Staff development supports the University's Human Resources Strategy. The aim of the strategy and its supporting policies and procedures is to provide a positive working environment which enables staff to optimise their performance, commitment and contribution.

We take our responsibilities in relation to diversity and equality seriously. Therefore, if you have any comments or queries on the accessibility of our provision and the inclusivity of our materials, please contact us.

Book your course here.

Buddy Scheme


The Staff Development team are proud to be introducing a Buddy Scheme programme open to all new staff members starting at the university. The establishment of a buddy scheme will contribute to a swift and comfortable integration process for all new employees. It will enable new staff to settle into their role and familiarise themselves with departmental norms and the organisation. This will be done through the help of an assigned buddy that would be matched accordingly through SUMAC. The buddy scheme makes induction a process, rather than a single event, “providing an environment that enriches the lives of our people”.

In our 2015-2020 Strategic plan, the University of Aberdeen outlined ‘People’ as being at the heart of our vision through our commitment to create a supportive environment for staff, empowering them to achieve their full potential. Buddying is identified as one of the key integration opportunities the University will make available to new staff as part of this commitment. Buddying functions as a supportive mechanism to aid new staff assimilate smoothly during their first months here at the University. The main feature of the buddy scheme lies in its informality and mutuality.

A buddy relationship is between two people, preferably from within the same department. It is a confidential relationship there to facilitate the rate at which new staff members assimilate into their role, the department and organisation. It is focused on informal networking and building new relationships with colleagues. Both individuals should view this scheme as a safe space to ask and answer any miscellaneous questions regarding the formal and informal culture at the university. It is also in place to resolve any queries new employees have that may have been left out during the induction sessions.

The buddy scheme does not involve counselling, mentoring, coaching, monitoring performance, assessing professional development and answering contractual information.

Should you like to be a part of our Buddy Scheme, as either a buddy volunteer or a new employee please complete the sign-up form by providing some details about yourself and your interest in the scheme.

Supporting Documentation and Materials

Supporting Documents

Video Tutorials


Coaching Profiles

Coaching is the art of facilitating the performance, learning and development of another. Coaching is outcome and results focused. Confidentiality between client and coach is crucial to this relationship. Although coaching is usually used for those in a leadership role it can be useful to anyone who is serious about their learning and development. Courses on coaching skills are available and are tailored to meet specific requirements. We provide coaching to individuals and groups, and use external coaches from time to time.

The Universities of Aberdeen and St Andrews launched a joint Coaching Academy in 2014 and we are now able to offer coaching widely as an additional support to development for staff at both institutions, helping people think through their options in relation to a range of situations they may be facing in the workplace.

We are also delighted to be able to offer staff the opportunity to work towards a formal qualification in coaching skills, accredited by the Institute of Leadershhip and Management (ILM). For more details click here    



What is coaching?
Coaching is about maximising your potential, opening up possibilities and increasing personal choice. It is a process of growth and personal learning that facilitates self-awareness. It is about solutions, not problems, and is focussed on you moving from where you are, to where you want to be and helping you find the resources necessary to get there.

Our coaches work with their clients - or coachees - on a one-to-one basis, to help them address specific work-related challenges around people or projects, or issues relating to career development. Essentially, the coach helps the coachee to resolve, prevent or forecast challenging situations.

A useful description of what a coach may be is a ‘critical friend’; the coach is there to support and encourage the coachee as well as being someone who can challenge them constructively to help them reflect on their actions and behaviours in order to lead to effective change.

Coaching is a confidential and voluntary process that enables individuals to manage workplace issues in a more constructive and confident manner.

What it’s not …

Coaching is not about experience, wise counsel or advice. That’s mentoring, or something you might get from a friend or your manager. Your coach won’t advise you what to do, and it’s not just a conversation or having someone to talk to or to use as a moaning session. Coaching is action oriented and focuses on goals and moving forward. Coaching is not just for senior managers or executives, it can be accessed by all staff at both Universities. 

What coaching offers?
Those receiving coaching benefit by:
  • learning to address their own challenges
  • developing greater self-awareness in a safe and supportive environment that enables the coachee to gain insight into their approach and patterns of behaviour
  • identifying their goals, and the potential barriers
  • developing appropriate skills and strategies and feeling empowered to take action. If they have management responsibilities, this may result in enhancing their ability to lead and communicate with others, provide direction and development.
Who are the coaches? 

