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Continued professional development

Staff review and development (SRD) is an essential part of the University’s commitment to developing staff and to delivering a high quality service, providing a way of balancing your personal needs and ambitions with the University’s overall objectives. 

The review process should enhance work effectiveness and facilitate career development by encouraging staff to discuss their achievements, address challenges, set targets and consider their training and personal development requirements. it should ensure that members of staff are clear about their responsibilities and that they have a formal regular opportunity to discuss any help they may need in meeting them. 

Your reviewer is normally your line manager/supervisor. This process does not replace good management practice, nor is it used as a disciplinary tool or a means of determining pay. For Academic-related staff, your first review will be conducted 12 months after your appointment and thereafter every two years. 

Information about the Department’s support staff review process is available online. The University’s Staff Review and Development Scheme provides further guidance and is a useful source of information. 

For queries regarding SRD, you should speak with your line manager or contact Marita Walsh, Support Services Manager or Kathleen Pickett, Welfare, Training and Development Adviser. 

Learning and development opportunities - You are encouraged to take an active approach to your continued development, identifying and accessing personal and professional development opportunities in conjunction with the requirements of your role, your line manager and your own career aspirations.  

The University Training Booking System provides a central point for staff of the University and its Colleges to search for and book onto a variety of training courses run by participating University training providers. Below is further information about the main University training providers: 

University Information Services (UIS)

Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) 

Personal and Professional Development (PPD) 

Job Opportunities Job vacancies are advertised on the University’s Job Opportunities pages. In addition, some posts are advertised in the Cambridge University Reporter (the official journal of the University of Cambridge), the local and national press, specialist publications and job sites.

Consultancy Opportunities - Any member of University staff may undertake consultancy through Cambridge Enterprise, including academic, academic-related and assistant staff, as well as PhD students and post-doctoral researchers.


When a member of University staff is promoted to a higher grade, the salary will increase by either two additional increments or will become the first service point on the new grade, whichever is the greater. The maximum possible scale point on promotion is the highest point on the scale below the discretionary points, that is, discretionary points on scales are not available on promotion.

For further information on the University's range of promotion and contribution reward schemes please see the Reward Schemes webpage.

The University's salary scales can also be found here.

For professional services staff, progression to a higher grade, other than by means of a successful application for an advertised vacancy, occurs only where the duties of the underlying role have changed enough to merit regrading. The updated role description (form PD33) is assessed by Human Resources using the HERA role analysis scheme to determine the new grade. Details of the scheme are published on the Human Resources Division website.

While it is possible to achieve promotion if a post is upgraded, it is more usual to do so either by being promoted within your own institution or by transferring to another institution in the University. You may wish to consider applying for a higher-graded post, or for a post at the same grade which would give you wider experience and prepare you for promotion. Transfer from one University institution to another is considered continuous employment.

Cyber security

UIS has launched a new cyber security awareness course to help staff keep themselves and their data safe from cyber attacks. This training is now part of the induction process for new joiners, but all staff are encouraged to complete the 15-minute course to refresh their knowledge and increase their confidence in dealing with new threats. Further details are available on the IT Help and Support site

Dignity at work

The University of Cambridge is committed to protecting the dignity of staff, students, visitors to the University, and all members of the University community, in their work and their interactions with others. The University expects all members of the University community to treat each other with respect, courtesy and consideration at all times. All members of the University community have the right to expect professional behaviour from others, and a corresponding responsibility to behave professionally towards others.

The Dignity@Work policy explains this commitment and what action can be taken if its principles are not observed. Any instances that arise relating to all unlawful forms of discrimination and unacceptable behaviour – such as racial, sexual and disability harassment, as well as bullying – should be reported, in confidence, to your Supervisor, or line manager or to Marita Walsh, Support Services Manager or Kathleen Pickett, Welfare, Training and Development Adviser. The matter will be investigated thoroughly and without delay according to the approved procedures.

Key Chemistry Department contacts: Marita WalshNick BamposKathleen Pickett or your direct line manager for routine enquiries or advice. Approaches about personal or sensitive matters will be dealt with discreetly and where possible in confidence.

If you experience or observe a problem over harassment or bullying (whether you feel you are the subject of such behaviour, are accused of it, or are a witness to it) there are also Sources of Support available. If it is felt that your health is suffering, you may be encouraged to approach the Occupational Health Service and/or the Staff Counselling Service.


Employee benefits

The University offers employees a wide range of competitive benefits. The CAMbens Employee Benefits pages outline the full range of benefits currently available, but please make sure you visit the site regularly to check for new additions. 

In general, the benefits listed are available to all employees who have a contract of employment with the University and who are listed on the University payroll. Some of the salary sacrifice schemes have more specific eligibility criteria.

