Professional Development

This policy is affected by the current Q2 pause on non-essential expenses, please see this post from July 2022 for further details.

You have a budget of £3,000 every two years to spend on professional development. You will have access to this six months after you join the company. You should discuss spending this budget and taking time away from work with your line manager. Many tech events have high cost tickets or high associated costs such as travel, and you should feel able to go to these, but it will mean that you have spent your professional development budget for the year.

Any time away needs to be discussed and agree with your project lead, and allocations if relevant.

When you book time away for professional development, log in to Bob and book it off as “training”.

You should use this budget to achieve the goals that you’ve set out in your PDP.

If you plan to spend more than £100 on one go, this should be added to the expenses backlog.

What sort of things can I spend my professional development budget on?

You may wish to spend this budget on items such as:

  • Conferences
  • Workshops
  • Online courses
  • Books

This list is not exhaustive and there may be other things you want to spend it on.

How much time can I take away from my day job for professional development?

We currently plan for 5 days for professional development per financial year, for each individual. That includes time off for conferences and workshops, and time taken away from your work to dedicate to online courses. This also includes any lieu time you might take: so if you take a day off because you attended a professional development event at the weekend then that would count towards your days.

Note: the 5 days does not include the time allocated for Altis familiarisation. We plan for 2 days for this but it does not come out of your professional development days.

There will undoubtedly be learning that you do on the job, reading books to achieve a specific work-based goal, or researching something so you can solve a problem. This is part of your job and does not count towards the time allocated to your professional development.

A group of us want to do some training together: how should we approach that?

It’s great for people to learn together and be thoughtful about ways they can develop as a group rather than individually. If a group of you want to participate in some training together, whether that is, for example, all attending a specific workshop or conference, or to have a meetup to train together, or to have an external trainer run an online session for you, then you should first talk to your team, department, or project lead to see if that is feasible, and then put together a budget. If it is in excess of your combined professional development budget then it should be agreed with your team or department lead, and added to the expenses backlog

Does speaking at a WordCamp or other event constitute professional development?

If you have specific professional development goals around public speaking then you can use your professional development budget to fund you travelling to and speaking at that event. If it doesn’t, the normal guidelines around WordCamps and community events apply.