Find out more about the Universities of Aberdeen and St Andrews Coaching Network coaches, who are a fully trained cross-section of University staff, and take on coaching assignments in addition to their main job roles.

Universities of Aberdeen and St Andrews Coaching Network

There are currently 12 coaches in the network who come from a range of academic, research, professional, support and technical roles bringing a range of experience and insight to the coaching role. 

All coaches have attended the Universities of Aberdeen and St Andrews Coach Development Programme, resulting in accreditation from the Institute of Leadership and Management in the form of the ILM Level 3 Award in Coaching.  They receive regular support, supervision and CPD from staff development professionals in both Universities.  The coaches take on coaching assignments in addition to their main job roles and responsibilities and, unlike mentors, do not need to have expertise in the work or discipline area of their 'coachee' although they will all have developed particular areas of coaching specialism.

To register interest in having a coach, please register.

Once your form is submitted, you will be matched with a suitable coach and invited to meet them at an initial 'coffee meeting'. The purpose of this initial meeting is to clarify:

  • what coaching is (solution-focused, helping you to find your own answers) and isn’t (it’s not mentoring or advice-giving)
  • what you might like to focus on in coaching sessions

You and your coach will then agree the timing and frequency meetings after that.

What some previous coachees have said about their experience of coaching

“Coaching has helped me to deal with a difficult relationship with a colleague, to stop blaming myself for it, and to try to come up with more positive solutions when difficult situations arose.”

“(What was particularly valuable about the coaching programme was) having someone to talk to who would listen to my issues without seeing it as just me moaning, who would encourage me to talk through the whole situation and what I could have done differently (or not), and help me rationalise the issues in my own head.”

“(As a result of the coaching programme) I’ve been a lot more reflective about my relationships with others….. This has helped me to modify the way I deal with them….. I have gained a great deal of self-respect.”

“(The coaching sessions) definitely helped make me less worried about things and I feel less stressed than I had done.”

“Coaching helped me to plan scenarios that allowed me to see my options for the future a lot more clearly and has helped me to make decisions accordingly.”

Register interest

To register interest in having a coach, please complete link to SUMAC. You will be asked for further information about the kind of topics you want to explore, which will help with the coach matching process. Your assigned coach will then contact you to arrange an initial meeting to discuss how you can both take the coaching forward.

Coaching Profiles

Universities of Aberdeen and St Andrews Coaching Network

Alex Bain

My name is Alex Bain and I work at the University of St Andrews as an administrator in the School of Computer Science.  I started working for the university not long after I graduated with a joint honours degree in Computer Science and Management in 1991. I have completed many staff development courses in addition to the coaching programme. Although my primary role is administration in the school I like to make use of the skills I have developed by engaging in various university activities including mentoring, Lean projects and coaching.  I would like to say that I have a good knowledge of how the university works and I’m only too happy to offer my expertise when asked.  Outside of work I enjoy the odd round of golf, a bit of lawn bowling and in general keeping fit.  Coaching is something I first came across as part of a staff development course and I realised it was a style of management that I already used and I wanted to develop further.  As a coach I’m open and friendly but I will challenge you to be the best that you can be.  I will work with you towards solving your problems. 

Janine Chalmers

University of Aberdeen

I am the University Equality and Diversity Adviser at the University of Aberdeen.  In my role I have supported numerous staff to resolve issues and so undertaking the Level 3 Award in Coaching felt like a natural progression for me.  Developing and maintaining trusting relationships across the university is a key aspect to my role and I use those skills in my coaching practice.

I am a mum to two boys and have worked part-time since I had my first child.  As such, I have experience of maternity leave, returning to work, part-time working and balancing the requirements of home and a career.  In my role I have helped colleagues with workplace issues and have been leading on aspects of the University’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

As a coach, I am a good listener, enjoy building rapport and am focussed on supporting the coachee.  I find this to be a rewarding experience and since starting on my coaching journey I am constantly amazed at how powerful coaching as a development tool can be.  Having been coached myself and had a positive experience I am focussed on and committed to working with colleagues as a coach to support them to achieve their goals.

