Training and Professional Development

Training and Professional Development

The University is dedicated to supporting personal, professional and career development of its staff and postgraduate researchers. Professional development opportunities are provided by a number of different Professional Services who provide workshops, courses, online and bespoke training for all staff (academic, technical, professional services, manual and support) and postgraduate researchers.

Courses and workshops can be viewed and booked via the online course booking system. Our suite of professional development opportunities has been designed from consultation exercises, participant feedback, senior management, advisory and steering groups and national policies, concordats and benchmarking.

Please make sure you read and comply with our terms and conditions for booking, attending and cancelling courses.

Academic Development

The Centre for Academic Development supports staff and students across the University in learning, teaching, research and professional development.

Workshops, Events and Accredited Programmes

The Centre runs a schedule of workshops, events and accredited programmes throughout the academic year; please visit the Academic Development page for more details.

Accredited Programmes
Annual Review

The Annual Review process was introduced in February 2014 to replace the previous appraisal scheme. This process was developed in partnership with a Working Group consisting of representatives from all categories of staff and areas within the University, and there was also representation from all the Campus Trade Unions.

Association of University Administrators

The Association of University Administrators logoThe Association of University Administrators (AUA) is the professional body for higher education managers and administrators, with around 4,000 members in the UK and worldwide. They have in the region of 180 branches based in universities and higher education colleges as well as HE-related bodies.

The AUA is committed to:

  • promoting excellence in higher education management through our professional development scheme, annual conference, specific training events and publications
  • advancing a code of professional standards
  • providing information networks through newsletters, e-bulletins and personal networking
  • developing international links with appropriate organisations and with individuals
  • enhancing the profile of the profession nationally and internationally

The University of Aberdeen currently has 23 members drawn from a variety of levels and areas across the institution. Membership of the AUA is open to all those members of staff within the University who are involved in management, administrative or clerical activities and are committed to promoting excellence in their work.

Have a look at the AUA webpages below and remember to visit the webpage regularly to stay up-to-date with AUA events within the University!


For more information email or visit the AUA Homepage

How to join us

If you are a member of staff at the University of Aberdeen and you have, or aspire to taking on, managerial or administrative responsibilities, you are eligible to join the Association of University Administrators as a full member. Visit the AUA site for full details on securing membership.

UK members can claim tax relief on their membership subscriptions as a professional fee.

There are many benefits of being a member, including:

  • Receive the regular Newslink newsletter, Perspectives, a quarterly international journal, as well as regular AUA Updates with news and information to help you to keep up to date with key developments in HE management
  • Receive good practice guides
  • Annual 3-day conference in the UK - educational and a great networking opportunity
  • Join the AUA LinkedIn Network
  • Join various AUA email lists in your area of expertise
  • Various online tools on the AUA website to support you in your work
  • Opportunity to complete the AUA’s Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice
  • International links, study tours and travel awards
  • Discounts on professional development courses

Lunchtime events | Lunchtime talks | Previous events

AUA Lunchtime events at the University

The first ever AUA lunchtime event, held on 4 September 2013 in the Sir Duncan Library, was very well received with nearly 60 members of staff attending. Given the success of this event, further lunchtime events were offered throughout the year to bring AUA members together to discuss current issues in higher education. If you missed any of the talks or would like to see the presentations again, please see below.

Lunchtime Talks 2015-16

AUA Informal Lunch Get-Together – 9th October, Starbucks, Old Aberdeen, 12.45pm – 2pm

We have reserved an area in Starbucks (the Old Café Zeste @ Crombie Halls) for an informal lunch catch-up between 12.45pm - 2pm on Friday 9th of October to discuss what local members would like from the local branch of the AUA in the forthcoming year, colleagues can BYOL or purchase lunch and/or coffee from Starbucks.

The Vintage Ceilidh – 17th October, Elphinstone Hall, Old Aberdeen, 7.30pm onwards

If you fancy getting together outside of work, then come along to the Vintage Ceilidh on Saturday 17th of October – all monies raised will be going to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Nepal Earthquake Appeal. Tickets are £15 for adults and £7.50 for little toots -The ticket includes the dance, stovies (meat and veggie options) as well as our vintage themed photo booth and props. There will also be a cash bar and raffle, as well as prizes for the best dressed! Contact Emma on for tickets.

Athena SWAN: not just for women – 26th October, Meeting Room 1, The Sir Duncan Rice Library, 1-2pm

Rhiannon Thompson will discuss the Athena SWAN Charter and what the University of Aberdeen’s commitment to gender equality means for all staff and students across the Institution, the benefits of being a Member of your School’s Athena SWAN Self-assessment team and what can be expected over the future years.

