View Current

Academic Development Program (ADP) Procedures

This is the current version of this document. To view historic versions, click the link in the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) These procedures outline the processes to be followed and the responsibilities of staff of Western Sydney University when applying for and undertaking, or considering applications for and managing, an Academic Development Program (ADP). ADP is available to eligible academic employees only.

(2) The Academic Development Program Policy, the Professional Development Policy, the Code of Conduct, the Conflict of Interest Policy and the Travel Policy should be read in conjunction with these procedures.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Definitions

(3) Nil.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) Refer to the Academic Development Program Policy.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Application Process

(5) There will be two calls for applications for ADP each year. The first call will be early in the year for ADP to be undertaken from the first half of the following year, the second call will be later in the year for ADP to be undertaken from the second half of the following year.

(6) Applications must be submitted on the ADP template to the Office of Human Resources (HR) by the closing date which will be no less than twenty working days after the call for applications. Late applications will not be accepted.

(7) HR will check each applicant's eligibility to apply. Only applications from eligible applicants will continue through the process. HR will notify applicants in writing if they are not eligible.

(8) Applicants are invited to provide a brief personal statement on any relevant personal considerations of significance and their impact, that have occurred either during the last three years before the application for ADP is being considered or since the last ADP (but no more than three years), that will facilitate an assessment of their achievements relative to opportunity relevant to their application. Relevant personal circumstances or arrangements can include:

  1. family responsibilities (for example primary carer for children, elder-care, illness of a partner or dependant);
  2. a temporary or permanent disability (for example a visual impairment or mental illness);
  3. relevant cultural expectations or circumstances (for example some cultures don't support educating women);
  4. periods of part-time work (for example returning to work after the birth of a child); and/or
  5. absences due to ill-health or injury (for example recovering from a major operation).
Candidates are not required to describe specific details about sensitive issues such as a medical illness, however to assist the Committee it is recommended that candidates indicate the impact that this has had on their career trajectory.

Dean/Director Reports

(9) HR will request a report from the relevant Dean or Director, who will complete the report in consultation with the applicant's academic supervisor within 10 working days. The report will provide:

  1. an assessment of the application against the assessment criteria outlined in these procedures;
  2. an assessment of the alignment of the proposed program with the organisational unit's strategies and goals;
  3. the capacity of the organisational unit to cover the applicant's teaching, administration, governance or other responsibilities, including HDR supervision arrangements, during the proposed ADP period; and
  4. an express statement as to whether the application is supported or not and why.

(10) Applicants will receive a copy of the report and may respond in writing to the ADP Coordinator, within five working days of its receipt.

(11) Where there is more than one application in the School or Research Institute, the Dean or Director will rank the applications based on merit against the assessment criteria. This ranking will be provided to the ADP Committee via the ADP Coordinator (from HR).

Assessment Criteria

(12) The ADP Committee is responsible for approving ADP applications. They will use the application, the Dean's/Director's report, the applicant's response to that report (if applicable), and the Dean's/Director's merit ranking to determine whether the application represents a mutual benefit to both the University and the applicant such that ADP should be granted.

In making this determination the Committee will consider the following assessment criteria:
  1. Will the proposed ADP:
    1. significantly enhance the applicant's contribution to:
      1. the academic work of the University, within the framework of the strategic plan, goals and objectives of the University and the relevant School or unit; and
      2. the relevant academic profession.
    2. substantially add to the applicant's expertise and knowledge beyond that which would occur in the course of the staff member's normal University activities;
    3. create or enhance partnerships and linkages or result in a major scholarly work with other academics or other universities, industry and government bodies;
    4. be achievable in the circumstances set out in the application.; and
    5. meet all conditions outlined in the ADP Policy and these procedures.