University employee benefits generally fall under the following categories and you are encouraged to access the most up to date information by visiting the CAMbens webpages: 

  • Family friendly – e.g childcare, family friendly leave and flexible working. 
  • Financial – e.g CAMbens savings account, University pension schemes
  • Health – e.g health care cash plans, health shield, BUPA private healthcare, Occupational Health Service. 
  • Local discounts - e.g. eating out. 
  • Recreation e.g. dining, sports and leisure, University attractions
  • Relocation e.g. the Accommodation Service, the Newcomers and Visiting Scholars group. 
  • Training and development – e.g. PPD, the Language Centre, the University Computing Service. 
  • Travel - e.g. CAMbens Cycle, Cycle Shop Discounts, CAMbens Cars, Zipcar, Travel to work loans, public transport discounts. 
  • Wellbeing - e.g.Occupational Health Service, Staff Counselling Service.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The University of Cambridge is committed to a proactive and inclusive approach to equality, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups, promotes an inclusive culture, and values diversity. 

Key Chemistry Department contacts: Marita WalshNick BamposKathleen Pickett or your direct line manager for routine enquiries or advice.  Approaches about personal or sensitive matters will be dealt with discreetly and where possible in confidence.

The University's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages have a wealth of information including Race Equality at Cambridge, E&D Events and details of Diversity Networks.

Subject to statutory provisions, no student, member of staff, applicant for admission as a student, or applicant for appointment as a member of staff will be treated less favourably than another because of her or his belonging to a protected group. This commitment applies to a former student, alumnus or alumna, or former employee where the alleged unlawful conduct arises out of and is closely connected to the former student's or former staff member's previous relationship with the University.

Protected groups are defined in the Equality Act 2010 and are listed in the University’s Equal Opportunities Policy. The University respects all religious and philosophical beliefs, as well as the lack of religion or belief, and the right of all members of its community to discuss and debate these issues freely. 

As a result of the Department’s commitment to Equal Opportunities, all members of staff are required to complete the Equality and Diversity Essentials online training.

Key Chemistry Department contacts: Marita WalshNick BamposKathleen Pickett or your direct line manager for routine enquiries or advice.  Approaches about personal or sensitive matters will be dealt with discreetly and where possible in confidence.

The University's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages have a wealth of information including Race Equality at CambridgeEDI events and details of Diversity Networks.

Grievances, capability and disciplinary matters

For assistant staff detailed information on the University's policies and procedures relating to disciplinary action, grievances and appeals is available on the Human Resources website.

Grievances - If you feel you are being treated unfairly, first talk to your local administrator or Head of Department to see if the problem can be resolved informally. If the problem persists or is very serious, you make wish to make a formal complaint to your Head of Department. If your grievance is directed against the Head of your Department, you may complain to a more senior officer. You should record instances of the problem as they occur, so that you have documentary evidence to show to the appropriate person.

Bullying and harassment - If you feel that you have been a victim of bullying or harassment, or are accused of such behaviour, the University has specific guidance on how this is dealt with through the Dignity@Work policy: see section 5e) and 5f) above. 

Disciplinary - The University's aim is to encourage improvement in individual conduct or behaviour where this falls short of required standards. The disciplinary procedure sets out the action to take when the conduct of a member of staff is unsatisfactory. Further information on disciplinary procedures can be found here.

Capability policy - Capability refers to an employee's ability to perform the work expected of them to the standard required. This may be assessed by reference to an employee's skill, aptitude, health or any other physical or mental quality in relation to the job that he or she is employed to do.

Hours of work

Flexible working - the University's Flexible Working Policy sets out the procedure to be followed when staff ask to work flexibly. Staff can access the Departmental flexitime page for further details.

The Hybrid Working Policy aims to enable as many staff as possible to work in a hybrid way if they so wish, whilst recognising that some roles will include tasks that can only be performed on University premises.

The University's International Working Policy is in place in order to ensure employees are able to carry out International Working without detriment to their health and safety or breach of legislation. 

Staff wanting to request a change to their existing working pattern permanently should read these policies and discuss their proposal with their immediate supervisor, Marita Walsh, Head of Operations and Estates or Kathleen Pickett, HR Administration Coordinator before applying.


Annual leave: Please note: additional bank holiday - 37 days 2023 only - see HR Division webpages.

Assistant staff leave

Academic-related staff leave

Please see the University HR pages for policies and procedures on the following:

Maternity Leave 

Ordinary Parental Leave

Shared Parental Leave 

Adoption leave 

Special leave - the University recognises that there may be occasions when employees need to take time off work for reasons that do not necessarily fall under normal leave provisions. A range of special leave options are summarised within the University’s Special Leave policy.

