Career Development Opportunities


Western Sydney University's Professional Development Policy defines professional development as: the provision of development opportunities and activities to extend and broaden the scope of professional capabilities of employees in relation to their role and responsibilities. We recognise the importance of career development and planning for our employees. 

Our Career Development Planning and Review process (Compass) is outlined in the Staff Enterprise Agreements and in the Professional Development Policy(opens in a new window). Further information can also be found in the Continuing Professional Development Guidelines. (opens in a new window) Compass aims to provide staff with the guidance, direction and support to navigate the various career pathways and development opportunities, and to help with aligning work to the University's strategy and goals.

Talent and Leadership Development provides University-wide support for organisational development and individual learning and development. 

Career Development Opportunities

A range of career development opportunities, services and benefits are also provided to assist staff to build upon their capacity, skills and professionalism, contributing to strategic priorities and core and support activities. In addition to career development courses, some career development activities include:

Academic Development Program (ADP)

A provision for eligible academic staff to undertake a sustained period of academic development to pursue research; acquire new skills and knowledge; or to develop ongoing partnerships that will benefit the University. Tenured members of the academic staff of the University will, under normal circumstances, be eligible to apply for ADP if they have completed at least three years continuous service - however please read relevant section of the ADP Policy - Eligibility to Undertake ADP (opens in a new window).

For further information please see the Academic Development Program.

Academic Mentoring Program

The Academic Mentoring Program is designed to provide Academic staff with the opportunity to broaden their knowledge, skills, capabilities and experience to enhance their careers and professional development at the University. Mentoring is an effective process for supporting staff to navigate their career path, to understand and access institutional policies and processes, and to increase confidence and competence in undertaking role-specific activities.

For further information please see the Academic Mentoring Program (opens in a new window).

Professional Staff Mentoring Program

The Professional Staff Mentoring Program is designed to provide staff with the opportunity to broaden their knowledge, skills, capabilities and experience to enhance their careers and professional development at the University. Mentoring is an effective process for supporting staff to navigate their career path, to understand and access institutional policies and processes, and to increase confidence and competence in undertaking various scholarly activities.

For further information please see the Professional Staff Mentoring Program (opens in a new window).

Academic Promotion

Academic promotion is a process whereby academic staff may apply for promotion to a higher level. Academic promotion rounds are held once per year, and Promotions Mentors are available to provide guidance and support through the application process to academic staff who intend to submit an Academic Promotion application.

For further information, including links to the relevant policies and the list of mentors, please see Academic Promotion (opens in a new window).

Career Development for Academic Staff (Online)

This online module has been developed specifically for academic staff members who wish to learn about a methodology for developing and furthering their career within an academic environment. A comprehensive range of information and tools is provided to assist you in this process.

For further information search for Career Development for Academic Staff in MyCareer Online.

Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

This qualification reflects the roles of individuals delivering training and assessment services in the vocational education and training (VET) sector. Achievement of this qualification or an equivalent is a requirement of the Australian Quality Training Framework for trainers and assessors in the Australian VET sector. This qualification is also suitable preparation for those engaged in the delivery of training and assessment of competence in a workplace context, as a component of a structured VET program. In order to be eligible for the award TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, participants are required to successfully complete ten (10) units of competency. The qualification comprises seven (7) core units and three (3) elective units.

For further information or enrolment enquiries, please contact Amy Ferguson at The College on 02 9852 4110 or a.ferguson@westernsydney.edu.au.

Checklists for Academic Achievement

Developed by the MyVoice Working Group Career Development for Academics, the Checklists for Academic Achievement (PDF, 521.83 KB) (opens in a new window) will assist you to identify specific types of both quantitative and qualitative evidence to demonstrate your achievements and support your career development across research, teaching and governance.

Endorsed by Professor Denise Kirkpatrick, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Professor Scott Holmes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development), the document was developed in consultation with various individuals and groups across the University.

Churchill Fellowships

Each year the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust offers a number of Fellowships to support Australians whose expertise has progressed to the point where an overseas research project would be of value in improving their contribution to their field and the Australian community. The Fellowships are open to both Professional and Academic Staff.

For further information please see the Churchill Fellowships (opens in a new window) site.

Education Support Allowance

Employees enrolled in an approved formal award course are entitled to receive an Education Support Allowance to assist with course fees, purchase of text books, course materials and equipment essential to completion of a course or subject. The amount of Education Support Allowance available for approved courses will be a fee reimbursement of up to a maximum of $3,000 gross per staff member per year, payable upon production of evidence of expenditure incurred or evidence of their financial commitment to a program of study.