(13) Where the proposed ADP is to undertake research higher degree studies, the following additional criteria must also be met and addressed by the Dean/Director in ranking the proposals:

  1. there are exceptional circumstances;
  2. the program is a doctoral degree and is relevant to the employee's role with the University;
  3. the applicant does not hold an equivalent degree;
  4. there has been no opportunity to incorporate the study into the applicant's workload or to take study leave;
  5. the ADP will result in the completion of the degree, and this is confirmed by the applicant's research supervisor in writing and a time-line detailing progress towards completion; and
  6. no previous ADP has been granted for work on the degree.

(14) Applications that include work on ongoing research grant projects must outline the nature of the work to be undertaken, details of the funding body and award, and details of the funds that will be utilised from the research grant.

(15) ADP will not be granted where any part of the ADP proposal involves travel to a destination with a DFAT travel advisory classification "do not travel" either at the time of the application or the time of the proposed travel. The ADP Committee must refer to the Travel Policy in regards to assessing applications that include overseas travel.

ADP Committee

(16) The ADP Committee will be a University-wide one, chaired by a Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, as appointed by the Vice-Chancellor and President, and in each round, will consider eligible applications in accordance with the Academic Development Program Policy and these procedures. The committee's membership will consist of a minimum of:

  1. Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Chair), as appointed by the Vice-Chancellor and President;
  2. One Pro Vice-Chancellor, as nominated by the Chair;
  3. three senior academic staff selected from the positions of Deputy Dean or Director of a University Research Centre - nominated by the Chair;
  4. the Chair, Academic Senate or his/her nominee;
  5. three academic staff from the professoriate - nominated by the Chair.

(17) When appointing nominees, consideration will be given to having appropriate diversity and gender balance (refer to the Gender Equality Policy).

(18) The Director, Equity and Diversity may be invited to be in attendance, as a non-voting observer. If the Director has any concerns regarding procedural matters in a Committee session, it is expected that he or she will normally raise them with the Chair of the Committee either during the session or, in a written report, immediately afterwards.

(19) The ADP Committee will:

  1. determine which applications are successful;
  2. recommend the level of funding, if any, in relation to successful applications;
  3. Rank applications in order of merit;
  4. provide feedback on unsuccessful applications; and

(20) The Chair of the ADP Committee or nominee will provide individual feedback to unsuccessful applicants if requested.

(21) HR will provide administrative support to the ADP Committee by assigning an ADP Coordinator. HR will advise applicants in writing of the ADP Committee's decisions within ten working days of the outcome of deliberations. The ADP Coordinator will compile a report that will list the approved successful applicants, dates of ADP, general destinations and financial assistance grants for the noting of Executive. The ADP Coordinator will then forward this approved report for the information of HR and the Finance Office. Where additional approval is required, e.g. where the application is for undertaking research higher degree studies, the ADP Coordinator will assist the Chair in submitting the application and recommendation from the committee to the relevant delegate for approval.

Appeals

(22) Where an applicant disputes the decision of the ADP Committee not to support his/her application, s/he may lodge an appeal with the ADP Appeals Committee within fifteen working days of receiving the notification. Appeals should be lodged with the ADP Coordinator, Office of Human Resources, who will convene the ADP Appeals Committee. The grounds for appeal are limited to:

  1. failure by the ADP Committee to comply with the procedural requirements of the Academic Development Program Policy or these procedures; and/or
  2. failure to observe procedural fairness during the committee process.

(23) Appeals must only be based on the ADP process and cannot include information not supplied with the original application.

(24) Appeals cannot be lodged if the application is successful but because the maximum number of academic staff on ADP in the school or unit has been exceeded the applicant has not been granted ADP because of their ranking on the order of merit.

(25) Appeals cannot be lodged if the application is not supported by the ADP Committee on the basis of the relative merit of the application because the maximum number of staff on ADP in the school or unit has been exceeded.

(26) The ADP Appeals Committee will normally meet within 20 working days of the deadline for appeals.

