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Study and examination leave

Policy information | Policy summary | Purpose | Applicable to | Not applicable to | Definitions | Policy details | Related links

Policy information

Approved by Council Date 6 December 2012
Reviewed by HRMAG, ERMC, VCMAG, UHRC, IF, Senate, Staff Bodies (view acronym list)
Policy owner Director: Compensation & Benefits
Enquiries Director: Compensation & Benefits (view contacts)

Policy summary

Purpose

The purpose of the policy is to:

  • Provide clear policy for the granting of study and examination leave for learning and development for PASS staff.
  • Set out criteria, conditions and methods whereby study and examination leave may be granted.
  • Ensure consistency in the granting of study and examination leave throughout UCT.
  • Ensure as strong a link as possible between the support of formal learning and development through the granting of study and examination leave and position performance, thereby maximising return on investment for UCT.

Applicable to

This policy includes all instances where a leave of absence is required by a PASS staff member for the purposes of preparation for examination or for the examination itself.

This policy is applicable to UCT PASS staff on UCT conditions of service (GOB and non-GOB).

Not applicable to

  • T1 UCT PASS staff on UCT conditions of service (GOB and non-GOB).
  • Academic staff.

This policy does not include:

Definitions

Term Definition
Developmental Learning and Development Need Competencies, skills, qualifications or education needed to better oneself or to advance career at UCT in short to medium term. Not an explicit requirement of current post and staff member is able to attain set objectives without it. Ultimately for staff member's benefit.
Formal Learning and Development Intervention Qualifications, certificates, degrees, diplomas. Typically are for a longer duration (3 months to a year), are formally assessed and are certified. Normally used for personal and developmental needs. Attaches to person of staff member and ultimately for staff member's benefit.
Informal Learning and Development Intervention Reading, personal research, gathering information, coaching, mentoring. Typically used for position-related needs.
Position-Related Learning and Development Need Gap between set of competencies, skills and experience necessary to reach or perform objectives, plans and goals, and those the individual currently has. Imperative that staff member develops required set in order to attain objectives. Should be recorded in the relevant performance management documentation (such as the HR210 Development Dialogue form for PASS staff). The competency, skill or experience is explicit requirement of position, and is ultimately for UCT's benefit. Can apply to one person in a team or a whole team.
Non-Formal Learning and Development Intervention Short skills courses offered either internally or externally. Typically are for a shorter duration (less than 3 months). Tend to specifically address one particular skill or competency, and may or may not be assessed and certified. Normally used for position-related needs. Intervention is ultimately for UCT's benefit. (E.g. First aid, MS Word or presentation skills courses).
Personal Learning and Development Need Competencies, skills, qualifications or education needed to better oneself or advance career in longer term, either at UCT or elsewhere. Not an explicit requirement of current post or requirement of any other post likely to take up in short to medium term. Competencies, skills, qualifications or education attach to person and are completely for staff member's benefit.
Examination Formal assessment intended to measure the student or learner's progress, skill, knowledge or qualification. These may be formal written examinations or tests, oral examinations or presentations, or other written submissions such as a thesis or dissertation.

Policy details

  1. General
    1. 1.1. UCT supports PASS staff members undertaking developmental formal learning and development, through the provision of study and examination leave. Study and examination leave is to be used for the explicit purpose of preparing for examination or for the examination itself.

      1.2. A leave of absence to attend developmental formal learning and development may be granted by the line manager. Subject to the approval of the Head of Department, provided that the staff member provides the Head of Department with a lecture timetable, provided that the time is made up to his/her satisfaction, and provided that operational requirements allow it, a staff member may be permitted to attend five lectures weekly. In this instance, lectures refer to normal short lectures of an hour or so each.

      1.3. A leave of absence to attend or to be assessed for position-related learning and development is at the discretion of the line manager. This is treated as a normal working day and not as leave.

      1.4. Study and examination leave will not be granted where the learning and development is of a personal nature. In this case, annual leave must be used.

      1.5. Study and examination leave will not be granted where the learning and development is non-formal or informal, as these typically do not undergo formal assessment requiring dedicated preparation time.

  2. Eligibility
    1. 2.1 The policy applies to PASS staff undertaking formal developmental learning and development and who wish to apply for a leave of absence to prepare for an examination and the examination itself.

  3. Criteria
    1. 3.1 To qualify, the course of study must meet the following criteria:

      1. The course is formal in nature; and
      2. The course is examined or formally assessed; and
      3. The course is done through a recognised, reputable institution; and
      4. The course is developmental or position-related; and
      5. The course was identified as part of the Development Dialogue (DD) process.
  4. Period
    1. 4.1 Up to 12 days study and examination leave may be granted in any one calendar year in total in the following two categories combined:

      4.2 Preparation purposes

      1. 4.2.1 One day study and examination leave may be granted per examination in order to prepare for a written or oral examination, up to a maximum of 6 days.

        4.2.2 Up to 6 days study and examination leave will be granted to prepare written submission for formal examination where this submission is the main form of examination.

        4.2.3 In the case of PhD or Masters, up to 12 days study and examination leave will be granted to prepare written submission for formal examination where this submission is the main form of examination.

        4.2.4 Any further leave required must be taken as annual leave.

      4.3 Examination purposes

      1. 4.3.1 One day study and examination leave may be granted per examination for the examination itself where the examination falls within normal working hours.

        4.3.2 Where an examination is taken in the morning, only half a day's study and examination leave will be granted, and the staff member will be required to return to work for the afternoon

        4.3.3 Where an examination falls outside of normal working hours (e.g. evenings and weekends), study and examination leave for the examination will not be granted.

  5. Accrual
    1. 5.1 There is no accrual of study and examination leave.

      5.2 There is no entitlement to study and examination leave.

      5.3 For part-time staff, the number of study and examination leave days is reduced according to their normal work schedule.

      Example A
      Part-time staff whose working day is less than the full 7.5 hours per day may be granted 12 days of study and examination leave where each leave day is based on the same number of hours they would normally have worked.

      Example B
      Part-time staff working less than 5 days per week may be granted study and examination leave calculated on a pro-rata basis according to the percentage time worked. Therefore a staff member who works 4 days per week (80% of the week) may be granted 80% of the study and examination leave, 9.6 days.

  6. Procedures
    1. 6.1 Application

      1. Applications must be made on the leave form (HR140).
      2. Applications must be made to the Head of Department, via the line manager.
      3. Original or certified copy of the examination timetable, or a letter from the institution outlining the examination process and/or dates, or an original letter from the lecturer/supervisor supporting leave in the case of written submission, must be attached to the leave form.
      4. Leave may not be taken without prior approval.
      5. Approved leave forms are forwarded to the Human Resources Department for verification and record keeping.

      6.2 Authority and approval

      1. Study and examination leave for preparation purposes must, within reason, be taken at times operationally convenient to the department and as such may not always be granted for the days directly before the examination. Operational requirements must be taken into account. Flexible working hours may also be considered.
      2. The Head of Department has authority to grant or refuse applications for study and examination leave.

Related links

This policy should be read in conjunction with:

Policy implementation date: 1 January 2013
Page last updated: 18 September 2017