Staff Professional Development


HCDE wishes to foster an environment where staff can be responsive and knowledgeable. Additionally, HCDE is committed to supporting and encouraging individuals to expand their personal skills, knowledge, and abilities to reach their highest potential and achieve their individual career goals. HCDE recognizes that staff development is critical to both personal job satisfaction and to the achievement of departmental goals.

The purpose of the HCDE Staff Professional Development Policy is to address the needs of individuals and the department for staff professional development and to facilitate the equitable allocation of available resources for supporting those needs to all eligible staff.

Scope and Eligibility

Professional development includes a activity that contributes to the enhancement of knowledge, skills, competence, or working practices. HCDE support for these activities may come in a variety of forms including:

  • Paid time off ("release time") to attend activities
  • Payment of course, workshop, or conference fees
  • Payment of travel expenses
  • Purchase of books, materials, or subscriptions
  • Temporary rearrangement of work schedule or hours
  • Approval of unpaid leave to attend activities or study

All HCDE non-research permanent classified and professional staff are eligible to apply for professional development resources under this policy, after completing three months of service in the department.

In most cases, mandated training does not fall under this policy. Requests for approval of mandated training should be made directly to the HCDE Administrator by the staff member's supervisor.

Approval Criteria

Staff professional development activities must meet the following minimum requirements to be considered for approval:

  • The proposed activity must enhance the applicant's professional competence.
  • The proposed activity should be the most cost-effective method to achieving the professional development need.
  • The department must be able to cope with the extra demands resulting from applicant's participation in this activity (such as the absence of a staff member or the modification of his or her work schedule).

The Administrator and Chair will consider qualified applications taking into account the criteria listed below.

  1. Critical nature of the training for the department and the applicant.
  2. Merit of applicant based on the applicant's past performance and service to the department. (Merit is not to be based on seniority.)
  3. Relevance to the applicant's professional/career development.
  4. Relevance to the applicant's personal growth.
  5. Quality of the proposed activity and potential for achieving the desired result.
  6. Length of time in service since the applicant last received a development or training opportunity.
  7. Whether the applicant is participating in a presentation or other activity that would promote broader awareness of the department.

Approval Process

Professional development opportunities that require the allocation of department resources (work time or money) require a formal application. The applicant should use the "HCDE Staff Professional Development Request Form." Information requested includes a description of the proposed activity and its cost, and specific benefits accrued to the department and the applicant. All applications must be approved by the applicant's supervisor. The form should then be forwarded to the HCDE Administrator.

Download the HCDE Staff Professional Development Request Form

Funding Guidelines
HCDE has limited financial resources for supporting staff professional development activities. To provide an equitable allocation of these resources, applications that require financial support will be considered and approved for funding based on the following guidelines:

  • Approved requests will generally not exceed $750 cumulatively for an individual in a given fiscal year (July to June).
    If requests from an individual cumulatively exceed $750 in a given fiscal year, the Chair may choose (on occasion) to fund the additional amount based on resources available and the priority of the request.
  • The maximum financial support provided to an individual shall not exceed $3,000 over any three year period.

Requests may be submitted at any time but should generally be submitted at least one month prior to the proposed activity to allow time for a funding decision to be made.

Reporting and Sharing of Information and Material
Feedback and honest evaluation of programs that staff engage in will help shape future choices for professional development activities by staff and supervisors. Additionally, sharing information about and materials received from a professional development activity may be beneficial to all staff. Professional development activities also need to be documented for performance evaluations and decisions on future approval of professional development support.

To facilitate the sharing of information and documentation of professional development activities, staff members will be asked to give a brief presentation at a staff meeting following completion of the professional development activity. The presentation should include the following:

  • Brief synopsis of the activity.
  • Summary of the benefits to the individual and to the department.
  • Description of individual personal/professional development outcomes.
  • Evaluation of the activity and recommendations for future participation by other staff.

Questions regarding the Staff Professional Development Policy should be addressed to the HCDE Administrator.