Academic Staff Development - Christian Heritage College
Human Resource ManagementAcademic Staff Development

Academic Staff Development

Policy Group(s): Group B: Academic – 2: Staff (Ref: G1/0203.1-0415)
Related Policy:
Academic Workloads Framework
Employee Leave
Risk Management – Teaching Continuity
Staff Grievance
Staff Scholarship
Commencement Date: February 2003
Review Date:
December 2017
December 2022
Additional Information


The professional development of academic staff is a vital element of institutional quality and of excellence in teaching, research and other scholarly pursuits. For existing staff, such development includes, for example, attendance at national and international conferences, study leave and research activities, while for new staff it includes an effective and comprehensive program of induction to Christian Heritage College’s (CHC’s) policies, processes and institutional culture.


This policy applies to full time academic staff, fractional academic staff and sessional academic staff of CHC.

Restrictions:     Nil

Exclusions:       Nil


1.     To ensure the continuing professional development of all academic staff at CHC.

2.     To facilitate the maintenance of current knowledge and understandings of the disciplines within which academic staff are employed.

3.     To enhance the standing of CHC within the academic and professional communities.

Policy Provisions:

1.          General

1.1.   CHC will establish goals and performance indicators for academic staff professional development. This policy applies to fractional and sessional academic staff on a pro-rata basis.

1.2.   In terms of staffing policy, CHC’s goal is that at least fifty per cent of full time academic staff will hold doctoral qualifications. Full time academic staff appointments will normally be conditional upon the appointee making satisfactory progress in working towards a doctoral qualification if such a qualification is not already held.

1.3.   CHC has a record-keeping procedure for academic staff conference attendance, conference presentations, publications and research activity, as indicators of scholarly activity and the development of a research culture.

1.3.1.It is the responsibility of the Chair of the Research Committee, or their delegate, to maintain these records. These data are published in the Academic Board Annual Report.

2.     Induction of New Staff

2.1.   The induction program is mandatory for all new academic staff.

2.1.   This program will be administered by various existing academic and other relevant staff members, according to their particular areas of expertise (see Supporting Procedures and Guidelines 1).

2.2.   The induction program will commence no later than one month prior to the first semester of the new academic staff members’ appointments.

3.     Conference Attendance

3.1.   CHC encourages all academic staff members to attend at least one major national academic conference each year.

3.2.   Each academic staff member is entitled to financial assistance for approved conference attendance costs. Financial assistance may be accumulated to a maximum of two years with the approval of the Dean. The level of financial assistance is reviewed annually as part of institutional budgeting processes.

3.3.   CHC aims to provide a budget allocation to assist at least one academic staff member per year to attend an international conference. Such staff member will contribute their allocated national conference attendance entitlement.

4.     Study Leave

4.1.   Full time academic staff members are entitled to apply for up to one semester of study leave after each five years of service.

4.2.   CHC will negotiate financial support and release time for academic staff upgrading who are their qualifications or undertaking scholarly activity.

4.3.   Approval of study leave applications is subject to an assessment of the scholarly value of proposed projects and activities, and of the importance of the proposal to CHC.

4.4.   The granting of study leave is subject to the normal exigencies of budget provisions and program planning.

4.5.   Academic staff members taking study leave to upgrade qualifications are able to apply for financial assistance with the costs of their study programs.

5.     Research, Scholarship and Publications

5.1.   Academic staff workloads are to be structured on the basis that a minimum of 10% of each academic staff member’s time is devoted to research and scholarship. Academic staff are to report annually on their research and scholarly activities (see Supporting Procedures and Guidelines 7).

5.2.   The Research Committee will organise regular programs of colloquia.

5.3.   CHC has implemented a program of research grants administered by Academic Board.

6.     Resources

6.1.   CHC provides academic staff members with copies of required texts in units for which they are responsible.

6.2.   Full-time academic staff are each semester entitled to a predetermined level of financial assistance towards teaching and scholarly resources, with a pro rata provision for fractional and sessional academic staff.

6.2.1.The level of financial assistance is reviewed annually as part of institutional budgeting processes.

