Professional development policy


RMIT is committed to building the capabilities, talents and effectiveness of its staff through professional development that supports the achievement of RMIT’s strategic directions and the aspirations of individuals.

RMIT will conduct regular analysis of professional development, performance ratings, talent management and related processes with regards to equal opportunity commitments including diversity of participation in staff career movement and progression. Such analysis will identify areas for improvement.


  • This policy ensures that staff will develop the necessary skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours for RMIT University to meet its requirements.
  • RMIT will ensure men and women are represented within the talent identification and succession planning process.
  • Achievement relative to opportunity will be considered in career progression decisions.


This policy applies to all RMIT staff members


The policy is not retrospective. Staff members pursuing professional development activity at their own expense are not eligible for retrospective support. Some activities may be restricted to certain classifications of staff.

Policy provisions


The responsibility for staff development is shared by individual staff members, managers and the University.

  • Staff members are encouraged to take responsibility for their own work-related learning and career development. They are also encouraged to assist others in their development.
  • Managers are responsible for identifying, enabling and approving professional development activities based on the priority of their work unit.
  • The University is responsible for providing opportunities, resources and tools so that staff can become competent in their roles and achieve their career aspirations.

Identifying development needs

A staff member’s learning and development needs are primarily identified through the performance cycle and are captured in the staff member’s Performance Workplan

Learning and development needs can relate to technical or behavioural capabilities required for the staff member’s current role or future career ambitions. Behavioural capabilities are defined in the RMIT Behavioural Capability Framework. For further information refer to the Behavioural Capability Framework guideline.

Human Resources will analyse all staff members’ development objectives and activities in their Performance Workplan to inform design and delivery of professional development activities across the University that support RMIT’s strategic and business planning priorities.

The University will provide professional development opportunities and special programs where areas of under representation are identified to encourage and support staff in their learning and career development.

Approving professional development: criteria

The professional development activity must:

a) be relevant to the staff member’s current role or to the functions they may reasonably be expected to perform

b) match and support the staff member’s capability

c) addresses identified needs or support organisational initiatives, including

  • the staff member’s current and/or future needs
  • the work team’s designated priority needs
  • RMIT’s strategic directions and relevant operational plans

d) be a suitable investment, considering

  • available funds
  • other staff needs
  • other cost-effective ways to meet the developmental need (on the job learning and internal development activities should be considered before exploring external developmental activities)

e) be transferable to the workplace.

Financial support

RMIT may provide financial support to staff members undertaking professional development. This is a discretionary investment on the part of RMIT and is not an entitlement.

The decision to provide financial support is made by the staff member’s manager and the relevant delegated authority (as listed in the Financial Delegations Schedule).

Time release and professional development leave

Time release should be considered in conjunction with the requirements of the work unit. Before approving a staff member’s time release or professional development leave, managers should consider all other approved leave.

RMIT provides the following professional development leave types which are detailed in the professional development leave guidelines:

TAFE staff:

  • Study leave
  • Sabbatical leave

Academic staff:

  • Assessment leave
  • PhD completion leave
  • Research leave
  • Study leave

Professional staff:

  • Assessment leave
  • Study leave


The University supports secondments as a development opportunity where the secondment benefits both the staff member and the University.

Secondments can be within RMIT University or to an external organisation. They are not available to casual or agency staff.

Secondments should only be issued for 12 months with the possibility for extension in exceptional circumstances.

Career development

The University encourages all staff to take responsibility for their own career development. The University’s primary focus is on assisting staff members to build competence in their current role and aims to provide staff with the opportunities to achieve their career aspirations.

The manager plays a key role in the staff member’s career development by

  • setting performance and behavioural expectations (what and how)
  • identifying development needs
  • providing regular feedback on the staff member’s performance and development

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