Shona Deigman

University of St Andrews

I have worked in the School of Management as Administrator for over 5 years having previously worked in a number of other areas including the Principal’s Office, Press Office, External Relations and the Press Office.  My role within the School has a broad remit which takes into account budgeting, operational planning and line management responsibilities for six administrative assistants.  I also act as a conduit between members of staff and the School’s Management Group of which I am an active member.  I attend Teaching Committee and Research and Development Committee meetings and have acted as convenor for various interview panels.

I thoroughly enjoy my coaching work and feel it enhances my administrative role with the School and better enables me to liaise and work proactively with the administrative team.  I have enjoyed all of my coaching experiences to date and am particularly keen to work with a wide range of coachees whether they are new to the University, well established employees or school/college leavers.

Jenny Donaldson

University of St Andrews

I`ve been working at the University of St. Andrews for just over 23 years. I started off as a Residence Manager in one of our smaller post-graduate halls of residence. I stayed there for 10 years, before moving onto a larger residence. After a couple of years, and with a young family, I decide it was time for a change in direction. This led me to my current role of Training & Development Co-ordinator within Residential & Business Services. Our department is the largest within the University, employing approximately 350 staff. I really enjoy the variety within my role, as besides organising training & development for the various levels of staff, I`m also a link between the Senior Management team and the staff, so building good relationships is key to my role.

I feel it`s really important to continually develop ourselves and in the last few years I`ve become a Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, as well gain my Level 3 Award in Workplace Coaching.

My style of coaching is very relaxed and informal. I feel it`s really important to spend time at the beginning building up a good relationship, and therefore trust. Although the sessions are fairly structured, I would hope that my style of coaching would disguise this fact, and the conversations would be flowing, thus enjoyable and rewarding for both parties.

Graeme Hawes

University of St Andrews

I’m the User Services Manager at the University of St Andrews Library, part of a team delivering front line service to a wide range of students, staff and external library users.  In this busy role good customer service and people skills are key and coaching is a very useful tool in helping to bring out the best in colleagues. I’m also a firm believer in developing a coaching culture across HE institutions, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have very positive experiences coaching students and staff from across the University.  The focus of coaching: enabling people to find their own solutions to issues, is a very positive support mechanism to have in the workplace. In terms of my own coaching ‘style’ I like to think that my strengths are in establishing good rapport and listening actively to my coachees.  I believe this is the foundation on which all good coaching experiences are built and the springboard to finding positive outcomes to challenging situations.

Moira Cruickshank 

University of Aberdeen 

I am a Research Fellow in the Health Services Research Unit, based at Foresterhill. Outside of work, I like to stay active and have recently become interested in gardening, which is great fun. I have also been a volunteer counsellor for a local counselling agency for a number of years and I have a certificate in counselling skills.


I decided to undertake the coaching training as I am a firm believer in the importance of listening as a way of helping and supporting people, and I feel privileged to be able to incorporate this into the workplace. As a coach, my focus is helping the coachee work towards their goals in a way that fits with their own personal characteristics and values. I would be happy to work with you on any personal or professional concerns that might benefit from coaching. 

Hazel Larg

I have worked for the university in office-based roles for quite a number of years having joined the summer after leaving Madras College.  Starting in central administration, Admissions, I then moved to the School of Modern Languages where I can still be found, now acting as PA to Head of School and, as School Office Co-ordinator, working as part of the busy School office team keeping the admin wheels turning and on track.  I am interested in self-development, believing that it is important, within reason, to keep fit and to make the most of work-related opportunities.  Over the years I have been active with trade union activities gaining experience in assisting with work-related issues and building a better understanding of management processes. 

I attended the ‘Introduction to Coaching’ course offered by CAPOD which sparked my interest in attending more training in coaching skills and subsequently completed the coaching programme introduced by Aberdeen and St Andrews.

Outside of work I enjoy reading, attending fitness classes, going to concerts (the noisier the better!) and a guid murder (in films!).

Louis Milne

University of St Andrews

My name is Louise Milne and I am a Human Resources Officer at St Andrews.  I decided to undertake coaching training for personal development as well realising that coaching was going to form an important part of our organisational development.

