'Mandatory' and 'essential to role' training

We encourage and support you to undertake 'mandatory' and 'essential to role' training to ensure that we not only comply with regulations and the law but also ensure that your knowledge, skills and understanding of these important areas are kept up to date, enabling you to work safely, effectively and confidently.

Demonstrating best practice in this way means that you will have to undertake a range of different learning (online, face to face) which will vary depending on your grade and job role, and with some of these courses the regulations demand that you keep the knowledge refreshed every three years. 

Recording and reporting

When you successfully complete each item of “mandatory” or “essential to role” training your iTrent training record will be updated. A report of this record is compiled for all staff; this report is monitored so that all the required training is completed successfully by all the necessary staff. The personal learning account - quick start guide shows you how to find your training record.


Most of our "mandatory" and "essential to role" training is online and is available 24 hours a day 7-days a week. You are automatically enrolled on all the online courses you need to do so your first step is to:

Go to online training

If you want to check the training you need to do, or are a manager wanting to see what training your reports need to undertake, please see our regularly updated List of mandatory and essential to role training.


Once you have checked which online courses you need to complete, the next step is to see which "mandatory" or "essential to role" face-to-face courses you need to do. For these, you need to enrol on these yourself via trent self-service. Don't forget there is also a full List of mandatory and essential to role training.

Course titleWho must attend
Introduction to the University All new staff from all job families. This needs to be completed within your first 3 months at the University. The event is run on Streatham and Penryn campuses on a regular basis.
PDR training for reviewers (Professional Services staff) All Professional Services staff who review other PS staff. Managers are not permitted to carry out PDRs unless they have completed this course. We advise you book early in the year as this course becomes over-subscribed in the summer and includes information to help you prepare well in advance.
PDR reviewer and mentoring skills training for Academic Leads All Academic Leads who will carry out PDRs with academic staff. Academic Leads are not permitted to carry out PDRs unless they have completed this course. As above we advise early booking.
PDR training for reviewers of Research staff All staff who review Research staff . Reviewers are not permitted to carry out PDRs unless they have completed this course. As above we advise early booking.
Doctoral supervision All academics who are new to Exeter or new to PGR supervision and who will be taking on the role of PhD supervision
Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PCAP) PCAP is mandatory for new Lecturers (E&R) on the Professional Development Programme (PDP). PCAP is strongly recommended for new lecturers (E&S) and other staff whose role entails creating effective student learning. Successful completion of PCAP leads to HEA Fellowship
Learning and Teaching in Higher Education LTHE All Postgraduate researchers who are teaching, demonstrating in a lab, assessing students' work and/or supporting students' learning and Professional Services staff and Academic staff, on E&S Associate Lecturer or research-only contracts, who have a responsibility for teaching and/or supporting learning.
ASPIRE / HEA Fellowships Lecturers (E&R) on the Professional Development Programme (PDP) are required to obtain HEA Fellowship via PCAP (see above). Further information about ASPIRE / HEA Fellowship is available on the ASPIRE website.
Campus Services specific Campus Services staff in roles with specialist requirements (eg food safety, cleaning, manual operations)
Health & Safety specialist courses All staff in roles with specialist requirements (eg laser safety, COSHH risk assessment)

Having trouble?

Creating new mandatory/essential in role training

If you are considering creating some new training that is going to be either mandatory or essential-in-role, there is a process which you must follow. It will establish which category your training will fall into and how much support you will receive from the People Development team.


  • All requests to create such training must be approved by the HR Director and so the above process will need to be followed.
  • Any training where compliance will be checked/audited, reports generated, the above process will ensure that this can happen effectively.