For further information please see Education Support Allowance (opens in a new window).

Scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff

Applications are open to all ongoing academic and professional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff (part-time and full-time) who have a minimum of 12 months continuous service and can demonstrate how the professional development activity will benefit their career or professional development and their organisational unit or the University overall. The professional development activity must also be related to a staff members' duties of employment.

Scholarships may be used for a variety of professional development activities including conferences, seminars, workshops and short courses that are relevant to the staff member's duties of employment.

For further information please see Scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff (opens in a new window).

Speed Mentoring Forums

In response to your feedback from the MyVoice Staff Engagement Survey, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) launched campus based speed mentoring events in 2013. Early career researchers meet with members of the Professoriate to discuss teaching, research, governance, engagement and writing. Speed mentoring events are held on all campuses throughout the year.

The Office of the PVC (Research and Innovation) in conjunction with Talent and Leadership Development also coordinate mentoring with the Executive and Professoriate for female early-career researchers in a speed mentoring forum. Each mentee spends 10 minutes discussing and receiving advice on their career and academic inspirations.

For further information please see Speed Mentoring Forums (opens in a new window).

Staff Postgraduate Coursework Study Scholarships

The Postgraduate Coursework Study Scholarships provide support in achieving postgraduate qualifications in management, leadership and a range of disciplines. It is one of the initiatives that the University has implemented in recent years to support the career development of our academic and professional staff.

The Scholarships offer reduced fees for ongoing academic and professional staff undertaking postgraduate study via coursework at Western Sydney University. Scholarship recipients pay $1000 per unit, and the Scholarship takes care of the rest.

For further information please see Staff Postgraduate Coursework Study Scholarships (opens in a new window).

Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Awards

The Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Awards were initiated in 2002 to showcase the endeavours and accomplishments of staff and students and to most importantly, publicly reward, recognise and encourage their excellent performance and achievements. The awards support staff and students in continuing to develop and grow within the University and will position Western Sydney University as an employer and service provider serious about the quality of everything it does.

Staff are eligible for nomination in all categories, and students are eligible for nomination in the Excellence in University Sustainability and Excellence in University Engagement categories.

For further information please see Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Awards (opens in a new window).

Vice-Chancellor's Professional Development Scholarships

Applications are open to all ongoing academic and professional staff (part-time and full-time) who have a minimum of 12 months continuous service and can demonstrate how the professional development activity will benefit their career or professional development and their organisational unit or the University overall. The professional development activity must also be related to a staff members' duties of employment.

Scholarships may be used for a variety of professional development activities including conferences, seminars, workshops and short courses that are relevant to the staff member's duties of employment.

For further information please see Vice-Chancellor's Professional Development Scholarships (opens in a new window).

Other Career Development Activities

Other career development activities may include:

  • On-the-job coaching
  • Internal temporary transfers
  • Professional networks and mentor relationships
  • Temporarily performing duties of a higher classified position
  • Job rotation, secondments and staff exchange programs
  • Research or project work
  • Involvement in internal or external committees or University governance
  • Participating in continuing education programs, courses or conferences
  • Undertaking further study
  • Undertaking a study tour or visit to another university
  • Involvement in community development activities
  • Public speaking or presentation to small groups

For further information speak to your Supervisor or HR Partner (opens in a new window) .

"I believe the opportunities I've had through OD have made quite a bit of difference to my career development and, therefore, competitiveness in the promotions round." 
-Dr Philippa Collin, Institute for Culture and Society

Leadership Development

The University recognises the talents of its people and is committed to developing the capabilities and skills of its managers and leaders. Managers and Leaders at the University are expected to act as role models for the kinds of values and behaviours expected of all staff. These values include:

  • Having high ethical and professional standards
  • Being transparent, accountable and responsible for our actions
  • Committed to the mission and values of the University
  • Engaging with our people and the community
  • Engendering a culture of service and dedicated to meeting the needs of our students, clients and stakeholders.

A range of courses are available, as part of the Leadership and Management Development topic area, to provide for the enhancement of management and leadership capabilities. In addition, the following programs also provide for the enhancement of management and leadership capabilities:

Company Directors Course

The Company Directors Course (CDC) is a comprehensive program focusing on the roles, duties and responsibilities of board directors and members. The CDC is offered through the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is highly recommended for all senior staff who currently sit on boards or are involved in University, community or external committees.

