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About Staff Development

We provide a number of services across the University, including:

  • Co-ordination of a comprehensive in-house programme,
  • Project-management of the Investors in People initiative.
  • Consultancy services for Schools and Services where work is undertaken with staff groups to achieve bespoke local responses to local training needs.
  • Information and advice on external training and development opportunities
  • Support in planning and running team events and away days
  • Facilitation of subject specific University conferences

To support you in achieving the University's goals and objectives, we offer a broad range of training and development opportunities. These opportunities exist in a variety of forms, both formal and informal. Staff development means far more than attending training courses - although these have a role - it is a comprehensive set of options offering choice in styles, methods and approaches. Some commonly used development methods include:

  • Open and flexible learning (text and e-learning)
  • Mentoring
  • Coaching
  • Facilitation
  • Team meetings
  • Briefings
  • Action learning
  • Attending conferences
  • Reading and keeping abreast of professional journals/ trade papers

The University has a staff development website, to which every member of staff can access the site from all parts of the Campus. It provides a wide range of information about development activities throughout the University. The site includes a calendar for all the timetabled workshops and courses which cover management and personal development as well as Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills. Business and professional development is ultimately the responsibility of the individual and their manager and there are a number of departments within the University who can provide support and opportunities to meet development needs.

For general information and advice on where to turn, please contact:

Danny Benton, Head of Staff Development, email

Helen Walker, Staff Development Manager, email

Helen Connor, Staff Development Manager, email

Christian McGrath, Staff Development Manager, email

Planning and Evaluating Training and Development Activities

Continuing to update knowledge and practice is key to achieving the goals and objectives that the University and individuals set themselves and to deliver the highest levels of service to students, colleagues and the wider community. Through processes such as appraisal and in discussion with managers and colleagues, development needs are identified and a plan to address these needs is agreed. A good development plan has clear and measurable outcomes for the development activity and its application in the workplace. The plan addresses questions such as:

  • What knowledge, skills and/or practice needs improving?
  • How will this be addressed?
  • Who is responsible for making it happen?
  • By when will the development activity be completed?
  • How will the learning be demonstrated in the work environment?
  • What will be the benefits for the individual and for the school/department

By setting SMART objectives, these questions will be addressed in a way that will allow the development activity to be monitored and evaluated to determine how successful it has been in achieving the desired outcomes. SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time Bound

By applying the SMART test, objectives can be set out in a clear and unambiguous way.

An important part of taking part in a training and development activity is to reflect on what has been learnt and how that learning has been applied in the workplace. This can only be accomplished if everyone involved is clear about what is to be achieved by undertaking the development activity. The course specifications for our training and development activities, have been designed to provide clear, measurable outcomes to evaluate how successful the learning has been. On completion of a workshop all participants are invited to fill out an evaluation form measuring their learning from the day. A follow up evaluation is planned for three months after the event to measure how that learning has been applied in the workplace.

A copy of the current handbook is available for you to download - Staff Development Handbook


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