I see coaching as complementary but separate to the work I do in Human Resources and hopefully, in time, the developing coaching service will bring less work to my Human Resources door. 

As a coach (although still in the process of learning), I’d like to think that coachees will find me relaxed, helpful but challenging when required.  


Lynn Neville

University of St Andrews

I trained as a Coach two years ago, but have been working with people in my role of Staff Developer for the past 15 years.  I have a keen interest in helping people develop both personally and professionally and becoming a coach seemed like a natural thing to do.  I very much enjoy working one to one and focusing on the coachee’s needs.  A lot of the work I do involves training groups of people, and it is very rewarding to have the opportunity to focus on one person in a coaching relationship.  I am a St Andrews graduate, and accredited by the British Psychological Society to deliver Level A and B psychometric questionnaires including JTI and 15 fq+ and also Belbin Team Roles. 

Dr Bruce Scharlau

University of Aberdeen

I use a variety of approaches to coaching and have a wide variety of experience to bring to our sessions. My own teaching ranges from computing to entrepreneurship, and builds upon past experience in the social sciences, and business too. I know how to stay focused on your issues and can, where you want to, help you clarify your situation and find a path forward. I have been able to do this for my own varied career and helped others find their path too. You can find more about me at  or 

Amanda Hopwood

University of Aberdeen

A WoodI’ve worked in Staff Development at the University since 2011, with my current role being Staff Development Partner. I have a huge range of experience of dealing with all levels of staff at the University – although my speciality is leadership development I’m also on hand to provide team building; mentoring; skills training; online learning; and to one-on-one coaching activities.

I was delighted to have a chance to expand my skills and knowledge by becoming an accredited coach in 2013. I juggled completing my accreditation with the birth of my first child, Magnus, and managed to find (only a few) spare hours whilst on maternity leave to complete my coursework and refresh my coaching knowledge and skills. My experience in juggling my professional workload as well as my budding family life makes me an empathetic coach for those who may need some support in juggling their priorities, work/life balance, maternity leave coaching, or coaching upon return to the workplace. I am also experienced in coaching those in leadership positions, or who may be aspiring to such a role.

In 2017 I undertook a postgraduate level qualification in coaching supervision in order to continue my development in this area and, in particular, to support our internal coaching pool. Besides from my formal coaching qualifications I hold certificates in counselling skills and a wide range of psychometric tools that can help to enhance your coaching experience.

Courses and Workshops

Staff Development Drop In sessions

Strategic Plan 2015-2020-People-Goals
  • To enhance the culture of belonging, collegiality and realising potential in our community of staff, students and alumni
  • To attract and retain ambitious staff and students to our international institution
  • To foster a positive culture wherein our people are engaged, committed to our future, and champions of equality and diversity

With these goals in mind the Staff Development Team have scheduled dates each month for Colleges and Professional Services to Drop In looking for information or answers to queries about their own development or team development.  Specifically we can provide guidance on the following:

  • Professional Development – ILM Management and Coaching Courses
  • Coaching and Mentoring
  • Ongoing In House sessions on the likes of Time Management, Minute Taking, Recruitment and Interview Techniques, Essential Supervisory Skills, Building and Developing Teams and more (please see attached)
  • Bespoke arrangements for Individual and Team Development

Please note that the session is open for all to come by, and we may be speaking to your colleagues in a confidential capacity when you drop in, please feel free to wait or we can agree a time specifically for you to come back to try and avoid any lengthy waiting periods for you where possible.

For further information, please see the HR Staff Development webpage on staffnet or contact


“Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment by moment” Jon Kabat-Zinn

Staff Development have teamed up with the MSc Mindfulness Studies Director Graeme Nixon and students to facilitate weekly sessions for staff to drop in. In these sessions we will be practicing meditation and doing some light inquiry and reflection.

We ask that you book via course bookings as numbers are limited by room size and space. Course bookings will be updated each week on the Friday, with the session details, for staff to book in advance for the following week (much like the ASV class bookings system). To book please click here.

Should you have not practiced Mindfulness before, we please ask that you view our supporting presentation on Mindfulness and the Drop In Sessions here to provide a brief and general introduction to the practice and the weekly sessions Mindfulness Presentation.

