"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional."
Personal & Professional Development
Personal & Professional Development
Personal & Professional Development
A suite of courses designed to help you build interpersonal skills and manage your career
- Getting the most out of your PDR
- Change – Supporting and Embracing Change (see below)
- Personal Presence and Impact
- The Way of the Productivity Ninja
- The Productivity Ninja's Guide to Hybrid Working
- Supporting the mental wellbeing of your team (learnupon.com)
- Mental Health – Manager’s Bitesize Sessions (coming Autumn 2023)
- Accepting and Embracing Change
- Chronic Fatigue (coming Autumn 2023)
- Menopause (coming Autumn 2023)
- Managing Difficult Situations: Conflict, Influencing and Assertiveness
- Supporting Students: Mental Health, Wellbeing & the HWSS Procedure (online)
- Mental Health and Suicide Awareness Level 1 - online and is open to and useful for all staff
- Staff and Student Networks
Positive Mindset Toolkit
Join Clinical Psychologist Vikki Barnes to help you foster a positive mindset and continue to learn and grow from your experiences (“to be your best self no matter what you are going through”) in and beyond the current working situation.
The toolkit involves six distinct but interrelated topics: Stay Connected, Find the Calm, Mindfulness, Find Balance, Gratitude and One Good Thing. Please see below to book on to webinars on each of these.
Vikki is a practising Clinical Psychologist and an Alumna of the University of Exeter. Vikki has a substantial online following and presence and is renowned in the sector for her approach to a positive mindset and solution focus. For more information please visit Vikki's social media.
It is vital to our University community that everyone understands the core principles of equality, diversity, and inclusion; and that we continually build on our skills and knowledge as individuals. EDI is an ever-changing landscape, and there are frequent personal and professional development opportunities offered so that our community can stay up-to-date in these areas. Please visit the ED&I Resources and Training pages for more opportunities.
The courses and programmes listed on this page are aimed at developing the skills to work in and be part of a team and more specific training around professional subjects relevant to job roles at the University. The delivery of the courses ranges from face to face sessions and webinars to learning pathways on systems such as LearnSmart. If there is a subject you can't find, try using the course search, or get in touch.
A suite of courses aimed at developing the skills to work in and be part of a team, whether that be a small team or the wider University
A suite of courses covering key business themes, processes and skills all useful for today’s workplace.
- Writing University of Exeter executive level papers
- Data Protection and Freedom Of Information Acts
- GDPR Training Video
- Investigating Officer
- Introduction to Project Management (online resource)
- Student Visa Overview
- IIB Essentials Series – This series distils the essential information that researchers need to know about how to work effectively with non-academic partners, and what support they can draw upon.
Information for colleagues about hybrid working:
- Productivity Ninja's Guide to Hybrid Working – a fantastic webinar open to all staff
- How to make the most of hybrid working – a LearnSmart article
- Virtual Collaboration Guided self-learning and resources
- Virtual Meetings Various articles providing guidance about virtual meetings. We also run an online session about Meetings.
Information for Managers
A good place to start is to download our Leading and Managing Hybrid Teams Resource Pack. The pack curates key research and topics that are most relevant to the University and draws on three years of feedback from leaders and managers across the University. Additionally, the following may be of interest:
- Top Tips for Leading Remote Teams - short, written, introduction to the key points
- Line Manager Guide on Supporting Hybrid Working Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
- Hybrid Work Must Be Fair: 8 Ways to Address the Equity Challenge Forbes Article
- Work Smarter to Live Better CIPD
- Top Ten Challenges of Managing a Virtual Team
Information about getting the most out of homeworking
- Ten Top Tips for working remotely: If you have 2 minutes to spare, this is a great little guide. Useful for those new to remote working and those of us who might need a reminder.
- Top Tips for working from home – LearnSmart article
- How to manage your time better: A great infographic about managing your time!
- Work-Life Integration
Health and Safety remains an important topic whether working at the University or from home. A majority of the courses listed require face-to-face interaction; however, advice and guidance can still be given by the Health and Safety team wherever required. If you have queries about any area of Health and Safety training please contact the Health & Safety team.
Please also refer to the Homeworking DSE page which provides updated Health and Safety information.
