exceptional circumstances where it is not felt that NMGW has benefited from the investment, a higher level of repayment may be required.

Attention is drawn to this potential repayment requirement on the application form for support and individuals sign their agreement to NMGW reserving the right to require repayment.

Study Leave

The extent to which an individual is allowed paid or unpaid time off work to undertake a course of study or to study for examinations, is dependent on the operational requirements of the department. The level of study leave should be considered in advance of the course and entered on the application form. The following guidelines should be followed:

  • a maximum of 3.5 hours per week as paid time off to attend regular courses on work days (depending on the relevance of the course to the individual's work at NMGW);
  • up to one day's study leave for each examination to be taken per year.

Evaluation

The effectiveness of all training carried out within NMGW should be evaluated. Following any training activity, the individual and line manager should discuss with HR the effectiveness of the training and how successful it was in delivering the objectives and outcomes agreed in advance.

Equal Opportunities

All training and development within NMGW must be operated in line with NMGW's equal opportunities policy. To this end no individual will be offered or excluded from receiving training on the grounds of sex, marital status, disability, colour, race or ethnic origin, age, sexual preference or religious belief.

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