Please get in touch with should you have any queries.

 Retirement Course

This course is suitable for anyone considering leaving employment on normal, early or ill health retirement or taking flexible retirement. The course aims are to encourage a positive and realistic approach to a healthy and financially secure retirement and help you decide at what age you would like to retire.

The agenda will include:

  • Managing Change
    • Identifying delegate concerns
    • Lifestyle, relationship, status, time, motivation
    • Planning for the future
  • Creating a new future
    • Using time effectively
    • Volunteering, leisure and learning opportunities
    • Further employment
  • Maintaining Health
    • Mental, physical, social and emotional
    • Holistic approach - practical steps
    • Personal action plan
  • State Pension and other benefits
    • Maximising entitlement and options
    • Graduated, SERPS, S2P, Basic
    • Future changes
  • Occupational Pension (relevant to delegates)
    • Benefits and options at retirement
    • Decisions before you leave
    • Flexible retirement
    • AVC, other pension contracts
    • Annuities, drawdown, open market options
    • Early retirement (if applicable)
  • Personal Taxation
    • How to calculate net income
    • Changes in taxation at retirement
    • Tax tips

There will also be information on money management, investing in retirement, legal issues and estate planning and thinking about the future. For full details see this leaflet.

University of Aberdeen Coaching Programme - New for 2018 

The University of Aberdeen is delighted to be able to offer staff the opportunity to work towards a formal qualification in coaching skills, accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).

Applications are now being sought from staff members who wish to take part in the ILM Level 3 Award in Coaching programme to support and develop their coaching skills. Applications are warmly welcomed from all staff groups, including academic, research and support staff. 

Participants will join our internal coaching pool and will be asked to commit up to two hours per month coaching University colleagues.

More information about coaching, the programme, and the application procedure can be found here


Leadership and Management Development

What is Leadership and Management?

There are many different definitions of leadership and management and arguments about whether they are the same or different activities. We view the two activities as linked. Leadership is the ability of an individual to influence, motivate and enable others to contribute towards the effectiveness and success of the organisation of which they are members. Management characterises the process of leading and directing all or part of an organisation through the deployment of resources, human, physical, financial, intellectual.

ILDP won the Times Higher Award for Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development in 2007.

Management Programmes

International Leadership Development Programme (ILDP)

The University is delighted to announce that applications for places on our award-winning International Leadership Development Programme (ILDP) are now open.

Programme Overview

The University’s Strategic Plan places our people at the heart of our vision of transforming the world with greater knowledge and learning. Our International Leadership Development Programme has been specifically designed to support our leaders, both current and potential, develop the skills necessary to successfully integrate institutional strategy, individual leadership, and organisational culture.

What can i expect to take from ILDP?

It is expected, by the end of the programme, participants with have:

  • an enhanced understanding of the leadership skills required to be an effective senior managers in a higher education institution,
  • through the use of a number of diagnostic questionnaires, including the use of 360° feedback process, a heightened sense of awareness about their own leadership communication and decision making style,
  • an increased capacity to assess the strategic issues facing higher education institutions and the University of Aberdeen,
  • a wider appreciation of the commercial and financial skills required to manage in an increasingly business-orientated approach to the delivery of higher education,
  • by visits to international partners and other relevant organisations, to gather market intelligence and experience of leadership practice in different cultural contexts,
  • developed a greater awareness of good practice in people management and acquire skills to apply these appropriately within their own context,
  • through the use of action learning and innovation group meetings, an increased understanding of the experience and skills of other senior colleagues and development of practical steps to help lead major change projects

Who can apply?

Individuals should have the support of their line manager and section head in applying for the programme.

Those individuals should be at an early or aspiring stage in your strategic leadership role; e.g. Head of Department, Service or School or Director of Teaching and Learning, but may have had previous experience of leading or managing teams or units. Candidates should either have an academic background and be leading a teaching, research or knowledge transfer department or have a professional service background and be leading an administrative or professional service.

Applications are also encouraged from those individuals who are succession planned to occupy such roles in the next 2 to 3 years.
Each person nominated must be able to participate in all programme elements (the four workshops, the visit to a host institution, and engage in a 1-to-1 coaching process).