7.     Networking

7.1.   Each academic staff member will maintain membership of at least one national academic association.

7.2.   CHC encourages full time academic staff to participate, subject to the approval of the Dean, in activities which develop networks and relationships with the wider academic community.

8.     Staff Exchange

8.1.   CHC will investigate the development of a program of short-term exchanges and institutional visits.

9.     Reporting

9.1.   Where CHC contributes towards the costs of professional development activities such as conference attendance or study leave, academic staff are expected to provide a report on the activity for the benefit of other staff members.

1.     Induction of New Staff

1.1.      The induction program for new academic staff members will be overseen by the Dean of the School in which the staff member is teaching.

1.2.      The Dean of the School will liaise with the Learning and Teaching Committee, Heads of Department and other relevant staff in the provision of information to the new academic staff members.

1.3.      Deans of Schools will, through an interview process, assess new academic staff members’ existing skills with a view to determining the specific areas of development required.

1.4.      Possible topics for inclusion in the induction program are as follows, to be administered by the departments indicated:

1.4.1.Academic policies and processes, course and curriculum issues, unit content, teaching and assessment policies and processes, unit administration (relevant School);

1.4.2.Teaching skills, curriculum development, classroom management, use of technology for teaching and learning, assessment processes (for new academic staff not holding a prior qualification in Education) (Assigned School on a rotational basis);

1.4.3.Availability of and access to resources, recommended texts, reading lists (Library);

1.4.4.Class lists, entering of unit exit grades, database access, student grievance policies and procedures, academic administration policies and processes (Registry Office); and

1.4.5.Employment policies and processes, workplace health and safety issues, staff grievance policies and procedures.

1.5.   The details of the induction program will be communicated to new academic staff members.

1.6.   If there are multiple new academic staff members, certain meetings which comprise the induction program may be combined to convey information which is not School or unit specific. This may include meetings held by representatives from the Library, Registry Office and Business Office.

2.     Conference Attendance

2.1.   To apply for conference attendance, academic staff are to submit a written application to the Dean of the School. This application is to provide:

2.1.1.details of the conference (date, venue);

2.1.2.the reason for attending the conference: i.e. the benefit of attendance to the staff member and to their work at CHC;

2.1.3.costs of attendance (travel, accommodation, car hire, etc.); and

2.1.4.plans to cover CHC teaching and/or other responsibilities, should the conference be scheduled at a time that conflicts with the staff member’s CHC responsibilities (Ref: Risk Management – Teaching Continuity Policy).

2.2.   The Dean will make an initial assessment of the application, and advise the staff member whether to proceed with a formal application.

2.3.   If initial approval is given by the Dean, the staff member is to submit a “Requisition for Travel/Conference” form to the Dean, who will countersign the form, indicating their approval, and submit it, together with the formal application, to the Vice President – Advancement and Operations.

2.4.   The application will be considered by the Vice President – Advancement and Operations with regard to the budgetary imperatives of the institution. If approval is forthcoming, the Vice President – Advancement and Operations will forward the application to the President.

2.5.   The President will consider the application according to issues such as the benefit of the conference to the larger priorities of the institution, and the contingency arrangements for covering the staff member’s CHC responsibilities.

2.6.   The outcome of the application will be communicated to the staff member in writing.

2.7.   If a Dean approves the accumulation of an academic staff member’s budget allocation for the following year then the Dean will notify the Vice President – Advancement and Operations for inclusion in the annual budget.

3.     Study Leave

3.1.   To apply for study leave, academic staff are to submit a written application to Academic Board by a specified closing date during the year prior to the year in which it is proposed that the study leave will be taken.

3.2.   The study leave application is to address the following selection criteria:

3.2.1.the purpose of the leave;

3.2.2.the nature of the scholarly activities to be undertaken during the leave;

3.2.3.the expected outcomes of the leave;

3.2.4.the benefit and importance of the proposal to the academic staff member’s work at CHC; and

2.2.5.the benefit and importance of the proposal to CHC in general;

3.3.   The application is to be endorsed by the Dean who must provide details of how the staff member’s duties will be covered during the period of study leave, including the cost of the arrangements made.

3.4.   The Academic Board will appoint an assessment panel to consider and prioritise applications through a fair and transparent application of the selection criteria

3.5.The academic staff member will be notified in writing of the outcome of the assessment of their application, and of any conditions to which it is subject.

4.     Research, Scholarship and Publications

4.1.   The Research Committee will, via staff meetings and email bulletins, call for applications for the ensuing year’s research and publications grants. Applications must be made by 31 March for projects which commence after 1 July of the same year. Should a researcher require funding to commence in Semester 1 of a given year, he/she will need to apply for these funds by October 31 of the previous year.

4.2.   In order to apply for a scholarship and/or publication grant, academic staff are to submit to the Research Committee a written application of no more than 1000 words which contains the following:

4.2.1. A brief overview (no more than 100 words) describing the research or scholarship for which funding is being sought, including any relationship to projects or activities previously funded by CHC;

2.2.2. A description of the way in which the activity for which funding is being sought involves the continuation, dissemination and/or publication of existing research or scholarship related to one of the following three areas:

4.2.3 The continuation of existing projects including those which have previously been funded from CHC’s research budget. In this case, the submission should include a brief description of the current status of the research or scholarship and how the funding being requested would allow the further development of this work;

4.2.4 Attendance at an academic conference or symposium at which the applicant intends to present a paper related to areas of existing research or scholarship which is TEQSA reportable;

4.2.5 The preparation of a journal article or articles pertaining to existing research or scholarship that is as yet unpublished. This category of application might include (but should not be understood as being limited to) requests for time-release through provision of marking relief, consultancy fees to assist in the writing of papers, etc;

4.2.6 An explanation of how the topic addressed meets at least one of the four identified CHC research emphases. Applicants should consider these areas to be quite broad and are intended to allow a range of diverse research initiatives;

i) The integration of faith, learning and practice;

ii) The transformation of people, communities and society;

iii) The relevance of an incarnational understanding of Christian worldview; and

iv) The potential for intra-institutional application.

4.2.7. A description of the possible locations for publication and why the paper would potentially meet the publication requirements for the nominated journal(s) or proceedings;

4.2.8. An itemised budget detailing how and when requested funds will be spent;

4.2.9. The substantiation of the amount of funding being requested by the provision of appropriate documentation, such as conference brochures, airfare details, etc; and

4.2.10. An agreement that the applicant will present the paper for the benefit of the CHC community at an appropriate time and setting, such as the annual Research Forum;

4.3. Following the closing date for submissions, the Research Committee will consider the proposals at its next scheduled meeting. Submissions may be assessed by the committee as a whole or by a sub-committee of at least three members formally convened for this purpose. The evaluation of submissions will be based on the following criteria:

4.3.1 Success with which the submission addresses the issues cited in 4.2 above;

4.3.2 The availability of funds; and

4.3.3 The most effective use of available funds in supporting the submission with the greatest probability of achieving successful outcomes, including publications.

4.4. When drafting its recommendations concerning the allocation of funding, the Research Committee will aim to recommend a distribution of funds amongst all CHC Schools wherever and whenever possible, while not compromising the aim of supporting high quality research projects. The Research Committee will also balance the continuing support of existing effective research endeavours with the funding of new initiatives.

4.5. When a member of the Research Committee submits a proposal for funding they will be excused from the assessment procedure.

4.6. Following the assessment of each submission, the Research Committee will submit its recommendations for the allocation of funds to the Academic Board for final evaluation and approval.

4.6.1. Once decisions pertaining to the final allocation of funds is made by the Academic Board, the successful applicants will be informed in writing of the amount they will be allocated.

4.6.2. Unsuccessful applicants will be informed in writing regarding the reason(s) their proposals were not accepted.

4.7. Appeals to the Academic Board regarding decisions deemed unsatisfactory to the applicant can be made in two circumstances:

4.8. When the researcher’s application has been unsuccessful; and

4.9. When the researcher’s application did not result in the allocation of the full amount of funds requested.

4.10. Appeals must be made in writing to the Academic Board in accordance with the Staff Grievance Policy – Academic Grievances.

4.11. The Chair of the Research Committee will inform the Vice President – Advancement and Operations in writing of the successful applicants and the amounts they have been allocated. The successful applicants are then responsible for liaising with the Vice President – Advancement and Operations to arrange access to funds to commence on the nominated starting dates of their projects.

4.12. Funds will not be released to successful applicants for at least 20 working days after receipt of the approval letter from the Academic Board to allow unsuccessful applicants to lodge an appeal.

4.13 Once funds are released, researchers are to spend the funds only on the specific projects that have been approved by the Research Committee. They are also responsible for recording how funds are spent and managed. Access to money to support research that was not part of the original proposals is subject to the preparation and approval of another application.

4.14 Upon the completion of the research study for which funding was approved, the researcher will prepare a report for the Research Committee indicating the outcome of the research. This report is to include:

i) A discussion of the major findings, results, conclusions, etc. of the study;

ii) An assessment of the progress achieved relative to the initial research goals;

iii) Reference to any resulting publications, conference presentations, etc;

iv) A description of any new research directions that have emerged from the study.

4.14.1 Researchers should also prepare and deliver a seminar at CHC in which they present their findings and conclusions. For projects of longer than twelve months, six-monthly progress reports will be required by the Research Committee which detail progress and expenditure.

5.     Networking

5.1.   The expectation that academic staff members will maintain membership in at least one national academic association will be assured through the Academic Board Annual Report. In the preparation of this Report, academic staff members will be asked to provide details of the associations with which they hold membership.

6.     Staff Exchange

6.1.   Academic staff who are interested in undertaking a short-term exchange and/or institutional visit are to submit a written application to the President.

6.2.   The application is to address the purpose of the exchange or visit, the nature of the scholarly activities to be undertaken during the exchange or visit, and the expected outcomes of the exchange or visit. This is to be framed in terms of the benefit and importance of the exchange or visit to the academic staff member’s work at CHC and to the institution itself.

6.3.   The President will consider the application in terms of the normal exigencies of budget provisions and program planning.

6.4.   The academic staff member will be notified in writing of the outcome of the assessment of their application, and of any conditions to which it is subject.

7.     Reporting

7.1.   Academic staff whose professional development activities, such as conference attendance or study leave, have been subsidised in whole or part by CHC will provide a report on said activities at a general Staff Meeting, the date of which will be negotiated with the President, as Chair of the Staff Meeting.

7.2.   This report is to outline the purpose, methodology and outcomes of the activity. It may be accompanied by audio-visual presentation, as applicable.

All academic staff


Relevant Commonwealth/State Legislation


Higher Educations Standards Framework (HESF 2015)
Implementation: Academic Board
Compliance: Academic Board
Monitoring and Evaluation: Academic Board
Development/Review: Director of Quality and Standards
Approval Authority: Academic Board
Interpretation and Advice: Academic Board
Performance Indicators: ·     Full expenditure of the annual budget allocation for academic staff development

·     CHUE data for academic staff

·     National and international conference attendance

·     Full expenditure of the annual budget allocation for academic staff conference attendance, including sessional staff

·     The number of annual publications (targets set biannually by the Research Committee)

·     Attendance at and satisfaction with research colloquia

·     The number of DOE reportable papers presented

·     Level of participation in the wider academic community (targets set biannually by Academic Board)

·     Submission of reports by academic staff regarding development activities

Other Nil
Definitions and Acronyms: CHC – Christian Heritage College

CHUE – Christian Heritage Unit Evaluations

TEQSA – Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency

APPROVAL – section maintained by the Director of Quality and Standards
Reference No. Approved Date Committee/Board Resolution No. / Minute Ref.
G1/0203.1 Yes Feb 03 Academic Board 4.1
REVISION HISTORY – section maintained by the Director of Quality and Standards
Revision Reference No. Approved/Rescinded Date Committee/Board Resolution No. / Minute Ref.
0206 Approved Feb 06 Academic Board 4.1
0209 Rescinded Feb 09 Academic Board 4.1
0209 Approved Feb 09 Academic Board 4.1
0415 Approved 28/04/15 Academic Board 4.1
1217 Approved 01/12/2017 Academic Board 5.1
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