(27) The ADP Appeals Committee is chaired by a Deputy Vice-Chancellor, as appointed by the Vice-Chancellor and President. The Chair will appoint two academic staff from the professoriate who were not involved in any part of the ADP process for that round. The ADP Appeals Committee will have appropriate diversity and gender balance.

(28) If the ADP Appeals Committee upholds the appeal, it will request the ADP Committee to reconsider the appellant's application within 15 working days of the date the ADP Committee is notified of the ADP Appeals Committee decision; and ensure the procedural requirements of the Academic Development Program (ADP) Policy and these procedures, and procedural fairness principles are observed.

(29) The decision of the ADP Appeals Committee is final (i.e. if the ADP Appeals Committee rejects the appeal there is no further appeal process). Applicants are also not able to lodge a complaint under the Complaints Handling and Resolution Policy.

Part B - ADP Conditions

Duration

(30) Employees may apply for a period of up to 22 weeks in total.

(31) Employees may request shorter periods of ADP leave that, in total, amount to no more than the maximum allowable period.

  1. It is expected that, in reviewing applications for shorter periods of leave, the Committee will consider if the leave required meets the purpose for which ADP is being undertaken and the particular circumstances of the applicant.

(32) Employees may apply for ADP leave in only one of the following time periods. Note; regardless of the option selected, only one teaching period can be affected for the ADP leave;

  1. One block of ADP covering 22 weeks
  2. 2 x 11 week blocks to be taken over a 2 year period
  3. 3 x 7 week blocks to be taken over a 2 year period

(33) Where possible, the impact of the duration of ADP leave on the employee's other academic responsibilities should be kept to a minimum.

Associated Leave

(34) Employees must take any annual leave accrued during the period of ADP, during or immediately upon completion of the ADP, e.g. ADP for 10 weeks, 2 weeks annual leave, followed by 12 weeks ADP. Employees may apply for four weeks annual leave or long service before, during or after an ADP.

(35) Employees must make their own travel insurance arrangements for any annual or long service leave.

Requirement to Return to Duty

(36) The University invests considerable resources into ADP and employees granted ADP are expected to share the knowledge gained with the University community. Accordingly, the University expects employees to remain in the University's employment for a period at least equal to the period of ADP, or part ADP, upon their return. If this does not occur, and it's at the employee's initiative, the employee will normally be required to repay both the salary paid to him/her during the ADP and any financial assistance, on a pro-rata basis.

Travel Insurance

(37) An employee granted ADP is covered by the University's Travel Insurance policy for the duration of the approved ADP period (but not for any annual or other leave taken).

Salary and Payments

(38) Normal salary will be paid for the duration of the ADP on the same basis as the employment status (i.e. full or part time).

(39) Conditions of the External Work Policy apply to ADP.

Financial Assistance Grant

(40) Employees granted ADP are eligible for reasonable financial assistance based on the budget submitted with their application and up to the maximum amount set by the University in Table 1. No financial assistance will be granted for travel for ADP activities within 80kms of any University campus.

(41) Financial assistance may be requested for travel related costs such as airfares, rail/bus fares, car hire, motor vehicle expenses, accommodation and the like.

(42) Financial assistance can also include conference registration for conferences approved by the ADP Committee Note: generally ADP and associated financial assistance is not designed so that an employee can undertake the bulk of their ADP in their home location, with a one-off trip to an overseas conference. ADP and associated financial assistance is designed so that an employee can supplement the work they plan to do on ADP with attendance at a conference relevant to the ADP.

(43) Additional financial assistance may be granted to staff for accompanying partners and/or dependents where the partner/dependent is accompanying the employee for a period of more than two months. The maximum amount is listed in Table 1.

