Professional qualifications for University staff
Work Learn Develop is a new programme of funded professional training and development opportunities for University staff. The Work Learn Develop training courses cover a wide range of skill areas that are core to University administration as well as covering technical and niche skills areas. All of the courses are accredited and offer professional, job-related qualifications.
Whilst these courses are funded via the apprenticeship levy, they are available to staff of all ages and grades. The training does require a significant time commitment over a minimum of a year and as such both staff and their managers need to consider this and commit to completion.
Personnel Services, together with members of the training team, have arranged a series of information sessions for staff and managers. Register to attend one of the information sessions taking place across the University. Extra sessions are being arranged in early July as some of the earlier ones are fully booked.
Please read the guidance below and speak to your line manager about whether one of these courses might be suitable to develop your skills and how the training can fit around your job.
If you have any queries about the Work Learn Develop programme, please email Clive Shepherd.
The University has contracted an accredited training provider – Abingdon and Witney College – to deliver the majority of the Work Learn Develop courses. If Abingdon and Witney College do not provide a particular course, an alternative training provider local to Oxford will be arranged. The details of where the training will take place will be specific to each course. This may be in University premises or at the training provider’s premises.
Your current job role will need to support the training and development required for your chosen course. This means that your role must provide opportunities for your skills to be practised and developed on the job. The courses cannot be funded unless this requirement is met. For example if you want to undertake a management course you will need to have some level of management responsibility within your current job description and the course will support the development of a higher level of management skills.
You will need to commit to completing all elements of the agreed training programme, which could include day release for professional training, regular assessment and observation visits in the workplace, completion of assignments, an NVQ portfolio of evidence and, possibly, an end point assessment.
The Work Learn Develop programme is open to all employed staff regardless of age or grade, full time or part time. A lack of formal qualifications is no barrier and there is support for staff with disabilities and long term health conditions.
Work Learn Develop provides an excellent opportunity to develop the skills needed within your team. Because the courses provide professional job related qualifications and require a substantial time commitment over a minimum of a year, you can expect a significant increase in skill level, confidence and proficiency. In addition to new skills, training and development contribute significantly to staff engagement, boosting morale, staff retention, increased productivity and efficiency within your team.
To gain the benefits of enhanced skill levels in their teams, managers need to commit to release the individual on the course for around 20% of their contracted hours for the duration of the programme, usually between 12 and 24 months depending on the course. This will not all be time out of the office but must be time allowed to complete assignments and other activities. Staff will still need to be paid for this time spent completing their training at their current grade level. They will also be visited regularly by external trainers to monitor progress and set new targets.
In teams where several staff could benefit from a Work Learn Develop courses, managers may need to consider the timing of when team members can start so that the team can continue to function. Work Learn Develop is a long term programme – courses will be run over the coming years and there will be plenty of capacity when the time is right for your team members to enrol.
As managers and team leaders, please consider Work Learn Develop in your PDR conversations with staff about their development.
Anyone interested will need to submit an application, supported by their line manager. One of the training team will arrange to come and meet you to discuss the options available. You will be invited to take part in an initial consultation and assessment process, undertaken by one of the training team at your workplace, which could take 2 to 3 hours. This will help us to identify with you the best and most appropriate training programme to undertake. Remember, as long as you meet the criteria for the course and your manager agrees, there will be sufficient funded places on the courses for everyone.
Don’t worry if it is a while since you undertook professional education or training – or if you have bad memories of school or college. The Work Learn Develop courses will provide plenty of support for staff at all levels and are practical work based programmes.
- Your current job role provides sufficient work experience to support the course objectives
- Your learning needs are a good fit for the programme
- Your manager supports your application and will release you from work to undertake the required training and assessment