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Academic Development Program (ADP) Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) This policy outlines the principles and conditions associated with Western Sydney University's Academic Development Program (ADP), the application and assessment process, and the responsibilities of employees participating in the program.

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

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Section 2 - Definitions

(3) Nil.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) The underlying principle of an academic development program is to allow academic employees to have an extended period of time away from day-to-day work duties to concentrate on research, scholarship, collaboration and knowledge-building. ADP will generally involve working with colleagues at other institutions, either overseas or within Australia.

(5) ADP assists academic employees to pursue one or more of the following activities:

  1. engage in individual or collaborative research or scholarship that will lead to the enhancement of the individual and the University's research profile;
  2. remain up-to-date with significant developments in his/her academic discipline or community, and establish strong links with other key universities, industry and government bodies through collaboration and joint work with leaders in the field;
  3. undertake a major scholarly activity (e.g. writing for publication, preparation for an exhibition or performance);
  4. undertake a major body of work on a research project (new or existing);
  5. investigate and develop innovative ways to enhance the quality of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and student learning;
  6. acquire new skills and knowledge that can be applied to his/her teaching and/or research;
  7. work collaboratively with industry and government bodies for the purpose of developing ongoing partnerships that will benefit the University;
  8. undertake a postdoctoral period to complete the writing of articles or other research-related activities;
  9. take up a prestigious fellowship or award; or
  10. engage in other programs deemed relevant by the Vice-Chancellor and President, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-Presidents, Pro Vice-Chancellors or Deans or Directors.

(6) Other than in exceptional circumstances, ADP will not be granted to:

  1. undertake regular work such as that outlined in a school or unit work plan policy or a work plan;
  2. pursue formal research higher degree studies;
  3. staff located within University Research Institutes.

(7) ADP applications will be assessed on merit and will be granted in accordance with the conditions set out in this policy and the ADP procedures.

(8) The University sets conditions relating to applying for, granting and taking of ADP. These conditions may include but are not limited to: the duration of ADP; eligibility to apply; and the amount of any financial support if applicable.

(9) The maximum number of academic staff that may be granted ADP at any one time will not exceed seven percent of the total academic staff establishment.

(10) The ADP Committee has the authority to approve ADP applications, except where additional approval is specified within the ADP procedures. Financial delegation in relation to this policy is covered in the Delegations (Administrative) Policy.

(11) Employees on approved ADP are considered to be on duty and must abide by the University policies and procedures, and requirements of the Academic Staff Agreement.

(12) The University has WHS obligations to ensure a safe working environment for its employees, including while on ADP. Employees granted ADP are covered by the University's workers compensation provisions. Therefore, ADP applications must be considered in terms of risk to the employee, including during periods of proposed travel. The Travel Policy outlines the University's position on travel risk management.

(13) Employees granted ADP who do not comply with the conditions of ADP as set out in this policy and the ADP procedures may be required to repay the University some or all of the salary paid to them during the period of ADP and any other travel assistance provided by the University, and/or be subject to discipline as outlined in the relevant staff agreement.

Eligibility to Apply for ADP

(14) An academic employee is eligible to apply for ADP if:

  1. his/her employment is ongoing or fixed-term* and he/she has completed three years (36 months) continuous service (excluding periods of leave without pay which do not count as service**) by the commencement date of the proposed period of ADP, or since their return from a previous period of ADP; and
  2. he/she has a current work plan, has satisfactorily met all requirements of probationary and performance planning and development processes, and any requirements related to a previous ADP (if applicable).
* Note: where a fixed-term academic employee's application is successful, the ADP will only be granted if the employment continues (either fixed-term or ongoing) for a period equal to double the length of the ADP.
** Unpaid maternity leave will count for service for ADP.

(15) An academic employee is not eligible to apply for ADP if he/she:

  1. has as part of his/her contract of employment an agreed period of study or professional development; or
  2. holds a senior appointment such as a Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Vice-President, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Dean/Director, Research Institute and Deputy Dean, or equivalent as determined by the Executive Director, Human Resources;
  3. is subject to processes relating to unsatisfactory conduct, unsatisfactory performance, or misconduct or serious misconduct as prescribed by the Academic Staff Agreement.

(16) Recognition of prior service as an academic employee at another Australian university for the purposes of eligibility will be determined by the Executive Director, Human Resources:

  1. that a period of no more than two months has elapsed between the cessation of employment with the previous Australian university and the commencement of employment with the University; and
  2. proof of the prior service and the date of any ADP taken during that period of service is provided by the previous employer.
Note: exceptions are where, as part of an employment contract, an academic employee has negotiated a date to apply for ADP.
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Section 4 - Procedures

(17) Refer to the Academic Development Program Procedures.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(18) Refer to the Academic Development Program Procedures.