Table 1 - Maximum Financial Assistance Grants

  Within 80kms of any of the University's campuses Within Australia or New Zealand* To other international locations*
Per employee $0 $2,000 $5,000
Per accompanying spouse and/or dependent child** $0 $1,000 $1,500
* If the ADP is commencing from a location other than Sydney, the maximum available for financial assistance may be reduced.
** For the purposes of these procedures, partner includes married spouse, de facto or same sex, and a dependent child is a person 18 years or under and a full time student who resides with the employee. The applicant should provide the age of each dependant being claimed on the application form as at 1 January of the year that ADP is being taken.

(44) The financial assistance grant is awarded with the expectation that no further funds will be required from the School, Research Institute or other University unit for the duration of the ADP. Requests for additional funding in exceptional circumstances must be submitted in writing to the relevant Dean or Director providing full details of where funds are available to draw on. Failure to notify the Dean or Director may result in the repayment of any financial assistance grant.

(45) Financial assistance will be paid via the payroll as an un-taxed allowance. Staff should seek independent financial advice on the implications. The funding source for ADP salary and financial assistance is the relevant employing unit.

(46) Staff may access University travel discounts through the University's contracted travel provider.

Other University Business on ADP

(47) In exceptional circumstances, the University may avail itself of the opportunity of having an employee in a certain location while on ADP, and may request the employee to participate in official University business that is unrelated to the employee's ADP. For example, this might include attending a University overseas graduation ceremony, attending a meeting as a representative of the University or establishing personal contact with a University business partner, but it does not include attendance at a conference relevant to the employee's discipline just because it is held nearby.

(48) Requests to undertake other University business will not exceed one week and must be made by the requesting unit through the relevant Dean, Director or Deputy Vice-Chancellor as they have responsibility for approving variations to ADP. An employee may refuse such requests where it limits his/her ability to carry out the approved ADP program.

(49) Employees who need to vary their ADP to undertake such a request will receive support from the University in accordance with the Travel Policy for the approved official business component. Employees may request to have their ADP extended equivalent to the length of the official University business. An e-Tan must be raised to initiate the travel in accordance with the Travel Policy.

Repayment of Salary and Financial Assistance Grant

(50) Employees who vary their ADP without seeking approval, do not comply with the conditions of the Academic Development Program (ADP) Policy or these procedures, or cease their employment with the University after a period less than the length of the ADP, or part ADP, may be required to repay some or all of the salary and financial assistance granted. Where this occurs, the Dean or Director will make a recommendation to the Vice-President, People and Advancement about any repayment requirements. A statement outlining the circumstances and any mitigating factors may be submitted to the Dean or Director to be considered in the recommendation. The Vice-President, People and Advancement will determine the amount to be repaid or will waive the repayment of salary and financial assistance in exceptional circumstances.

Part C - Responsibilities Relating to the Administration of ADP

Responsibilities - Employees

(51) Employees have responsibilities before commencing, during and after their return from a period of ADP.

(52) Prior to undertaking approved ADP employees must:

  1. submit to his/her supervisor a written notification of the dates of commencement and completion of the ADP, and dates of any associated leave, at least four weeks before their ADP;
  2. submit applications for associated annual leave or long service leave via Staff Online to his/her supervisor for approval;
  3. enter into a written undertaking that they will:
    1. declare proposed and actual earnings during ADP to their Dean or Director within 10 working days of returning to duty;
    2. resume duties upon return from ADP at the same status as before he/she commenced ADP for at least the period of ADP, or be subject to repaying either salary and/or financial assistance on a pro-rate basis; and
    3. notify and seek approval from his/her Dean or Director immediately in writing during the ADP of any circumstances that requires a variation to the approved ADP (with a copy to the ADP Coordinator); and that any variation may require or be subject to repaying either salary and/or financial assistance. For example, this may include the need to abandon, to change dates, to alter an ADP or to require additional leave, including changes to the travel arrangements for partners or dependents. Note - an ADP undertaking form is available on the HR website.
  4. check the DFAT travel warnings and register with DFAT Smartraveller if travelling overseas;
  5. complete an e-Tan covering the ADP period and attach the ADP approval and any travel itineraries.
  6. complete teaching and other academic/administrative responsibilities as outlined in his/her workload plan, including arranging for alternative supervision for any higher degree research candidates, and withdrawing from formal committees by notifying the chair, and confirm with his/her Dean or Director such arrangements;
  7. arrange his/her own travel insurance for periods of associated annual leave and/or for accompanying spouse/dependents (if applicable);
  8. provide the Dean or Director with contact details, including email contact if different to the staff member's University email account.
  9. enter ADP travel details into the University Travel Risk Management tool.