- Bodily Fluids and Sharps
- Biological COSHH for Laboratory Users
- COSHH for Laboratory Users
- COSHH for Laboratory Users (Refresher)
- Environmental Sustainability in the Workplace (online)
- Emergency Response and Business Continuity
- Event Management
- Fieldwork Practical Workshop
- Laboratory Spillages
- Ladder Training
- Risk Assessment
- Manual Handling Risk Assessment for Managers
- Pollution Prevention and Emergency Response
- Using Laboratory Gases Safely
- Using Liquid Nitrogen Safely
Fire Safety courses
- Fire Marshal and Evacuation Officer
- Person in Charge (Fire Safety) (PiC) and Deputy Person in Charge (Fire Safety) (PiC)
If you or your team would like training in any of the topics below please contact the person concerned and they will arrange to deliver the training for you.
|Evac Chair Training (Fire Safety)||Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange training|
|Bespoke Fire Safety Training|
|Carriage of Dangerous Goods||Contact Health and Safety team to arrange training
|Laser Safety Awareness|
|Chemical Deliveries Training|
|Principles of Ionising Radiation Protection|
|Hydrofluoric Acid Awareness Training|
|Radiation Protection Supervisor Training|
|Radiation Protection Supervisor Refresher Training|
First Aid Training
Requests from staff to become First Aiders and attend the ‘First Aid at Work’ training course should be made directly to email@example.com (monitored by the Health & Safety Team), and have the approval of their line manager.
Finance Training and Helpdesk
Follow the links below to access information about training and development options relating to finance, the T1 system, budgets, ordering goods, paying people and more. The page also provides a Helpdesk function if you cannot find the answer to your query.
- Finance Training and Helpdesk
- VAT Training Materials and Guidance
- Generic online finance courses: coordinated by the British Universities Finance Directors Group these free courses include subjects such as Understanding University Finance, Introductions to: HE Finance, Research Finance, sustainable procurement, VAT in HE, TRAC and more.
Finance, Procurement, Governance and Compliance on-demand training
If you, or your team, would like any of the training below please contact the person indicated directly. They will then arrange the training with you on an ad hoc basis.
Individual and Team Self-Learning Resources
The resources, advice, activities and guidance listed below are taken from the University’s staff development resource bank LearnSmart. LearnSmart is available for colleagues to browse through at any time and covers all aspects of work and personal development. We have highlighted below a few of the resources under just some of the subjects on offer and suggested ways of using them for either individual or team development.
This learning pathway has been created as a ‘playlist’ around the theme of Virtual Collaboration . It encourages participants to complete a pre and post learning assessment with suggested development content in between. You will cover areas such as:
- How to manage a Virtual Team
- Virtually Perfect Meetings
- Connect and Collaborate
- Communication skills
Work through the playlist in your own time and explore more detail via the LearnSmart search function, should you wish to know more about specific subjects.
It is important that when we think about how we manage our time we reflect on our current and past practices. Everyone will have different reasons for needing to review how they apportion time to tasks, how they achieve work/life balance or how to be more efficient with the time they have. The following resources aim to help you understand your current time management approach and then suggest ways to make improvements.
Essential Time Management Skillbook : this is a great booklet to work through either as an individual or as a Team (either work through it as an individual and then come together to discuss your thoughts and support each other (self-facilitation) or approach it as a Team and consider how the department works). An alternative is the Time Management Self-Assessment tool, great for individual refection and/or some subsequent group discussions.
The ABC Time Management Method: As an individual or team you could create an ‘ABC’ list and even go one step further analysing whether ‘C’ tasks are necessary – what usually falls out from this activity is that people/teams have got into the habit of thinking of everything as an ‘A’ task and then it all becomes overwhelming. The Time Management Matrix could be used as a similar/alternative exercise.
A shorter individual or group task could be to watch this video about Six Time Management Dos and Don’ts and then reflect on or discuss your thoughts about the themes and ideas covered; could they work for you, what are the barriers stopping you from implementing them and how can you overcome those barriers? An alternative is to read through this short article about How to improve your time management which discusses the issues but also offers some solutions.
Finally if it is work/life balance that you want to reflect upon then try Life Priorities: A Time Management Exercise . This exercise is designed to help you examine your work-life balance and time management. It will help you to identify how you would like to allocate your time and compare this with how you currently spend it. The exercise should be completed over the course of a week.
There are lots more Time Management resources that can be used in a similar way to the suggestions above (for instance How do you spend your time?; How to handle workload peaks; Do you know when to say no? ). The skillbooks are a great way to get thinking about the subject and to do a bit of reflection and planning, whether as a group or individual.
Prioritisation is a key skill that you need to make the best use of your own efforts and those of your team. It helps you allocate your time where it's most needed, freeing you and your team from tasks that can be addressed later. By knowing how to prioritise you can stay on track with commitments while keeping stress at bay.