Core assumption: All participants will have a solid platform of management and leadership training/education and experience to build on as they enter the programme. All applicants should be employed by the University of Aberdeen for the duration of the programme.

The application process

  1. Individual and their line manager discuss their suitability for ILDP against the applicant criteria as well as individuals personal development goals and the strategic needs of their area.
  2. Individual completes their section of the ILDP nomination form and passes to their line manager/section head for their endorsement.
  3. The nomination is passed to Staff Development by 16th June 2017 who will collate all applications. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of Senior Leaders.
  4. Staff Development will contact successful applicants with a formal programme invitation. Unsuccessful applicants will be offered an opportunity to meet with Staff Development to discuss additional personal development that can be offered*
Middle Management Development Programme
The Middle Management Programme is accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).
Moving into Management Programme

Early Management Development Programme (EMD) - a programme of six half-day sessions for support staff with supervisory responsibilities, typically executive assistants, departmental co-ordinators and equivalent technical staff and manual staff.

Please note that October 2018 cohort is now full.

Essential Supervisory Skills
EssentialSupervisorySkills (ESS) - a one day course for support staff with supervisory responsibilities. This can be booked via coursebooking.

Leadership Development for Principal Investigators

This is a two level development programme to enhance the leadership and management skills of PIs, at critical points in their career. It is specially targeted at:

  • newly appointed and aspiring PIs to outline their main roles and responsibilities and support them in managing their first research team.
  • more experienced PIs, with established research groups, to assist them in developing and maintaining a more strategic focus.

For further information, please contact Dr Lucy Leiper, Senior Research Development Adviser. 

Management Handbook

An online Management Skills Handbook is available for staff who are moving into line management roles or who feel they would benefit from a useful guide to support their work.

The development of this Handbook has been supported by the "Achieving The Best" project, funded by the Leadership Foundation in Higher Education. The information contained within the Handbook is drawn largely from the work undertaken on this project and is intended to act as an easy reference guide to the key principles underpinning research and people management.

Further Information

Bespoke training sessions based on some of the modules incorporated into the above programmes can be developed in consultation with individuals. To discuss your requirements, please contact us.


In May 2016, The University relaunched a new Staff Mentoring Scheme. The endorsement from Senior Management as Mentoring Champions and conducting Mentoring information sessions has meant that the scheme has been received very positively.  We are currently looking for members of staff to join the scheme as mentors but would also welcome more mentees to sign up ongoing and throughout the year.

Our 2015-2020 Strategic plan outlines the university’s commitment to creating a supportive environment for staff, empowering them to achieve their potential and career goals. Mentoring is identified as one of the key development opportunities the University will make available for staff as part of this commitment.

Mentoring is about one person, usually more experienced, helping another to make continuous improvements in skills, knowledge, work or thinking, outside the normal line management relationship.

It is an excellent developmental opportunity that affords many benefits for the mentee: helping individuals to integrate; to deal with change; to acquire increased understanding and knowledge of the organisation and its culture; to acquire new skills and to grow in confidence; to help them take responsibility for their own development, and to become self-sufficient in resolving issues.

There are also clear benefits for the mentor, including the development of leadership and other generic skills that can be used in the workplace.

Should you like to be a part of our Mentoring Programme, as either a Mentee or a Mentor please complete some details about yourself and your interest in the scheme by clicking here.

Troubleshooting: Some users have reported problems with the sign-up form when using Internet Explorer. The form works best when using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox (you can download these onto your computer without admin permission). If you encounter problems with Internet Explorer when signing up, try accessing the form through Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. If you encounter further problems, please email

Mentoring Scheme - Supporting Documentation and materials

Supporting Documents

Video Tutorials


Business School

Mentor: Sophie Anderson


Mentor: Ali Lumsden


Divinity, History & Philosophy

Mentor: Rachel Hughes



The Mentors: Derek Auchie and Sarah Duncan.


Social Science

Mentor: Pam Thomson



Mentor: Marion Hurry



Mentor: Marion Hurry



Mentor: Ana Ivanovic


Natural & Computing Sciences

Dora Golaszewska is the Mentor for Natural & Computing Sciences. Dora can be contacted on


Biological Sciences

The Mentors for Biological Science are Mel McCann and Beth Scott.