(53) While on ADP employees must:

  1. notify and seek approval from his/her Dean or Director immediately in writing of any circumstances that requires the academic staff to vary his/her approved ADP (with a copy to the ADP Coordinator);
  2. regularly update travel details in the University Travel Risk Management tool;
  3. notify the University through his/her Dean or Director if they are injured or have an accident; and contact the Travel Insurer immediately should he/she require assistance (if applicable); and
  4. regularly check his/her University email account and engage with their work unit at the Dean, Director's or Academic Supervisor's request.

(54) Upon return from ADP, academic staff must:

  1. notify his/her Dean or Director and HR that he/she has returned on the specified date (with a copy to the ADP Coordinator);
  2. submit any leave or other forms associated with an approved variation of ADP;
  3. declare any payments received to his/her Dean or Director within 10 working days of returning to duty; and
  4. submit a satisfactory ADP report to the ADP Coordinator within four weeks and present the approved ADP report to peers and colleagues in a suitable format such as a School/Institute seminar, as requested after the report is considered and approved by the Dean/Director.

Responsibilities - Schools and Institutes

(55) The employee's business unit, in particular the Dean or Director has particular responsibilities to ensure the administration of ADP is successfully managed in line with this and other University policies and procedures.

(56) The Dean or Director is responsible for financial management of the ADP in accordance with the ADP Policy and these procedures, and the Delegations (Administrative) Policy.

(57) The employee's Dean or Director must ensure that prior to undertaking approved ADP, the employee has submitted:

  1. written notification of the dates of commencement and completion of ADP and dates of any associated annual leave;
  2. applications for associated annual leave or long service leave via Staff Online for approval;
  3. a signed ADP undertaking; and
  4. contact details.

(58) In addition, the employee's Dean or Director is responsible for:

  1. checking the DFAT travel warnings and ensuring the staff member has registered with DFAT Smartraveller, if the employee is travelling overseas;
  2. processing the e-Tan containing the ADP travel and itinerary details;
  3. ensuring the employee has completed teaching and other academic/administrative responsibilities as outlined in his/her workload plan, including arranging for alternative supervision for any higher degree research candidates, and withdrawing from formal committees by notifying the chair.

(59) During an employee's ADP, the Dean or Director is responsible for approving any variations of ADP as requested by the employee, (with a copy to the ADP Coordinator) taking into consideration requirements set out by the Academic Development Program (ADP) Policy or these procedures.

(60) Upon the return of an employee from ADP, the Dean or Director is responsible for:

  1. confirming with HR that the employee has returned and on what date;
  2. ensuring the employee accounts for any approved variation in dates between the advised date of return and actual date of return, for example by ensuring he/she applies for additional annual leave;
  3. ensuring the employee declares any earnings within 10 working days of return to duty, and if they do, making a recommendation to the Vice-President, People and Advancement on whether those earnings should require the employee to repay some or all of his/her salary or financial assistance for the period of ADP;
  4. ensuring that the employee submits a satisfactory ADP report within the prescribed timeframe, publishing this report after approval; and organising the presentation of the report by the academic to his/her peers and colleagues in a suitable format such as a School/Institute seminar, ensuring a copy is submitted to the ADP Coordinator; and
  5. notifying the Vice-President, People and Advancement if the employee wishes to cease employment prior to completion of period equal to the length of the ADP.

