Corporate H.R. Service

Training and Development Policy


1.                  We are committed to the continuous development and improvement of the services we deliver.

2.                  In order to achieve this aim, we recognise the value and importance of all our employees.

3.                  We will therefore ensure that systems are in place to help develop people through a wide range of learning strategies so that they have the skills, behaviours and commitment to respond flexibly to whatever changes may occur to the business of the Service, whether internal or external.

4.                  Consideration of training and development investment will therefore be integrated into the service planning process.

5.                  Training and development will be provided on an equitable basis to all Service staff in accordance with the Council’s equality and Diversity Policy. This will be monitored by equality indicators and this, together with Council wide imbalances, will inform decisions on training and development expenditure. 

6.                  The Corporate H.R. Service is committed to maintaining the I.I.P. standard.

7.                  Every employee will have the right to a minimum of an annual discussion about their training needs.  This will be reviewed at appropriate intervals throughout the year.

8.                  We will encourage all employees to take responsibility for their own development and to support the development of others.

9.                  The Service will give priority for training delivery to the in-house Training and Development Team and will seek their advice in commissioning the input of any external provider.

10.             Our training and development will be monitored and evaluated to make sure that our training and development budget improves the competence of individual employees and improves the services we deliver.


Corporate H.R. Service

Training and Development Procedure

1.         Responsibilities

The Human Resource Advisor and the Senior Management Team have the responsibility to:


·        Ensure that training and development activities are directed towards achieving the Service’s business objectives

·        Ensure that the standards achieved to receive the IIP award are maintained on an ongoing basis

·        Promote the policy to all members of the Corporate H.R. Service

·        Ensure that all training plans at individual and team level are consistent with our policy.

·        Monitor and review how training and development money is spent across the Service

·        Keep the Deputy Chief Executive up to date on the progress of the policy within the Service

·        Ensure that training and development helps in the achievement of both the Corporate H.R. Service and corporate objectives.


Heads of Operational Units have the responsibility to:

·        Approve action emerging from the performance management and training review meetings

·        Approve attendance on external courses and conferences

·        Control budgetary provision for training and development activities

·        Audit and monitor all training and development activity within their Units.

Staff who performance manage other team members, have the responsibility to:


·          Ensure that all new employees have a structured induction plan which allows their input in its design and content and which ensures their participation in relevant corporate Induction courses

·          Ensure that induction inputs are evaluated and adjusted accordingly.

·        Make sure all employees’ training needs are assessed and that they have access to development opportunities to help them acquire competency in their work.

·        Identify as a priority, training and development opportunities for individuals from under represented groups in the council’s workforce.

·        Ensure that training and development plans are evaluated.

·        Support employees to apply their learning to work and to coach them in the performance of their duties.

·        Encourage employees to take responsibility for their own learning and promote the idea of life long learning.


All staff members have the responsibility to:


·        Prepare for and contribute to the identification of their training and development needs.

·        Make the most of all training opportunities and apply this learning to their work.

·        Help in developing other employees.

·        Participate in any form or mechanism to gather feedback on training and development.

·        Understand that priorities for training and development must support the achievement of the Corporate H.R. Service, and corporate, objectives.


2.         Types of Training


2.1             There are no exclusions to the type of training the Corporate H.R. Service is prepared to offer to assist in the achievement of corporate priorities and the Service Performance Plan.  No individual will be excluded from receiving training on the grounds of age, race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexuality, contract type, trade union activity or any other unjustifiable criteria.  Indeed quarterly checks will be made by the Equalities Audit and Planning Team to endure that black/minority ethnic and disabled staff are accessing training opportunities in a fair way.

2.2             In practice, most of the training carried out will be in the job training and the role of the Training and Development Team is to provide support or managers in their role as trainers.  This support can go well beyond simply running courses and can include assistance with formulating training plans, advice on training methods and provision of equipment and facilities.  A list of different learning interventions is set out at Appendix 1.

2.3             In addition, advice and practical support on all matters relating to training and learning is readily available from the Service’s Principal Training and Development Officer.

3.                  Resource Allocation

3.1             Requests for courses requiring time off work and / or financial payments will be considered using the following criteria to allocate resources:

q       All new employees will receive an induction to the workplace and will be booked on to the Council’s induction within the first 3months.

q       If employees change role they will receive an induction and an opportunity to develop the skills which will ensure that they are able to function within the new role.

q       All staff will receive basic Health and Safety training as part of their induction to the workplace and any specialised training if it part of their job.

q       All staff will receive training to meet Employment and Equality legislative requirements.


In addition, the following categories of training should be carried out in the priority order indicated:

i)                    Training to meet other legislative requirements

ii)                  Training to improve job performance of people in their current post

iii)                Training to ensure specialist knowledge necessary to the Service is retained/developed.

iv)                Training which is desirable but not essential and can be undertaken at any time

v)                  Training for individual career development.


4.                  Training Review Procedure

4.1             Guidelines for Performance Management discussions and their links to the Service Performance and Development Plan are set out in the Performance Management Scheme.

4.2             Completed and signed PDR forms will be retained by both the line manager and the individual concerned.

4.3             Heads of Operational Units will collate all the training review meeting forms resulting from Performance Management discussions (PDRs) and assess the budgetary implications.

4.4             Where the requirement for courses and development inputs exceeds the budgetary allocation, consultation will be undertaken with relevant senior officers who will apply the Resource Allocation criteria.

4.5             All team members will be informed of these discussions and whether they can proceed with short course attendance or other training events.

4.6             A quarterly review will be co-ordinated by each Unit Head to ensure that training requirements are being met.

