Staff undertaking training courses or volunteering roles
A policy aiming to support employees undertaking short courses and those of a longer duration such as certificates, diplomas or MAs that require intensive study. The policy also recognises that small organisation often have has limited resources. The policy also covers sabbaticals and extended voluntary work.
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CAAT recognises the need for employees to continue to expand their professional
knowledge and skills. This enables the organisation to develop new ideas and techniques, sustain a good morale in the workplace, as well as helping individuals to develop their careers. CAAT aims to support employees undertaking short courses and those of a longer duration such as certificates, diplomas or MAs that require intensive study. However it is also recognised that CAAT is a small organisation and therefore has limited resources.
Note: For the sake of keeping things simple the term ‘courses’ in this policy refers to both training courses and volunteering roles.
The exact nature of the support offered depends upon the individual course and the relevancy to the employee’s role at CAAT. If a discussion is needed regarding whether a
course is directly relevant, it will be brought to Workplan. If Workplan disputes the course as being relevant to the employee’s role, an appeal can be made to Steering Committee.
Courses directly relevant to CAAT and the employee’s role:
Note: If these courses are scheduled outside normal working hours then they can be taken as time off in lieu.
Short term (of 5 days or less)
- These courses are encouraged by CAAT to improve employees skills and retain their interest in their role. The nature, cost and timings of the course should be brought to Workplan.
Medium term (between 6 and 15 days)
- An employee may take up to 15 paid days off a year (pro rata for part-time employees) to attend a course that is directly relevant to their role. Details of the course should be brought to Workplan to be agreed by the rest of CAAT employees (see application process below). It is expected that the employee will remain working at CAAT for at least 12 months following the completion of a course of medium term length.
Long term (more than 15 days)
- If the course is more than 15 days (pro rata for part-time employees) then the employee may take the additional days as unpaid leave, provided that at least 6 weeks notice is given. Terms and conditions of unpaid leave are written in the employee’s contract. It is expected that the employee will remain working at CAAT for at least 12 months following the completion of a long term course.
- A course directly relevant to the employee’s role at CAAT will be paid for by CAAT, up to a maximum of £500 (to be agreed at workplan). If the employee leaves CAAT within 12 months following the completion of a meduim or long term course then the employee will refund CAAT the full cost of the course.
For medium and long term courses, directly relevant to CAAT, the employee should make a written submission, to be discussed at Workplan, which outlines:
- How the course will benefit CAAT
(The employee should outline the benefits to the organisation such as: development of new strategies, new skills that will be developed)
- How the employee will ensure that CAAT’s core work will not be unduly impacted (however it is recognised that CAAT is a small organisation and an absent employee will have some impact on the organisation)
- Full financial cost to CAAT including cost of staff absence
- What type of support is needed
If CAAT is unable to offer the requested support full reasons will be given.
During the course the employee should:
- Show how the skills developed are being implemented, in 1:1 reviews or staff meetings as well as day-to-day work. The employee should also give regular updates of how the course is going and the skills they’re developing at Workplan. The regularity of these updates would depend on the length of the course.
On completion of the course the employee should:
- Consider training other employees in key elements of the course, if relevant.
- Review the course’s benefit to all employees in a staff meeting, and feedback on the support given by CAAT.
While studying or volunteering the employee remains eligible for all pay increases and
pension rights. Holiday is accumulated during paid leave, but not during unpaid leave.
- Employees can request to take a sabbatical of up to one year once they have been working for CAAT for five years or more. This can be used to undertake a course (not directly relevant to their role at CAAT), travel or whatever they choose. Sabbaticals are unpaid.
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