Part D - ADP Reports

(61) ADP reports provide an insight into the academic calibre of the individual and the University as a whole. It is therefore expected that reports will be of a high standard.

(62) Within 4 weeks of the completion of ADP employees must submit an ADP report to the ADP Coordinator. The ADP Coordinator will distribute the report to the relevant Dean/Director for approval.

(63) The Dean or Director will provide comment on the report and will forward the report and comments within two weeks, to the ADP Coordinator.

(64) The ADP Chair will review the report and Dean's/Director comments. Where the Chair determines that the report is not of a high standard, they will return it to the employee along with the Dean's or Director's comments and will ask for the report to be resubmitted.

(65) Where the ADP Chair and Dean determine that the ADP Report is satisfactory a copy will be placed on the employee's personal file in HR and a copy will be returned to the Dean or Director for publication.

(66) The Dean or Director will make the report available to other University staff, for example by publishing the report on the unit's website or in another format. The Dean or Director will organise with the employee to present the ADP report to peers and colleagues in a seminar, workshop or other format.

(67) An ADP report must not exceed ten pages, plus appendices and must include the following:

  1. an abstract providing an overview of the program and outcomes;
  2. a statement of the major objectives as set out in the original application (or in any subsequent approved modifications);
  3. an evaluation of the extent to which the objectives of the program were achieved;
  4. an assessment of the academic benefit(s) gained and a statement of how this will influence teaching and/or research practice;
  5. a statement of expected longer term ADP outcomes, such as publications, collaborative research projects, course development, and key contacts/partnerships developed with other universities and organisations etc;
  6. any other statement about the ADP the employee believes is relevant, e.g. personal and/or cultural issues which may have had an impact on the ADP program;
  7. any attachments that demonstrate ADP outcomes.
Top of Page

Section 5 - Guidelines

Checklist for Employees

Each employee applying for ADP should:
1. Check his/her eligibility to apply in accordance with the ADP Policy and these procedures, with the Office of Human Resources.
2. Check the closing date for applications, and ensure the application is submitted on time.
3. Discuss his/her proposed program, including proposed timing, alignment with University and School/Institute strategic plan, goals and strategies with his/her Dean or Director, and other colleagues as appropriate.
4. Complete the application template addressing the assessment criteria contained in these procedures.
5. Submit the completed application by the deadline as late applications will not be accepted.

ADP Applications

(68) The following information is required in the application template:

Program objectives and rationale, including alignment with the University and School/Institute strategic plans, goals and objectives
Detailed program description
Rationale for undertaking the ADP at the nominated institution/s (if applicable), plus supporting documentation from the relevant institutions
Expected outcomes of undertaking the program
Time-line showing how the expected outcomes will be achieved during the course of the ADP
Anticipated start and finish dates and the location from where the ADP will commence and finish
Details of any conference attendance during the ADP, how it complements the ADP and why it is important to achieving the anticipated outcomes
Details of academic achievements during the period of employment at the University, or outcomes and achievements from the last period of ADP (if applicable)
Detailed budget for financial assistance, including details of any other financial assistance that the staff member will be accessing during the ADP, for example research grant funding. (Note that only in exceptional circumstances can academic staff access additional University funding and this needs to be approved by the CFO - see Part B)
Detailed budget for financial assistance, including details of any other financial assistance
Details of any proposed earnings (other than University salary) during the ADP and details of any approved or proposed work in accordance with the External Work Policy
Health and safety risk assessment of the proposed program
Details of proposed arrangements to cover teaching and administrative responsibilities during the ADP period
Details of any internally or externally funded research grants and the impact of undertaking ADP on those grants, and/or details of work that will be undertaken on those grants during ADP
Dates of any annual or long service leave that will be taken immediately before, during or after the ADP
Where the application is to complete a research higher degree, additional information as required in the assessment criteria
Attachments that support the application, e.g.an abbreviated curriculum vitae