We suggest you start this subject by watching the following 2 minute video: Prioritisation Skills
And then try the How to Prioritise Skillbook . Designed to fit into just one hour, it will help you:
- evaluate the true value of prioritisation
- explore two important prioritisation techniques
- consider how resource scarcity should affect your priorities
Team Activity: Try the Action Priority Matrix – watch the video together and then complete a matrix as a team. If you have a larger team split into groups and then discuss your findings. Discuss where your priorities should sit and whether there are activities that can be removed or reprioritised.
There are lots more Prioritisation skills resources that can be used in a similar way to the suggestions above – the skills books are a great way to get thinking about the subject and to do a bit of reflection and planning, whether as a group or individual.
Are you struggling to get started on tasks, putting off the same tasks or flitting between tasks and never finishing, you may feel as though you are procrastinating.
We suggest you start this subject by watching the following 2 minute video: Overcoming Procrastination
And then try the Overcoming Procrastination Skillbookwhich will help you to get out of the procrastination habit. In under an hour, you’ll look at how you can:
• Recognize the signs and symptoms of procrastination.
• Plan to complete high-value tasks.
• Set the stage for getting work done
There are lots more Procrastination resources that can be used either as an individual or as a team – the skillbooks are a great way to get thinking about the subject and to do a bit of reflection and planning, whether as a group or individual.
Confidence is key to success, piece of mind and wellbeing. Having self-confidence boosts your self-esteem and helps you achieve your goals.
We suggest you start this subject by reading this short introduction about the subject: Building Self-Confidence
For a quick activity watch the Confidence Hacks video and then consider the reflective questions listed under the video. This could be done as a team activity too, watch the video and discuss your thoughts about the ‘Hacks’ suggested, would they help your team?
And then try the Building you self-confidence skillbook which will help you to understand yourself better. It takes about an hour and you'll learn how to boost your self-confidence by:
- reminding yourself of previous successes
- envisioning a successful future for yourself
- reframing past mistakes
- setting self-confidence building goals
Once you have run through the skills book consider whether a mentor might help you get to where you want to be, visit the University Mentoring and Coaching pages to find out more. Or maybe you feel you have lots to offer other colleagues and would like to become a mentor yourself, again visit the mentoring webpages to find out how you can sign up.
There are lots more Self-Confidence related resources that can be used either as an individual or as a team – the skillbooks are a great way to get thinking about the subject and to do a bit of reflection and planning, whether as a group or individual.
Do you sometimes feel as though you fail to get your opinions heard, or people readily dismiss your views? Maybe you have a habit of handling situations aggressively, or lack the confidence to speak up. If so, the following resources will help you develop your assertiveness skills in order to boost both your confidence and influencing skills.
We suggest you start this subject by watching the following 2 minute video: Assertiveness
And then try the Assertiveness Skillbook , designed to fit into one hour, you will learn to:
- identify what your rights are and understand why you let others’ needs and demands encroach on you
- practice assertive communication techniques
- learn how to use a LADDER to get what you need
There are lots more Assertiveness related resources that can be used either as an individual or as a team – the skillbooks are a great way to get thinking about the subject and to do a bit of reflection and planning, whether as a group or individual. The Assertiveness resources also delve into the subject of dealing with difficult situations and conflict.
Why do some people manage to go the extra mile while others struggle to get into the starting blocks? What is it that motivates us to work hard and how can we take responsibility for our own motivation? Below are some resources that will help you identify areas where you might be lacking in motivation and address the causes as well as identifying ways to boost your motivation.
We suggest you start this subject by reading this short introduction: Understanding Motivation
And then have a go at completing the How Self-Motivated Are you? questionnaire. This will help to highlight specific areas that you might want to develop further.
The Get Motivate! Skillbook is designed to fit into just one hour, you'll learn three key elements of self-motivation and you'll start to motivate yourself by:
- building your self-confidence and thinking positively
- finding your focus so you know why you need to get motivated
- setting goals to take you where you want to go
There are lots more Self-Motivation related resources that can be used either as an individual or as a team – the skillbooks are a great way to get thinking about the subject and to do a bit of reflection and planning, whether as a group or individual.
Networking is all about developing and nurturing meaningful relationships. You might have multiple networks for different parts of your life or you might be wondering whether networking is a useful tool that you should be using. Those already engaged in networking activities might want to brush up on the skills that will help the tool of networking to be even more fruitful. The following information aims to help you identfy your network goals and objectives and to develop the skills that will help you develop a positive networking experience.
