Participating in Duke Professional Development Opportunities Policy

Policy Statement

Staff are eligible to participate in professional development opportunities such as workshops and seminars with supervisory/department approval to ensure coordination of department staffing and cost implications. Approved professional development activities are generally considered as hours worked.

Workshops and Seminars

Workshops and seminars are sponsored by Learning and Organization Development, DUHS Clinical Education & Professional Development and Duke Continuing Studies and Summer Sessions on a regular basis in the areas of management development, technology, work-skills development, finances, clinical skills, life support, human resources, communications, career and personal development, family-life issues, and health and safety.


A list of available programs is published on a regular basis by the Learning and Organization Development, DUHS Clinical Education & Professional Development, Financial Services, and Duke Continuing Studies.


Upon employment, all staff are eligible to participate in workshops and seminars with supervisory and department approval. Certain learning events may have special prerequisites or eligibility restrictions.

Supervisor Approval

Supervisory approval is needed to register for workshops and seminars. Before registering, a staff member and his or her supervisor should discuss the cost of the program and the way in which any time away from the work unit will be treated. Supervisors are encouraged to work with staff to allow for participation in learning events in which the staff member has shown interest or that the supervisor deems necessary.

Learning Event as Hours Worked

Workshops and seminars are usually offered during normal working hours. Once registration is approved, hours spent in class are generally considered as hours worked.

Registration Approval

Staff can register for specific workshops and seminars by submitting a registration form that has been completed with all necessary information and signatures. Departmental supervisors are required to ensure that charges to departmental or unit accounts have been appropriately approved before the registration form is submitted. Registrations are processed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Application and/or Registration

Application or registration for staff development events is available from the sponsoring learning unit. When a staff member desires to apply or register for an educational event that is scheduled during the staff member’s regularly scheduled working hours, the application and registration form must be reviewed and signed by the supervisor to indicate that release time has been approved.

The staff member must then submit the completed application and registration to the appropriate unit. In the event that staffing needs require a denial of a staff member’s request to attend the learning event – or when unanticipated departmental staffing needs preclude a staff member from attending a previously approved event – efforts should be made to allow the staff member to attend the event the next time that it is offered.

Career Planning and Advancement Opportunities

Duke makes available a wide array of resources for staff career planning, skill building and other promotional opportunities. One such resource is the Professional Development Academy, which is dedicated to providing professional development training programs and resources for Duke staff. The Academy offers long-term development programs, confidential appointments to all staff interested in seeking new opportunities at Duke, and an extensive online resource center. In addition, job vacancies are posted on the Duke Human Resources web site to ensure that all eligible staff may be informed of job opportunities at Duke.

Policy Number: 05.01


Staff Development Policy