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Study Reimbursement Scheme Procedures

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) The University is committed to providing development opportunities to produce a pool of high-calibre professionals capable of leading the University into the future. There are a number of options available for staff members to undertake professional development activities including the Staff Study Reimbursement Scheme.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This document outlines the Staff Study Reimbursement Scheme (the Scheme) including, conditions, application and reimbursement claim procedures.

(3) This scheme provides financial assistance to staff members who successfully complete Higher Education (HE) or Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses/units related to their current employment within the University.

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This procedure applies to all staff of the University undertaking professional and work-related study for which they may be seeking or eligible for reimbursement.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(5) Access to the Staff Study Reimbursement Scheme is at the discretion of the Director People and Culture.

(6) In order to access the Scheme, staff must seek approval prior to the commencement of the relevant study period. Continuing assistance is subject to satisfactory progress in study (at least a pass level on all subjects) as well as satisfactory performance of duties.

(7) Each year the budget allocated to the Scheme will be reviewed as will the amount that staff members can claim for reimbursement.


(8) To be eligible to access the Scheme, staff members must be:

  1. continuing full-time staff members who have successfully completed a probationary period and a minimum of six months employment; or
  2. continuing part-time staff members approved on a on a pro-rata basis as determined by the staff members fraction of employment (for example, a part-time staff member employed as a 0.5 full-time equivalent will be reimbursed 50% of the applicable reimbursement rate); or
  3. on a fixed-term contract appointments of three or more years’ duration; or
  4. employed by the University for the past two years with the likelihood of being offered further employment for a minimum of another two years.

(9) Additionally, a staff member must have a current and/or updated Performance Development Review (PDRS) to be eligible.

Approved Courses of Study

(10) Courses of study that may be approved under the Scheme for 100% of the total cost of the course must meet the following criteria:

  1. The course is related to the applicants current or future career path at the University and makes an overall contribution to the University;
  2. The course that leads to a formal VET or HE qualification; and is:
    1. A first qualification for a Professional staff member; or
    2. A subsequent qualification for an Academic Staff member; and
  3. The course is offered by the University. Where the course is delivered by and external provider it may only be considered if it is not offered by the University.

(11) A staff member who has completed seven years of continuous employment with the University may apply to the relevant Senior Executive for the following under the Scheme:

  1. 25% of the total course costs for a course of study provided by the University, even if not relevant to the staff member’s current position or prospective position; or
  2. 10% of the total course costs for a course of study provided by an accredited provider external to the University, even if not relevant to the staff member’s current position or a prospective position.

(12) Short courses that are not part of a tertiary qualification are not eligible under the Scheme and supervisors must look for other ways to support staff in this type of development.

Application Process

(13) Applications to the Scheme must be submitted to People and Capability prior to commencing study. Applications will only be considered for future study and must be submitted in conjunction with a current PDRS. Retrospective applications for reimbursement will not be considered.

(14) Staff members must discuss proposed study plans and application requirements for the Scheme with their supervisor prior to making an application. If the supervisor agrees that the selected course is of relevance and benefit to the staff member and the University, the staff member must:

  1. update their PDRS planning form to reflect the agreed upon study; and
  2. complete the Staff Study Reimbursement Scheme Application form.

(15) The staff member’s supervisor will complete the Supervisor’s Recommendation section of the application form and forward to the relevant Senior Executive for consideration. If the Senior Executive approves of the application, they will sign the form and return it to the staff member.

(16) The staff member must then submit the application and a current PDRS to People & Culture. The application will be checked and reviewed for completion and eligibility in accordance with these procedures and forwarded to the Director People and Culture for consideration. People and Culture will notify the staff member by email of the outcome.

(17) A staff member whose application  has been denied may appeal the decision due to bias or a lack of procedural fairness and request the Vice-Chancellor to review the matter. The Vice-Chancellor decision is final.

Claims for Reimbursement

(18) Claims for reimbursement must be lodged with People and Culture by 31 July or 31 December in the year following the successful completion of units of study. Late claims for reimbursement will not be considered due to annual budget considerations.

(19) Claims for reimbursement of fees incurred may be lodged with People and Culture following:

  1. successful completion of the unit/s as evidenced by an academic transcript of results;
  2. proof of payment in the form of an Enrolment and Fees Advice; and
  3. completion of a Staff Study Reimbursement Scheme Claim for Payment form.

(20) Reimbursement will be made via direct deposit into the staff member’s nominated bank account.

(21) Reimbursement will not be made to staff members who either resign or submit their resignation prior to lodging a claim for reimbursement.

Repayment of Professional Development Costs for Staff who Cease Employment

(22) The University may seek the repayment of professional development costs paid to a staff member through the Scheme, when a staff member ceases employment with the University within twenty-four months of completing the relevant study units.

(23) Repayment will be on the following terms:

  1. 75% of all payments made if the staff member ceases employment less than twelve months after completion of units; or
  2. 50% of all payments made if the staff member ceases employment more than twelve months but less than twenty-four months after completion of units.

(24) The final decision on staff repayment of professional development costs rests with the Director, People and Capability. The staff member who ceased employment may appeal the decision and request the Vice-Chancellor to review the matter. The Vice-Chancellor's decision is final.

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Section 5 - Non-Compliance

(25) Non-compliance with Governance Documents is considered a breach of the Code of Conduct – Staff or the Code of Conduct – Students, as applicable, and is treated seriously by the University. Reports of concerns about non-compliance will be managed in accordance with the applicable disciplinary procedures outlined in the Charles Darwin University and Union Enterprise Agreement 2022 and the Code of Conduct – Students.

(26) Complaints may be raised in accordance with the Code of Conduct – Staff and Code of Conduct - Students.

(27) All staff members have an individual responsibility to raise any suspicion, allegation or report of fraud or corruption in accordance with the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Whistleblower Reporting (Improper Conduct) Procedure.