Principal to deliver AUA Annual Lecture in Aberdeen, 24th November, Meeting Room 1, The Sir Duncan Rice Library, 1-2pm

For those of you unable to make the AUA Annual Lecture in York on the 15th October, the Principal has kindly agreed to deliver this presentation to those AUA members based in Aberdeen on the 24th November at The Sir Duncan Rice Library.

AUA Study Tour Talk-18th January 2016, Foresterhill in the MacGilivray Conference Room, MacGilivray Academic Centre, Aberdeen Maternity Hospital. Directions to the Conference Room are available here:

Marion Malcolm (Health Services Unit Business Manager & Business Improvement Specialist) has just returned from the 2015 AUA study tour to Belgium and the Netherlands and will be speaking to Aberdeen AUA members about her experience.

Marion was joined by colleagues from the Universities of Cardiff and Surrey, UCL, London South Bank University and Edge Hill University, and the tour visited Leiden University, VU Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam, Delft University of Technology and the University of Antwerp.

The tour explored three specific themes; the internationalisation of higher education, the impact of research and changes in research funding on the HE sector and managing student employability, and will produce a report detailing the group’s findings and observations in 2016.

Previous Events

If you missed a talk, or would like to watch a presentation again, information about previous events is available below:


  • November 2014, Susan MacLennan (Staff Development Partner, HR)- Managing Change  
  • April 2015, Heather Doran (Public Engagement) and Anne Buckle (Policy, Planning & Governance)-'Why online profiles aren't just for dating websites'


  • September 2013, Kathy Fowler (Deputy Executive Director Aberdeen Energy Institute and member of the AUA Board of Trustees)-Overview of AUA and its Services; and Jennifer Sewel (Director of Policy, Planning & Governance)- Building a Career in Higher Education  Presentation
  • March 2014, 'The Independence Debate and Scottish Higher Education: What ifs, buts and maybes?', A. Godfrey Brown (Public Affairs) and Bruce Purdon (Policy, Planning & Governance)
  • May 2014, 'Changing  Marking Scales- the new Code of Practice on Assessment', Professor Peter McGeorge (VP for Teaching & Learning) and Dr Gillian Mackintosh (Director of Academic Affairs, Registry)
  • June 2014, 'From Tokyo to Aberdeen: What Can Car Factories Teach Universities?', Helena Ziegler (Business Improvement) 
Links and Supporting Documents
Professional Development Providers
  • Centre for Academic Development
    The Centre for Academic Development brings together expertise in learning and teaching and in researcher development to support staff and students from across the University in their professional development. The Centre works in partnership with academic staff to tackle complex issues in teaching, learning and assessment. We provide advice on funder expectations and good practice in researcher development for funding proposals. We facilitate professional development through accredited programmes and a range of workshops and events.
  • Human Resources
    The Department of Human Resources offers a range of services aimed at supporting managers and staff with both operational and strategic matters. The HR team provide support and guidance for all staff through workshops, bespoke sessions, through an online handbook and one to one guidance.
  • IT Services
    IT Services is responsible for the management, operation and support of the University’s IT infrastructure. IT training opportunities for staff and research postgraduate students are administered and coordinated by the Digital Skills Team. The team offer a year round programme of IT courses and workshops, covering a range of topics and supported software.
  • Library
    The Library, on four sites over three campuses, is one of the largest and best equipped in Scotland, offering excellent resources to support students and staff in teaching, learning and research. The Library Service provides a range of information skills support and other workshops to support the student and academic community in the effective use information resources for research and teaching. We provide support through a range of workshops and information sessions and through individual guidance appointments.
  • Public Engagement with Research Unit
    The Public Engagement with Research Unit is available to help you generate ideas, and provide advice for your public engagement activities. Many of our festivals and events are endorsed by the major UK and EU research funders, helping to enhance the impact of being involved as a researcher or research team. We work closely with the Centre for Academic Development to provide training courses and workshops and can work with you to develop and deliver bespoke guidance for you and your research team.
  • Researcher Development
    Researcher Development supports all staff enegaged with research in their personal, professional and career development, through a range of courses, events and opportunities. We work closely with the Grants Academy, and colleagues across Research and Innovation, to offer training in grant writing, communicating research, strategies for career planning in academia and beyond, and other transferable skills. See our pages for the Aberdeen Research Futures blog, current funding opportunites for developing your research, and details of our courses.
  • Staff Development
    The Staff development team is here to support your personal and professional development. We run a continuous programme of skills workshops – from minute taking to feedback skills – to ensure that there’s always an opportunity for you to build on your existing skills. We will also work in partnership with you to develop and deliver bespoke sessions or to discuss coaching and mentoring.
Staff Development

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.