Completed forms related to the above leave types should be returned to Kathleen Pickett or Marita Walsh

Maternity support

Maternity support 

Returning from maternity leave

  • Employees returning from maternity leave are asked to complete a Chris/61 form and return this to Kathleen Pickett giving 8 weeks' notice of their return.
  • All returning mothers should complete a further 'Risk Assessment for New and Expectant Parents at Work' and completed forms should be returned to the Department Safety team.
  • The Departmental first aid room, located in the BMS foyer, is available for breastfeeding and to express and store milk. Please contact Kathleen Pickett or Reception to request access. Baby changing facilities are available in the ground floor disabled toilet.
  • Families@chem details additional departmental family friendly support.



The University operates in a largely decentralized manner and there are many opportunities for networking, both formally and informally. You are encouraged to develop as many professional and social contacts as you can throughout the University and the Colleges. 

Diversity Networks - The University’s diversity plays a key role in sustaining academic excellence and a number of diversity networks exist to progress equality: 

Diversity networks are open to individuals who work for the University, a College or an associated institution and are members of one of the above protected groups. 

Outside interests

If you wish to take on part-time employment outside working hours you should discuss this with your line manager.


Payment of salaries for all staff is monthly and in arrears on the 26th of each month or the Friday before it if the 26th is a non-working day.  Exceptions may occur during the Christmas and Easter months. 

Salary scales

Each post is assigned to a specific grade, within the grading structure 1–12. Each grade contains a number of salary points, some of which are service-related, with others designated ‘contribution points’. 

Appointment is at a specific salary point in the range for the grade of post and your letter of appointment and contract tell you where your salary falls on that scale. 

The University reserves the right to withhold payment of salary for any days when you are absent from work without permission or medical certification.

Details of the grading structure and single salary spine are published in the HR section of the University’s website.

Annual pay review

The annual pay review implementation date for all staff is 1 August. Once the settlement has been approved by the University it is implemented and backdated to 1 August of the relevant year and the salary scales are updated.

Roles and responsibilities

All staff have certain defined responsibilities and duties

For support staff, a detailed description of duties is compiled for each office or post, using the standard format of Form PD33. You should receive a copy of the PD33 for your post, from your institution, on taking up appointment which you are asked to read and sign to confirm you understand the requirements of the role.

The job description (PD33) outlines the activities and responsibilities of your post and identifies the person or persons to whom you are immediately responsible. The job description is not exhaustive and you may be expected to carry out other duties appropriate to the grade of your post on the request of your supervisor or the Head of the Department.

If you are asked to work at a level higher than the grade of your post for a prolonged period, you may be paid an allowance to take account of the higher level of duties. 

Because the needs of the University and the Department change with time your job description may change too to take account of differing needs for work. You will be consulted about any permanent changes to your duties. If there is a substantial change in your duties your job description may be re-evaluated. The procedure is described below.

All support staff posts except for a few temporary appointments are assigned to one of the Divisions of staff, and to a grade within the Division:

  • Clerical, Library, and Secretarial Staff (CS Division) 
  • General and Ancillary Staff (M Division) 
  • Technical and Related Staff (T Division)

For further detailed information please see the HR Staff handbooks

Staff have a duty to observe the University's required practice and behaviour relating to: health and safetybullying and harassment; equal opportunitiesuse of IT and data protection. The HR website has a complete list of all HR policies and procedures.

Salary progression

Progression through the service related points on each grade will normally be by automatic annual progression, with the possibility in most grades of accelerated incremental progression in recognition of outstanding and sustained contribution. Progression to and through these ‘contribution points’ will not be automatic and will be based on assessment of the contribution of individuals in their roles. 

Service-related Increments - Incremental progression through the service-related points in grades 1 to 10 occurs on the incremental date. 

For support staff who have been in post for at least three months, this is normally 1 April for the General and Ancillary Staff (M Division), 1 July for the Clerical, Library and Secretarial Staff (CS Division), 1 October for the Technical and Related Staff (T Division).

Contribution Increments – Additional increments and discretionary payments are awarded where an employee's performance is considered to be at an outstanding level, over and above the level normally required for the grade, and this performance has been maintained over a long period of time. In considering recommendations the criteria include: outstanding performance, the specialist nature of the work undertaken, the rarity value of skill involved, the output of work achieved, and any other factors which may make the award appropriate.

Most salary scales contain discretionary points which are marked with an asterisk on the published scales. You will not move automatically to these points. If you are at the top of the normal scale you may be considered for progression to a discretionary point in recognition of exceptional performance in the post. If you are not at the top of the normal scale you may be considered for an award of an additional increment in recognition of exceptional performance in the post. Heads of Institution make recommendations for contribution payments and additional increments to Awarding committees. Requests are considered once a year.

An annual increment may be withheld, or a discretionary payment or additional increment withdrawn, if a support staff member is subject to a disciplinary procedure because of their performance or conduct.

Contribution reward schemes - To recognise outstanding and sustained performance, the following contribution reward schemes are available:

  • Assistant and Academic-related staff appointed to grades 1 to 11 are eligible for contribution increments via the Contribution Reward Scheme. Requests are considered once a year.
  • The University runs an annual Professional Services Recognition Scheme, which aims to recognise, highlight and celebrate the very best work across all professional service areas in the University.


Sick leave Sickness Absence policy

A day of sickness is defined as a day or part of a day on which you are incapable of your normal work because of a specific illness, disease, or disability. This term covers injury at work, and precautionary reasons as advised by a doctor e.g. convalescence, contact with infectious diseases. It does not, however, cover time off work because you have to care for a member of your family. 

Sickness absence procedure - All staff must report incapacity for work. 

If you are unfit for work due to illness, please contact your line manager by phone or email on the first day of your absence and also email

Please let them know the following (as set out in the Sickness Absence Policy):

  • The nature of the illness or injury;
  • The expected approximate length of absence from work;
  • Contact details;
  • Whether the absence may be due to an injury at work or otherwise perceived to be related to work; and
  • Any outstanding or urgent work that requires attention.

If you are unable to contact the department due to your illness, you should make alternative arrangements e.g ask a family member to call or emaill on your behalf.

On or before your return to work you must submit a Sickness Self Certificate (form CHRIS/62) to cover any sickness that has lasted for up to seven calendar days in a row to the Personnel Administration Office. If the sickness lasts longer than seven days you must also submit a doctor's statement/s to cover all further absence to the Personnel Administration Office. If you do not do this, your pay may be withheld.

You should keep in regular contact with your line manager so that s/he knows when to expect you back and it is important that details of your absence are supplied to the Personnel Administration Office to ensure that you receive the correct sickness pay. 

Completed CHRIS/62 forms should be returned to Emma Graham, HR Administrator and Head of Reception, Kathleen Pickett, HR Administration Coordinator or Marita Walsh, Head of Operations and Estates.

Rates of pay during absence due to sickness

If you are absent from work on account of sickness you will normally receive a payment in lieu of salary, which is equal to your normal salary, for a period which depends on your length of service (see below).

For assistant staff, the rates of pay during absence due to sickness are:  

Period of unbroken service

Sick leave with pay

At a rate equal to normal pay

At a rate equal to half normal pay

Less than 1 year

8 weeks

8 weeks

1 or more years but less than 3 years

12 weeks

12 weeks

3 or more years but less than 5 years

20 weeks

20 weeks

5 or more years

26 weeks

26 weeks

If you are absent through sickness at the date at which your entitlement to payment would increase, you will not gain the new entitlement until you have returned to work and have worked for a continuous period of one month.

The rate and period for which payment may be made is calculated according to the sick leave which you have taken during the 365 days before the first day of sickness. This means that any sick leave taken during that time will count as part of your sick leave entitlement for the current period of sickness.

If you are frequently absent through sickness or have a single prolonged absence, you may be referred to the University's Occupational Health Service for a medical opinion. You may also be asked to authorise the Director of Human Resources to approach your own doctor for further information about your health. Your Head of Department may also ask you to produce a doctor's statement for all absences however short if there is concern about your level of sickness absence.

Attending medical appointments

Attending routine medical appointments is not normally regarded as sickness absence. Members of staff should consult their line manager where such attendance would entail taking time off work.

Travel insurance

To apply for travel insurance, employees must declare their travel plans on-line to the University’s Insurance section. If you do not register your trip before you travel, you will not be covered.

Employees should use this system to declare their travel plans. Once you have entered the required data the system will automatically issue you with a letter from the University Insurance Manager confirming that you have insurance for your trip. You should keep the letter of confirmation of insurance in a safe place as it contains important information you will need in the event of a claim. You may also be asked to provide confirmation of travel insurance when entering the country you intend to visit or when applying for a visa.

During the application process you will be asked to provide:

  • Department/division or subsidiary company name
  • Your payroll number (from your current wage slip)
  • The countries to be visited
  • The dates of your journey
  • The purpose of your journey
  • Confirmation of good health and that where you have a medical condition your doctor has agreed to the trip.

Once you have entered the required data the system will issue confirmation of insurance, an outline of the main policy benefits and exclusions and details for the FirstAssist Emergency Service.

University travellers must ALWAYS register their journey and print out confirmation of cover PRIOR to making any trip outside the UK.