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Welcome to Personal and Professional Development: : PPD

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Communication is something we spend a lot of our time doing but isn’t always easy to get right. Communication Essentials is full of tips and practical examples to help you communicate effectively. Watch the trailer.

Effective Staff Review and Development includes short films to clarify the purpose and outcomes of Staff Review and Development and considers what you can do to get the most out of your next review meeting, either as a reviewer or as a reviewee. Watch the trailer.

Welcome to Personal and Professional Development

To see what events, workshops and seminars are available click on a section below and follow the links to the University Training Booking System for more information and to book a place.

Key: face to face learning course Face-to-face delivery online learning course Online course blended learning course Blended course

Academic practice: Teaching, research and administration

Workshops, seminars and briefings addressing some of the fundamental responsibilities of academic life at Cambridge are included in our open programme.  Some of these may be adapted and delivered within Departments / Faculties, on request.   Find out more about further opportunities and materials for academics, for research staff and for research students by following the links to the right of this screen.

Leadership and management development


There are a wide range of courses available for all levels of leader and manager, including existing and aspiring heads of departments, team leaders and others with responsibility for people, projects and/or resources.




These resources and courses are to help new staff settle in to the University.



In addition there are local induction and other targeted events that you may be able to get involved in.

Personal development

Policies, procedures and legislation

A range of training events and workshops are available to provide staff with up to date information and practical advice on topics such as data protection and employment legislation as well as key University policies and procedures, for example staff development and review.


Presentation and communication


Whether you want to improve the way you communicate with others on a one to one basis or learn how to give effective presentations, there are courses available for you.


Researcher development programme

Details of teaching and professional development for researchers can be found by following the links to the right on this page.

Vocational Qualifications

For information on the range of initiatives available for assistant and support staff who want to increase their vocational skills and gain a qualification, including CareerStart@cam, the Vocation Training Fund and the Employee Development Initiative, follow the link.

We offer a number of programmes which address priorities of particular groups of staff and research students, or of those at particular stages of their careers at Cambridge:

Heads of Institution Programme

This leadership programme explores the complex leadership skills required by Heads of Institutions in carrying out their roles. It now forms an important part of the University's leadership and management development strategy, and is particularly useful for new or more recently appointed Heads of Institution.

It addresses the following topics:

  • Head of Institution as Leader
  • Personal Leadership
  • Setting Strategy and Leading Change
  • Leading Others

Pathways in Higher Education Practice (PHEP)

PHEP (Pathways in Higher education Practice) forms part of the probationary arrangements for University Lecturers and complements Faculty and Departmental induction and development.

For more information about PHEP and how it can help you settle in and support you throughout your probation, follow the link.

Researcher Development Programme

Follow this link for details of a range of courses and workshops available to research staff and research students.

Administrator Development Programme

This programme is intended for administrative and other officers who have been in post for one to five years or who are experienced administrators in another context. It is for those whose primary role is administrative, whether they are specialists or generalists.

The development programme draws on the expertise of senior figures in the University, including Pro-Vice-Chancellors and Divisional Directors and provides up to date information on the various strands and issues of University strategy and governance.

It also includes skills development and a valuable opportunity to network.

Follow this link for more information about the Administrator Development Programme and how to apply.

Download the programme flyer.

Each year, PPD is asked to respond to specific requests from Schools, departments, faculties and divisions. These requests come either directly from the School or department concerned or via the HR Business Manager or Advisor. The development we deliver in response to these requests takes place at a range of levels, including School, department, team or individual.

Depending on the nature of the work required, we may need to levy a charge to cover costs. 

In-house courses

Where you have sufficient numbers (usually a minimum of 8), we are able to deliver one of our courses within your department for your staff. This has the advantages of minimising travel time and giving an opportunity for colleagues to work together.

Where a particular course needs to be adapted to address particular experiences or interests, we can discuss this with you and tailor the programme accordingly.

Where there isn't a course available to meet your needs, we may be able to work with you to design and deliver one to meet your requirements.

As mentioned above, depending on the nature of the work required, we may need to levy a charge to cover costs.

Other forms of support

In addition to requests for courses, we also receive requests for other forms of support eg supporting departments/faculties with carrying out development needs analysis; team development activities; support and guidance for managers on specific issues; support with performance issues; coaching support.

Working with research students

There are many ways that we can work with you to develop your skills.We offer 1:1 skills analysis sessions; the skills survey online; and focus groups. We aim to understand your requirements through focus groups and feedback on courses. We are always happy to receive and discuss ideas for new training. We are also able to advertise other events that you know about relating to skills development, e.g., organized by student societies. For more information contact RDP admin team.