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Career development for Professional and Support staff

Some of our Programmes Team

Career opportunities at Warwick:

Career progression for professional and support staff at Warwick tends to be by applying for advertised vacancy moving from one level to the next.

In some areas this works well as similar functions exist across many parts of the university e.g. student support and finance roles.

Other jobs are more specific, found in only one or two departments or require a unique set of skills and experiences that are difficult to gain unless already working in the area e.g. technical support for specialised equipment.

As well as being rare the investment in support and training on both sides to become an expert means the posts can also be occupied for years and are therefore less likely to arise as a vacancy in the first place. If such posts are advertised, they may be advertised at a lower level to allow the post holder time to accumulate required experience to be able to operate as an expert.

Promotion within a role

In some instances your role may change significantly beyond the original grade and expectations and the role can be put forward for job evaluation.
An independent panel evaluates whether the post should be re-graded.

For support staff, it is the duties and responsibilities of the post and the need for that post in the departmental structure that are evaluated and not the performance of the individual, no matter how skilled and experienced they are. Requests for a re-grade of a post will usually need to be supported by the department before being put forward. There is no guarantee that a post will be re- graded to a higher grade.

Whatever direction you wish to go in, if you wish to develop yourself further whilst in your current role and/or aspire to meet the criteria for the next level of post you can prepare for the next step by:

  • Discussing your career goals with your line manager, as part of the Personal Development Review (PDR) and also throughout the year.
  • Discussing training needs with your line manager and identifying training courses which may help you to achieve your goals.
  • Asking your line manager about opportunities for job shadowing, internal secondments, mentoring and coaching.
  • Gaining experience - you can do this by asking your line manager for opportunities to take on extra responsibilities within your existing role or within the wider group/ department or even across the university.
  • Gaining qualifications- in some areas, qualifications may be essential in helping you move to the next level.
  • Obtaining job descriptions for higher level posts within your area to give you an idea of the experience or qualifications required to move up to the next level.
  • Acknowledging that to move into a new area you may need to make a sideways move to gain relevant experience for the next step.
  • Networking through different channels. Meetings, training courses, conferences and other events are great places to find out about different areas of the university and to make contacts.
  • Joining your professional body and engaging with discussion and events at a university/ national level.
  • Being proactive!

Where possible the department will support your development needs within the scope of your existing role and hours, but for anything above and beyond your current duties you may need to think about how you can accommodate activities into your own time.

Training through Organisational Development

Have a look at the Organisational Development website for information on career progression, job applications, interview skills. Some links:

Coaching and mentoring are potentially valuable processes to help you to enhance your performance, improve working relationships, develop capability or manage your career. There is a formal mentoring scheme run by the University but you can also make use of networks, informal links and opportunities, speak to your line manager for support on this.

More information and useful links:

Warwick Development Opportunities Forum

Warwick Learning Account

A Warwick Learning Account provides vouchers towards selected courses with the Centre for Lifelong Learning, Language Centre and Warwick Arts Centre.

Equality Diversity and Inclusion newsletter

Organisational Development newsletter

Personal Development Review (PDR)

This is an opportunity to discuss your career goals with your line manger.

Due to the Coronavirus crisis, colleagues have had to adjust to working remotely, reduced or no work, in some cases increased work, and certainly changes in priorities. We all face new challenges in our working and personal lives and keeping safe and well has to be the main priority.

In this context we have decided that PDR 2019/20 is paused. It is, however, essential at this time more than ever, that line managers remain in regular contact with all their team members.