4.7             The Performance Management and Training Reviewis not intended to be a static procedure. It should be capable of adjustment.  It is therefore important throughout the year to review:

q       Progress in implementation

q       Effectiveness in training and development activity undertaken

q       The impact of alterations to the Performance and Development Plan

q       Other individual requests for training and development that may arise from time tot time or resulting from identification of needs outside the annual planning process.


4.8             It is the responsibility of the Unit Heads and their delegated officers to take account of adjustments required to the overall plan.

4.9             The review process will be facilitated by the completion of post – training evaluation records which everyone must complete following attendance at a course, conference or similar event.  These should be returned to the designated officer in each Unit for collation and analysis.

Forms which support the training process

i.          Performance and Training Review Form

ii.         Training Summary Form (to be returned to the designated officer in each Unit for collation and analysis)

iii.                Ad hoc training and development request

iv.                 Post training and Development Evaluation and Review

v.                   Away Session evaluation forms.


Appendix 1





All these methods need to be fully supported from within the organisation in order to maximise the benefits or learning for the individual and the organisation.  Any method used should be evaluated as part of the formal and informal performance management review meeting.


š                 ACTION LEARNING SET: 3 - 6 people hold regular meetings where each participant brings a project/problem they are working on.  The Action Learning Set is used as a support for each participant and a place where they can get other people’s ideas and perspective on their situation.  Useful for those people who can feel isolated in their own work situation.


š                 COMPUTER BASED TRAINING:  Very versatile method which can be used for a whole variety of job tasks and skills from top to toe of an organisation.  Has the advantage of a structured off-the-job learning experience at an individual’s rate of progress.


š                 COACHING:  An individual is taken through problems and issues with the explicit intention of developing his or her understanding and ability to deal with such problems and issues.  The concept of “taking through” embraces both kinds of direct instruction and illustration and also the less directive processes of helping people to review their own work experiences which, in the planned sense, would normally arise in the context of an appraisal or performance review.  It might also arise, of course, at any time in the year as planned intervention to improve performance and development.


š                 COUNSELLING:  Can be useful and appropriate to use throughout the organisation.  It provides a wider remit than coaching, so can be extended to personal skills and personal circumstances.  The key skill, which some people find difficult in counselling, is that it is client-centred and not about giving advice.  It can also suffer from being seen as “therapy”.


š                 DELEGATING:  If well thought out and planned this can provide people with the experience and taste of working at the level above their present job.  However, it should not be about off-loading the least interesting or mundane parts of the job onto someone else, and should be properly monitored/reviewed in order for the individual to reflect upon the experience and internalise the learning.

š                 DIARIES/LOGS:  This method could be used to enable managers and their staff to pinpoint any problem areas such as time management or delegation.  It could be particularly useful during an induction period.


š                 EDUCATION:  Qualification and educational courses can give confidence and credibility to an individual.  As they are usually of a long-term nature (say over a year) the learning and development needs to be integrated and transferred to the person’s work situation in order to increase its relevance to the organisation.  This should be done by ensuring regular reviews of progress and problems are undertaken between manager and employee.


š                 JOB ROTATION:  Involves movement to a job at a similar level but different function, product or organisation.  This should always be accompanied by a planned monitoring process to ensure learning is internalised.


š                 JOB EXTENSION:  Allocating additional responsibilities or tasks to the existing core of the job.  As with job rotation this must include careful supervision/monitoring.


š                 MEETINGS:  Often this would involve representing the function or activity in which the person is currently involved, but in a group covering a wider range of functions or activities.  In such cases the content of the work would be within the current experience and competence of the person involved, and the development would be derived either from the new issues being studied or from the experience with a wider group of people.


š                 MENTORING.  This is an advisory activity undertaken by someone other than the person’s direct boss.  It may involve friendly advice between an employee and a respected confidant.  A mentor may operate at both junior or senior levels, and has often a special role in providing guidance and advice on processing, organisational politics and generally the way to do things in the particular organisation.  Occasionally, a mentor may be someone outside the organisation.


š                 OPEN LEARNING:  This is similar to computer based learning and involves individuals working through self directed packages with support from training professionals if required.


š                 PROJECTS:  Provide the opportunity for a defined task with certain boundaries and a clear end result, projects have been increasingly used by educators, trainers and developers.  Projects can become the sole or at least the major part of the planned development activity.  At one extreme the project can be an interesting diversion within a course, providing for work in a rather different form.  At another extreme it can be a significantly important project of real significance to the business involving actual implementation by the person involved.  The reality of the project and its relevance to the person involved in it will help to influence the extent to which the person takes advantage of such a learning opportunity.


š                 READING:  Developers could prescribe time within work hours for people to learn from relevant reading matter.  This could be materials that are useful to the section such as meeting minutes or circulars, or it may be “professional” information of a specific job role such as professional magazines.


š                 QUALITY CIRCLES:  4-10 Volunteers working for the same supervisor or foreperson who meet once a week, for an hour, under the leadership of the supervisor, to identify, analyse and solve their worn work-related problems.  It is a mechanism for enabling and encouraging employees to use their own abilities to solve their own problems at work and thereby make their jobs more interesting and less frustrating.


š                 SECONDMENTS:  Requires movement outside the employing department or organisation to a different job for a defined period of time.  Must be supported, supervised and reviewed to be fully utilised as a method or learning.


š                 SHADOWING:  A person spends time following someone of a different role or higher position in the organisation while they are performing their job.


š                 SITTING NEXT TO .....:  Widely used form of introducing new tasks to people.  Involves being shown a task by someone experienced.  If properly structured and organised this is a valuable development tool.


š                 VISITS:  These can be about visiting another department, or even other organisations, in order to see first hand how the same or similar tasks/processes are undertaken.