Professional Development Policy


Cambridge Professional Academy acknowledges that continuous professional development is integral to personal job satisfaction, workplace productivity, reward, and recognition, and is critical to the achievement of our organisation’s mission and continuous improvement in the quality of its programmes and services.

Moreover, our published mission statement is “We effectively connect you to the knowledge you need to succeed in your career.” This document defines how we seek to achieve this mission with regards to our internal stakeholders, our staff.

This policy applies to all staff employed by Cambridge Professional Academy, including but not limited to Directors, Managers, Staff, Skills Coaches, Trainers, Support Tutors and Governors and in full consideration of our equality and diversity policy.


Cambridge Professional Academy is committed to providing a supportive and rewarding environment for employees and recognises that the quality, innovation, responsiveness, and professionalism of its workforce are linked to the further development of their skills and competencies.

Cambridge Professional Academy focuses on three key levels for staff development:

  • Strategic - to enable staff to meet the expectations of our strategy
  • Operational - to enable staff to meet the requirements of their department
  • Professional - to enable staff to develop their effectiveness and increase job satisfaction to achieve potential

Furthermore, it is critical that all members of staff have a passion for learning and take the responsibility to plan and manage their own career development. The performance review process provides staff with an opportunity to discuss their career development and identify areas that they wish to be professionally developed in.

For the purposes of this policy, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is any activity which enables a member of staff to be more effective in carrying out his or her professional duties which can include but is not exclusive to; in house courses; commercial courses; part time extended (vocational courses); attendance at external events and e-learning webinars.

Cambridge Professional Academy will aim to support individuals through a variety of means within the prevailing budgetary provision and identified business needs.

Staff must proactively engage with and take responsibility for their own professional development as well as undertaking mandatory and relevant training required for a particular role. Staff are expected to avail themselves of the development opportunities provided to enable them to keep their skills updated and respond flexibly to change.

Professional development programmes shall include orientation, induction and on-the-job training, career development and transition programmes, internal or external courses, support for undertaking project work, support for participation in internal or external governance processes, attendance at conferences or seminars, and networking, coaching and mentoring programmes.

Professional development will be included on the agenda of standardisation meetings with Skills Coaches, Support Tutors and Trainers and form a key aspect of the course delivery quality control process.

The purpose of this policy is to encourage and support employees in their professional and career development as part of their employment Cambridge Professional Academy and to provide administrative guidelines to facilitate fairness and equity in the application of these general principles.

As a guideline for resourcing purposes, it is recommended that at least 5 working days per annum is set aside for individual staff involvement in learning and development activities according to individual needs and requirements.

Cambridge Professional Academy will maintain accurate records of individuals professional development activities.

Industrial knowledge will be maintained via a range of industrial memberships, attendance at conferences, work placement days, standardisation meetings, training and other events or activities as deemed appropriate to ensure that delivery staff continue to have up-to-date knowledge of current systems and procedures and theories in relation to their vocational area.

Teaching and training knowledge will be maintained via a similar system to industrial knowledge with the addition of our Observation of Teaching Learning and Assessment process and regular feedback during one-to-ones and appraisals.

All members of staff have access to all professional development courses provided by Cambridge Professional Academy which will be discussed at induction and during one-to-one and appraisal discussions.

Proposals for professional development

Employees shall be encouraged, as part of the performance review process, to take an active role in their own ongoing professional and career development and to apply their learning to its most effective use.

Any proposal by an employee for any change in their existing conditions of employment (hours of work, taking of leave, use of equipment, etc.) to facilitate their professional development shall be considered by the Managing Director or Department Manager subject to:

  • the policy of the organisation to encourage such development where possible
  • the overall training needs and priorities of our organisation
  • satisfactory assurances from that person’s Line Manager that the business of the organisation can be carried on satisfactorily in those circumstances
  • equity in the provision of such facilitation between employees
  • Any such agreement shall be fully documented in that person’s personnel file.


All Line Managers are responsible for:

  • assisting staff in identifying their CPD needs in relation to their job and performance review processes
  • ensuring that CPD needs arising out of Improvement Targets are identified in the Improvement Plan
  • monitoring that aspect of the Quality Improvement Plans (QIP) that relate to their specific responsibilities
  • evaluating the effectiveness of CPD in supporting improvement targets

The Managing Director has overall responsibility for all aspects of CPD including:

  • each year the Managing Director will allocate a budget for CPD
  • the efficient and effective application of the CPD budget to the training needs of all staff
  • the production of an Annual Report on the CPD Plan and all CPD undertaken in the Academy
  • ensuring the CPD plan is fully implemented within the limits of the CPD budget

Subject to available resources, Cambridge Professional Academy is committed to providing employees with

  • The opportunity to plan and develop skills, knowledge and attributes that complement organisational and department goals
  • The opportunity to participate in career development activities that extend and enhance their capabilities and capacity for advancement within our organisation
  • Equity of access to professional development opportunities.