Mel can be contacted on and Beth can be contacted on


Mentor is to be confirmed.

The Mentors for MMSN are Mirela Delibegovic and Sam Miller.

Mirela can be contacted on and Sam can be contacted on

Dates and Times of Mentoring are to be confirmed.


Amanda Hopwood

Amanda can be contacted on  

Anne Buckle

Anne can be contacted on

Anne Shipley

Anne can be contacted on



Our Team

The Staff Development Team are here to support you in the development of your skills, attitudes and knowledge in the areas of leadership, management and personal development.

Amanda Hopwood - Staff Development Partner
+44 (0) 1224 27 3159

I started my career in Staff Development in 2011 and after a brief (and busy!) maternity leave in 2014 returned to work as Staff Development Partner where I intend to remain for the foreseeable future. I have a wealth of experience in working with all levels of staff at the University to help them to achieve their full potential – this could be anything from a place on a formal leadership development programme, facilitating a team-building day, one-to-one coaching, exploring mentoring opportunities, skills training, advising on external training opportunities, or just a cup of tea and a sympathetic ear*.

I hold a number of professional qualifications that enhance the service that Staff Development can provide. I am an accredited coach through the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), as well as an Affiliate for the Association of Coaching. I am skilled at coaching individuals through difficult and complex situations – whatever your issues may be please rest assured that there is always something I will be able to provide to help. I also train our internal pool of coaches, ensuring that every coach you come into contact with has achieved the professional skills level required by the ILM. No matter your situation, you are always in safe, capable and ethical hands when you use this internal service.

I am a registered MBTI Step I Practitioner, and can use this tool to support you in a number of development avenues. It forms part of our leadership programmes and half-day ‘Dealing With Difference’ training sessions, as well as being a tool that can be used in team away days and one-to-one personal development or coaching sessions. If you’re interested in learning more about this tool, please have a look here.

I’m also a Belbin Team Role Practitioner, and can use this tool to help to support away days, team building, and leadership development.

Inber 2015 I became accredited to deliver the full suite of Hogan tools. Hogan uses the powerful science of personality assessment to help you to hire the right people, develop talented employees, and to build great leaders. If this is a tool you might be interested in using, please get in touch and we can discuss your specific needs.

During my time at the University I have accredited our management programmes with the Institute of Leadership and Management, meaning that it is now possible for those attending our leadership courses to receive a formally recognised qualification. More information on the opportunities available can be found here. I also design and run the University’s Middle Management Programme which is accredited for an ILM Level 5 Certificate in Leadership and Management. 

I’m always available for you to reach should you have anything you would like to discuss further. You can reach me via email (, phone (ext. 3159) or, if you’re feeling really brave, give Staff Development a tweet (@StaffDevUoA)

*no promises made on the quality of tea provided.

Shona Fraser and Sam Smith - Human Resources Services Assistants

Shona Fraser

Working hours: Wednesday (pm) - Friday
+44 (0) 1224 273716 

Sam Smith

Working hours: Monday - Wednesday (am)   

+44 (0) 1224 273716 

General Enquiries

Staff Development
University Office King's College
AB24 3FX
Tel: +44 (0) 1224 27 3963

Policies and Guidance

You will find a number of links to both policies and information regarding staff training and development below:

Team Development

In the past 30 years or so, team working has grown in importance. Until relatively recently, roles at work were well-defined but, with advances in technology and education, employers have begun to place a growing emphasis on versatility, leading to an increasing interest in team working at all levels.

One of the most respected researchers in the field of team development is Dr Meredith Belbin who believes that creating effective teams depends upon getting a number of things right. Individuals within a team have to understand the roles that others play, when and how to let another team member take over and how to compensate for shortcomings.

Amanda Hopwood  in the Staff Training & Development Unit are accredited to deliver Belbin team role training sessions, using Belbin’s e-interplace software to produce in-depth reports to facilitate the training.

Amanda Hopwood is also accredited to deliver the Margerison McCann Team Management Profile, used in both team development and in one-to-one coaching sessions.