Support for accredited courses up to undergraduate level
Managers should review the training and development needs of their staff on a regular basis, and as a minimum as part of the Annual Staff Review process. As part of these discussions, qualification based courses offered by other providers may be identified as a means of meeting these needs; for example the studying of an HNC, HND, under-graduate degree or equivalent.
Financial Assistance for New Requests
For new requests to study for an accredited programme for the academic year 2012/13 and beyond, no financial support will be available from the HR training budget. This change is due to the increase in tuition fees for courses and the back-drop of reduced budgets.
Members of staff wishing to begin courses from September 2012 which lead to a recognisable qualification will therefore need to provide a business case to their Department/Section Head outlining how the qualification is linked to their duties and how studying for the qualification will enhance workplace performance.
Heads of Department/Sections can then decide whether to support the request from their departmental budget and the level of support they wish to provide.
Department/Section Heads should be satisfied that the qualification is relevant to the job the member of staff is or will be doing and that the course of study will help to improve their job performance or will equip him/her to perform anticipated future duties. Studying for the qualification should also fit with departmental priorities.
To ensure fairness of support and to anticipate any cover issues, departments will need to consider the attendance arrangements of other staff pursuing studies. Department/Section Heads will also need to ensure that sufficient funds are available in budgets.
A further application for support must be made for each academic year that the course runs for. Approval will be dependent upon the achievement of satisfactory standards during the previous period of study.
If you have any questions, please contact Mark Crabtree in the Training and Development Team (email@example.com or 0191 33 41650).
Existing Funding Arrangements
The central HR training budget will continue to support those members of staff who are already pursuing an approved course of study. As long as they pass the necessary course examinations in the current year of study, we will continue to implement our policy of providing up to one third of course fees in 2012/13 and to course completion.
Externally Awarded Grants from Student Finance England
Those members of staff applying for part-time undergraduate and sub-degree level programmes may be eligible for a grant from Student Finance England to partially cover tuition fees and to contribute to course costs. Please see www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance for further details.