Networking can be a fantastic tool for developing ourselves, gaining knowledge, skills and experience and for achieving positive outcomes in the workplace. It can however be very time-consuming and so at the heart of it we need to understand what our networking objectives are to ensure we are using the right tool for the job and to make sure our activities are focused.
We suggest starting with The Secrets of Successful Networking - a 12 minute audio that provides a nice introduction and some practical guidance.
And then have a go at the Am I an Effective Networker to review your current skills.
And then try the Networking Skills Skillbook which will help you to understand your networking goals better. It takes about an hour and you'll cover the following:
- identify your network objectives
- map your network
- develop an effective "elevator pitch"
- plan network activities
If you then want to go into more depth the following might help:
- Networking Skills: How to Get the most from LinkedIn- social media can be really useful BUT make sure you are using the most relevant tool for your network, if you are on LinkedIn but the rest of your network is on Twitter you will be missing out!
- Networking Tools- practice your "elevator pitch" and introductory letter
- Top Tips for Internal Networking -how do you network in your current role/organisation
- Terrified of Twitter- how to use Twitter positively for networking
There are lots more Networking related resources covering all aspects of this useful tool.
Project management is the process of planning, budgeting, co-ordinating and monitoring a series of pre-determined steps that need to be taken in order to achieve a particular goal or objective within an agreed timescale. The following resources aim to get you started on your project management journey or build some depth to current knowledge.
The Strategic Delivery Unit at the University has developed an online session titled Introduction to Project Management. This is the best resource to use for a fuller introduction to project management.
Agile Working: The Digital Team offer insights, training and development around Agile: Agile Upskilling and development opportunities.
If you are looking for a specific qualification or a course that sits between what has been listed and more formal qualifications have a look through the options with https://www.qa.com/training/courses/project-management/ – a majority of these courses do have cost attached which will need to be met by your department.
Beyond these suggestions there are numerous free resources on our LearnSmart hub available to all members of staff, just search under project management or something more specific if you know what you are looking for: Project management Search in LearnSmart, this include subjects such as Agile Project Management, Project Management Glossary of Terms and How good are your project management skills?
Change - supporting and embracing change
The webinars and self-study resources listed below aim to support colleagues in whatever capacity you are involved in with ‘Change’. There are lots more resources covering all aspects of Change in our LearnSmart resource centre: Change Resources in LearnSmart
If you are involved in a specific change project the University Change Blueprint is constructed to support the phases of a change initiative from diagnosing the problem to sustaining the desired changes. Exeter University Change Blueprint Quick Start Guide.
Leading and Managing Change – This workshop explores the manager's approach to change, through a facilitated, discussion-based workshop, which encourages reflection and pragmatic action-planning. You will also be introduced to a 'toolkit' of techniques to help you manage change professionally and constructively.
A great way to start considering ‘change’ is to watch the Jason Clarke – Embracing Change TED Talk, it is 18 mins and gives a relatable view of change, including common themes, phrases and feelings employees have towards change – reflect on your own / team situation in relation to the areas Jason discusses.
Then work through the Managing Change Skillbook : this booklet is designed to take just one hour and will help you better understand your approach and role in the management of change. You can explore further resources in Change Resources in LearnSmart around subjects that fall out the booklet exercises, a few examples include:
- The Change Curve – A Managers Role
- Discussing Resistance to Change with an Individual
- Overcoming Negativity and Resistance to Change
- Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Approach to Change
Activities to do with your team:
Taking your team with you and helping them to feel prepared is really important in times of significant change. The following resources are aimed at supporting teams to work together through change:
- Preparing for Change: A Change Management Exercise – takes 30-60 mins depending in the size of your team. This exercise should be held shortly after the announcement of a change in your team, department or organisation. It is best suited for groups of six to ten people.
- Visualising Change in a Group - This exercise is designed to help participants plan organisational change by expressing their ideas as sketches. It is best used when there is a specific problem to be addressed.
The following webinar is available to all staff, follow the link for more details:
You may feel that you are going through various emotions around ‘changes’ being proposed in the workplace, the Coping with Change article and video introduces stages that you may recognise in relation to change proposals. Follow it up with these Embracing Change and How to Make Change Work for You articles in order to start identifying the positives within the proposed changes. Discuss any concerns or ideas for how to move forward positively with your manager.
Consider how you can remain positive and resilient through workplace changes, the following resources may be of help: