Study Assistance - Operational Policy | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Study Assistance - Operational Policy

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Approval authority
Vice-Chancellor and President
Responsible Executive member
Chief Operating Officer
Designated officer
Director, People and Culture
First approved
6 December 2005
Last amended
16 February 2022
Review date
28 November 2022
Related documents
Linked documents

1. Purpose of policy

1.1 This policy is intended to support the development of a better skilled and flexible workforce and to encourage the development of individual staff. Financial assistance and leave to attend classes and examinations may be granted to eligible staff members enrolled in an approved program.

1.2 This policy sets out the assistance available to staff members to improve their education and the conditions under which financial and other assistance can be granted.

2. Application of policy

2.1 This policy applies to ongoing staff and fixed term staff holding an appointment of 12 months or more.

3. Definitions

In this policy the following definitions apply:

Cost centre manager means the manager responsible for the budget of an organisational unit.

Director, People and Culture means the person appointed to be the Director, People and Culture of the University, and includes anyone acting in that role on a temporary basis.

Examination leave means leave granted to attend examinations and can include time to travel to and from an examination.

Registered Training Organisation (RTO) is an organisation accredited to provide teaching or facilities for assessment of results in the area of study concerned and includes universities, colleges, TAFE colleges and registered agencies.

Study leave means leave granted to attend classes or study for an examination.

4. Policy statement

4.1 The University actively acknowledges that its most important resources are its staff and the knowledge, skills and values they bring to their work. Staff development is part of a lifelong learning process through which staff continue to learn and expand their capability to be effective in their work. Study assistance is a means by which the University can support staff to attain formal qualifications.

5. Principles

5.1 Approval for any financial or other assistance to support study can only be made within the financial and operational constraints of the Cost Centre.

5.2 The intention to apply for study assistance should be discussed between a staff member and their PPR supervisor during their annual formal PPR discussion.

5.3 Eligibility

5.3.1 All ongoing staff and fixed-term staff holding an appointment of 12 months or more are eligible to apply for study assistance.

5.4 Study assistance
5.4.1 Components of study assistance There are two components of study assistance available under this policy:

(a) leave to attend classes or study for an examination and/or leave to attend examinations, and

(b) Financial assistance to reimburse the payment of fees and other costs associated with study Reimbursement of fees will only occur after successful completion of a course/unit of study.

5.4.2 Access to study assistance Study assistance is available to staff who enrol in:

(a) University programs, for example, Bachelors and Masters degrees; Graduate Certificates and Graduate Diplomas; or

(b) Vocational education and training courses provided by public or private providers (RTOs) eg Certificate courses.

5.4.3 Categories of study assistance There are three categories of study assistance that determine the level of financial assistance and/or leave available to staff:

  • Category A applies where a staff member is required to enrol in a particular program as a condition of their employment. This condition will be explicitly stated in the staff member’s written offer of appointment or other formal correspondence.
  • Category B applies where the program of study will directly contribute to the staff member’s performance of duties and is consistent with the qualifications and training level reflected in the classification standards of their substantive position or anticipated future duties at the University.
  • Category C applies where the program of study will generally contribute to the staff member’s performance in their substantive position or contribute, by being relevant to other positions in the University, to the continuing development of the individual staff member.

6. Responsibilities

6.1 The University encourages staff to participate in relevant staff development activities, including study assistance, and recognises that responsibility for development lies jointly with individual staff and the University:

(a) each individual staff member is encouraged to take ultimate responsibility for their own career development and to seek and take advantage of relevant opportunities for development, such as study assistance;

(b) Cost Centre Managers are to: ensure the universal implementation of Performance Planning and Review within their Cost Centre and encourage discussion about applying for study assistance when relevant to a staff member’s development; plan for resourcing appropriate staff development; and allocate resources so that staff are able to participate in relevant staff development activities, such as formal study;

(c) People and Culture is to: prepare correspondence to staff to formalise approval of study assistance; and monitor and report on participation in study for which study assistance has been provided; and

(d) the University is responsible for creating a positive and stimulating environment in which staff are able to achieve success in their work. Study assistance is a means of investing in the development of staff to enhance their capabilities and contribute to increased organisational effectiveness.