The course consists of 10 modules focusing on the key functions of directors or members of a board:

  • The directors' duties and responsibilities
  • Risk — the board's role
  • Strategy — the board's role
  • Financial literacy for directors
  • Driving financial performance
  • The board's legal environment
  • Decision making
  • Achieving board effectiveness
  • Learning into practice.

Participants successfully completing the program and assessment will be eligible for the Diploma in Company Directorship.

There is an application for enrolment and course registration fee subsidised by the University. For further information please email tld@westernsydney.edu.au

Foundational Leadership and Management

Foundational Leadership and Management is the ideal practical launching pad for supervisors and managers (including academic managers) in the Organisational Development suite of Leadership programs across the University. This program directly supports the University's Securing Success strategic goal 6.4 – Develop staff capabilities in key impact areas of the University's strategic plan and recognises that new Managers and Supervisors:

  • Have a key leadership role and a responsibility for ensuring staff are aware of, work within, and support the implementation of the guidelines established by relevant legislation, University policies, procedures and the Staff Agreements;
  • Are aligned to the University's strategic goals, values, and Code of Conduct; and 
  • Apply the appropriate guidelines and standards for developing staff and managing performance

Foundational Leadership and Management comprises of two core mandatory Series 1 and 2 that include both face-to-face and online training. In addition, Series 3 provides an advancement and growth opportunity to prepare managers for greater responsibilities in the future. There are optional extension modules available online that supplement further learning within the series.

New Managers and Supervisors should complete the first two series "People Performance Excellence" and "Minimising Risk - Maximising Value" during the first year in their role.

For more information, visit the Foundational Leadership and Management page.

Certificate IV in Leadership and Management

This qualification reflects the role of individuals working as developing and emerging leaders and managers in a range of enterprise and industry contexts. As well as assuming responsibility for their own performance, individuals at this level provide leadership, guidance and support to others. They also have some responsibility for organising and monitoring the output of their team.
In order to be eligible for the award BSB42015 Certificate IV in Leadership and Management, participants are required to successfully complete twelve (12) units of competency. The qualification comprises four (4) core units and eight (8) elective units.
For further information or enrolment enquiries, please contact Amy Ferguson at The College on 02 9852 4110 or a.ferguson@westernsydney.edu.au

Inspire Leadership Program

The Inspire Leadership Program is designed to develop and enhance the leadership skills, capabilities and strengths of our Academic and Professional managers and leaders to influence, motivate and inspire others to follow.

This blended learning program applies theory to practice, and the principles and models of leadership relevant to academic and higher education settings. The program includes highly relevant and informative workshops, a multi-rater feedback on leadership roles, access to the Harvard Business Publishing online learning resources, peer mentoring, guest speakers, and completion of an action learning project on leadership.

The Inspire Leadership Program is endorsed by the Vice-Chancellor and Executive and is fully funded by the University through Talent and Leadership Development. The Program supports the University's strategic goal to value, recognise and develop our staff.

Graduates from the Inspire Leadership Program are congratulated and awarded certificates of completion by the Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover in a ceremony to celebrate their achievements over the past 12 months. Academic and Professional leaders share their experiences of participating in the program.

For more information, visit the Inspire Leadership Program page.

LH Martin Institute

The LH Martin Institute offers a range of programs specific to the Tertiary Education sector, including the Graduate Certificate of Research Management and Policy, the Master of Tertiary Education Management, Graduate Certificate programs and short courses. The programs include exposure to a variety of leadership styles, an understanding of policies that affect tertiary education institutions, and strategies for effective leadership. The programs are offered in flexible modes of learning and are facilitated by leading national and international experts. For more information visit the website www.lhmartininstitute.edu.au (opens in a new window).

Senior Management Conference

Held annually, the Senior Management Conference is a forum for engaging in strategic conversations around the key challenges and opportunities for Western Sydney University in a rapidly changing higher education landscape; reflecting on and celebrating the growth, development and achievements of the University during a period of transition; and discussing the key strategic priorities for charting our future. This forum is an invitation only event.

The date will be available on the Program Calendar and an invitation and agenda is emailed to invitees prior to the forum. 

Quality Forum

Held annually, the Quality Forum is for Senior Staff of the University including the Senior Executive, Pro Vice-Chancellors, Deans, Deputy Deans, Directors, Directors of Academic Programs and Senior Managers and provides a forum for discussion on quality improvements in learning and teaching, the student experience, research, internationalisation and engagement.

This forum is an invitation only event. The date is available on the Program Calendar and an invitation and agenda is emailed prior to the forum.

Further information is available in the Manager and Supervisor Toolkit, designed to assist you in your leadership and management role.