Professional Development

Title: Professional Development
Approved by
Date Approved:
Effective Date: 06/03/2019
Responsible Official: Vice President of Human Resources
Responsible University Office: HR Professional Development Center
Revision History: N/A
Related Legislation and University policies: Vacation Policy 
Review Period: 5 years
Date of Last Review
Relates to: executive staff, senior staff, and staff
Exclusions: term employees, post docs

Policy Statement

The university recognizes the importance of providing assistance and support to employees to increase the effectiveness of their performance in their present university positions, as well as to encourage employees to obtain skills, knowledge, and abilities which may improve their opportunities for career advancement within the university. CWRU believes professional development and continuous learning are essential to maintain the quality of the university staff and their continued readiness and ability to contribute effectively to the university’s mission and goals.

Professional development activities include, but are not limited to, instructor led workshops, online courses, webinars, conference attendance, seminars, or CWRU academic coursework where the employee is enrolled. 

Identifying Professional Development

Employees have the primary responsibility for their own professional development. Employees should make their professional development interests known to their supervisors, identify, and initiate requests to participate in programs relevant to the development goals.

The Human Resources Department Professional Development Center (PDC) can act as a resource for professional development and learning opportunities in conjunction with other centers across the university. Employees and supervisors are encouraged to contact the Professional Development Center to discuss potential professional development opportunities to address the employee’s development goals.

Guidelines for Time Spent in Professional Development

The amount of time spent on professional development programs each year will vary with the individual employee and the department’s needs. 

As a general rule, time spent on or at professional development that directly relates to the employee’s current position, where the professional development activities have been suggested or required by the supervisor, is considered “time worked”. An employee is not required to use vacation to participate in such activities. 

Supervisors and/or Department Heads have discretion whether to treat time spent on professional development that does not directly relate to the employee’s current position and/or has not been suggested or required by the employee’s supervisor as time worked. The department may require the employee to use vacation time (in full or half day increments) for attendance at such events. 

Supervisors are encouraged to provide the employee the opportunity to participate in such activities by arranging flextime within the same workweek that allows for proper business continuity, if possible.