Process Professional Development needs may be identified through the following process:

  • Quality Improvement Planning
  • Performance Management
  • The individual member of staff identifying a training need
  • Work scrutiny

CPD undertaken as part of the Professional Development policy will be recorded in the Cambridge Professional Academy Management system and it is incumbent upon everyone to ensure this is updated in accordance with this policy. The process requires the following information. Before:

  • The reason(s) why the development is required, and specific outcomes/changes required in the job or role
  • How the new skills/knowledge/experience/qualification will be implemented in the workplace.
  • What preparation is needed before the development activity


  • On completing CPD all staff are required to provide an evaluation of the activity and update their CPD log and report back to their line any actions to address and to share the knowledge gained to other colleagues our organisation
  • Whether the development needs have been met
  • The skill(s)/knowledge/experience/qualification gained from the development and how this can be applied in the job
  • Any help or support needed to apply the new learning in the job Policy Position specific professional development

Where the Managing Director or Department Manager decides that it is necessary for a staff member to acquire a particular skill, to learn specific material, or to acquire specific qualifications in order for them to carry out the duties attached to their existing position or in response to a change in legislative requirements, the organisation shall be fully responsible for all costs incurred in acquiring that skill, that learning, or that qualification, and the staff member shall, where necessary, be given permission to attend any such course within working hours.

As such requirements would normally have been considered in the drafting of a job description and set out in the criteria for selection; it would thus seldom be the case that continuing employees would be required to acquire new qualifications.

Non position specific professional development

In its performance review procedures, the organisation shall in every case encourage the person concerned to explore their CPD options.

In addition, the current skill set of our workforce will be a factor considered for every QIP implemented.

During all one-to-one progress review meetings, the development of skills and capabilities to match the changing demands on our organisation will be discussed.

Our induction and probation programme will be used to identify any specific training needs.

Where an employee wishes to pursue further education or training, but the Managing Director or Department Manager has not required that person to acquire a particular skill, to learn specific material, or to acquire specific qualifications to carry out the duties attached to their existing position.

The organisation shall endeavour to facilitate such education or training through

  • permitting (at the discretion of the Managing Director or Department Manager, and taking into account the efficiency of the workplace) any rearrangement of working hours that would assist the prospective student
  • permitting (at the discretion of the Managing Director or Department Manager, and taking into account the efficiency of the workplace) any use by the person of the organisation’s equipment or services that would assist the prospective student
  • permitting (at the discretion of the Managing Director or Department Manager, and taking into account the efficiency of the workplace) any annual leave or unpaid leave arrangements that would assist the prospective student granting up to two days study leave as necessary to attend examinations.
  • Educational or training requirements involving reimbursement of fees or provision of paid study leave may also be negotiated as part of the contract of employment between the employee and the organisation.

Mandatory Staff Development Provision

The following staff development activities are mandatory and line managers should ensure staff participation in these where appropriate:

  • Induction/Initial Health and Safety Training
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Safeguarding and PREVENT
  • IT systems and security
  • In addition, each new member of staff will have a personalised induction plan

In addition to the mandatory training provided to all staff, certain staff will receive training that is fundamental to the success of our strategic themes.

For example, Skills Coaches are responsible for Initial Assessment interview with prospective Apprentices. Identification of Learning needs is crucial, we have developed a number of robust processes that ensure quality and regulatory compliance, one of which is the Initial Assessment process. Training is mandatory, monitored and regularly reviewed for this specific audience and need.

This policy will be reviewed at least annually by SMT and approved by the governance board.


Impact on Students/Staff:

Policy relates to staff but impacts on the quality of the student experience

Impact on Diversity:

Professional development applies to all staff

Impact on Health & Safety:

The Professional Development Programme has contributed to ensuring that the Academy is a safe and healthy environment for all its learners, staff and visitors.

Impact on Data Protection/Freedom of Information:

Confidentiality and trust will be maintained as far as possible.

Legal authority:

Responsive to legislation

Responsibility for maintaining this policy rests with:

The Operations Manager

Links to other policies:

Tutoring for the Professional Academy