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HRM-023: Career Development for University Staff Employees

Date: 05/26/2009 Status: Final
Last Revised: 05/03/2024
Policy Type: University
Contact Office: Talent Management (UVA HR)
Oversight Executive: Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Applies To:

Academic Division and the College at Wise.

Reason for Policy:

Career development supports the University’s commitment to employee career growth. This policy defines key terms and establishes expectations regarding employee, supervisor, and UVA Human Resources responsibilities.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Career Development:A series of planned actions taken by an employee, with the active support of management, to successfully meet the demands of the current job environment, prepare for future work opportunities and challenges, and enhance employee career satisfaction.
  • Competencies:Behavioral characteristics critical for successful job performance.
  • Development Plan:An annual plan jointly developed by the supervisor and employee that documents the employee’s career development goals and supporting actions for the performance period.
  • Job Family:A group of job titles based on similar types of work and expertise. Job titles are grouped into Job Families based on a common focus (for example, Student Services, Trades, or Finance).
  • Supervisor1:A University employee charged with responsibility for managing another employee’s performance, including conducting performance evaluations.
  • University Staff Employees (University Staff):Those salaried, non-faculty employees hired on or after July 1, 2006, and those salaried non-faculty employees and administrative and professional faculty electing to participate in the UVA Human Resources System established by the Board of Visitors under the authority granted by the Restructuring Act and the Management Agreement. (The term “University Staff Employee” includes all three categories of University staff employees - Operational & Administrative, Managerial & Professional, and Executive & Senior Administrative.)
Policy Statement:

Career development provides employees with opportunities to build productive and satisfying careers while contributing to the achievement of the University’s mission.

Career development encourages intentional career planning, continuous self-improvement, and a commitment to lifelong learning. Its results include increased job satisfaction, enhanced capabilities, and higher performance. Integrated with meaningful performance planning & evaluation and effective pay practices, career development forms the foundation of the University Staff Human Resources (HR) Plan.

All employees are expected to participate in some form of career development every year. At a minimum, employees are expected to stay current in their fields of expertise and maintain satisfactory levels of performance. High-performing employees with mastery in their fields of expertise have the opportunity to acquire new skills and take on additional responsibilities, leading to career progression or transition to another career.

The University provides tools and opportunities that allow employees to plan and grow their careers. Supervisors are expected to support and encourage the career development of their direct reports in accordance with this policy.

Career development at the University includes:

  1. Career Development Planning:
    There are two steps to the career development planning process:

    • Employees are encouraged to develop a long-term career strategy in which they explore their career choices and establish long-term milestones for their selected career direction toward enrichment in their current work, progression along their current career path or transition to another job family.

    • An annual Development Plan is part of the performance planning and evaluation process for each employee. Together, employees and supervisors create career development goals and actions for the performance cycle. Supervisors conduct periodic Development Plan progress meetings with employees throughout the year. Employees who successfully achieve their Development Plan goals during the performance period may have the opportunity for promotions and to influence their compensation.

  2. Job Families Information:
    Job families organize similar jobs into occupational categories. Job title summaries, within each job family, describe the core capabilities needed to qualify for and be successful in each category. The information in the job title summaries provides a basis for career development planning.

  3. Development Opportunities:
    The University provides tools and opportunities to support employees and supervisors to create and implement employee career development plans. Development opportunities may be designed to increase employees’ career expertise and performance in their current jobs, and to increase awareness about and prepare employees for new career opportunities. Development opportunities may include:

    • Career planning and development programs sponsored by UVA Human Resources.
    • University training, external occupational and vocational training, professional education courses, or degree programs.
    • On-the-job opportunities such as cross-training, job rotations, special projects, or other experiential career programs.
    • Participation in professional conferences, workshops, seminars, discussion groups, etc.
    • Independent learning through reading technical manuals, professional journals, books, web-based materials, etc.
    • On-line offerings that support development goals.

    Every supervisor is expected to encourage and support learning opportunities for their employees that are aligned with career goals and plans.

  4. Responsibilities:
    Each Employee is responsible for:

    • Becoming familiar with University staff employee career development and actively participating in the annual Development Plan process.
    • Keeping job skills current.
    • Maintaining a high level of performance.
    • Collaboratively identifying career development opportunities and developing goals with supervisor.
    • Communicating with supervisor on career development progress and support needs.
    • Participating in career development programs.
    • Participating in occupational, professional development, education and/or training programs.
    • Making their own career decisions.

    Each Supervisor is responsible for:

    • Becoming familiar with University staff employee career development and actively participating in the annual Development Plan process.
    • Actively encouraging and supporting employees in their career development.
    • Encouraging and supporting learning opportunities for employees.
    • Offering career development opportunities in a consistent, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory manner.
    • Considering the strengths, talents and interests an employee wants to use in the future as well as anticipating organizational needs in creating development plans.
    • When considering career development opportunities, taking advantage of experiential learning opportunities within and outside the employee’s current work role.

    UVA Human Resources is responsible for:

    • Providing tools and resources to support employee career development and to maximize employee and manager performance.
    • Providing employee and management training, management consulting, and support for employee career development at the University.
    • Evaluating program effectiveness, and compliance with policies and procedures.
  5. Compliance with Policy:
    Failure to comply with the requirements of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination in accordance with relevant University policies.

    Questions about this policy should be directed to Talent Management (UVA HR).

Major Category:
Human Resource Management
Next Scheduled Review:
Approved By, Date:
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, 05/26/2009
Revision History:

Confirmed 5/3/24; Added Compliance section 7/20/21; Updated 2/28/14.