University Policies
Policy Contact
Director, UHR-Talent Development Email 401-863-9970

Professional Development Policy

Policy No. Issue Date Effective Date

1.0 Policy Purpose

The University is committed to providing professional development for all staff members. The purpose of this policy is to ensure Brown University’s professional development resources are used to support the development of staff members.  

2.0 To Whom the Policy Applies

This policy applies to University staff and to specific instructor-led courses facilitated by University Human Resources (UHR) staff, facilitators hired by UHR, and courses available through the RI Higher Education Training Consortium (RIHETC). 

3.0 Policy Statement

3.1 Approval

Attendance at a RIHETC course is paid for by UHR and requires approval by the staff member’s supervisor or department leader through Workday Learning. Some instructor-led courses facilitated by UHR staff or facilitators hired by UHR may also require such approval.

3.2 Cancellation

Understanding that work and life can be unpredictable, there may be times when a need to cancel or withdraw from a course is necessary. Guidelines for canceling or withdrawing attendance from a course are listed below.

3.2.1 Cancelling or Withdrawing Enrollment

Staff members must cancel or withdraw their enrollment in Workday Learning. For a single session course, a cancellation or withdrawal request must be submitted three calendar days in advance of the first day of the course. For a multi-session course, a cancellation or withdrawal request must be submitted ten calendar days in advance of the first day of the course. Courses can be dropped using the Workday job aid, Drop Course. The cancellation or withdrawal request must be reflected in Workday Learning as “Dropped”.

For cancellation or withdrawal requests that occur past the deadline date, the department will be charged for the cost of the course if there is a late cancellation fee. To view courses with a late cancellation fee, please access course descriptions in Workday Learning at: Exceptions to cancel or withdraw from a course will be approved for illness, personal emergency, or other extenuating circumstances.

Staff members who are enrolled in a course offered by RIHETC must send a substitute if they are unable to attend. Contact UHR-Talent Development at or 401-863-9970 to send a substitute. If a staff member does not attend or send a substitute to a RIHETC course, the staff member’s department will incur the full cost of the course.

4.0 Definitions

For the purpose of this policy, the term below has the following definition:


RI Higher Education Training Consortium is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to providing the higher education workforce with training they need to succeed while affording opportunities to network with colleagues from other area institutions.  For a list of RIHETC courses, please access:

5.0 Responsibilities

All individuals to whom this policy applies are responsible for becoming familiar with and following this policy. University supervisors are responsible for promoting the understanding of this policy and for taking appropriate steps to help ensure compliance with it.

Staff members: Staff members are expected to discuss with their manager time to participate in development opportunities as part of their annual performance planning and ongoing one-on-one meetings. Opportunities may include, but not be limited to, completing prerequisites in advance of attending a course.

University Human Resources: University Human Resources (UHR) administers professional development courses offered by a facilitator within UHR, hired by UHR, or sponsored by RIHETC.  

6.0 Consequences for Violating this Policy

Failure to comply with this and related policies is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension without pay, or termination of employment or association with the University, in accordance with applicable (e.g., staff, faculty) disciplinary procedures. 

7.0 Related Information

This policy is not a legal document. This policy does not confer a term of employment, nor is the language intended to establish a contract of employment, express or implied, between any employee and Brown University. The University reserves the right to change, amend or terminate any of its human resources policies at any time for any reason.

Brown University is a community in which employees are encouraged to share workplace concerns with University leadership. Additionally, Brown’s Anonymous Reporting Hotline allows anonymous and confidential reporting on matters of concern online or by phone (877-318-9184).

The following information complements and supplements this document. The information is intended to help explain this policy and is not an all-inclusive list of policies, procedures, laws, and requirements.

7.1 Related Policies


7.2 Related Procedures


7.3 Related Forms


7.4 Frequently Asked Questions


7.5 Other Related Information


Policy Owner and Contact(s)

Policy Owner: Vice President for University Human Resources

Policy Approved by: Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration

Contact Information:

Director, UHR-Talent Development Email 401-863-9970

Policy History

Policy Issue Date:

Policy Effective Date:

Policy Update/Review Summary: