Skip to main content

Request time to train: submitting a formal request

The University procedure for staff requesting time to train, including how requests should be considered.



The University encourages all staff to undertake training and development, recognising the many benefits that this brings to individuals and the organisation. Staff should feel able at all times to discuss their training needs with their line manager, and to agree arrangements for undertaking training and development activities. The annual Staff Development and Performance Review scheme is an opportunity to focus on the development needs of staff and to make plans to fulfil those needs.

Most employees have a legal right to request time to train to help them develop capabilities specific to their job or workplace, and the University will give fair and thorough consideration to all such requests, and where possible respond positively.

Although requests can involve agreeing time away from normal duties, the primary focus of the process is on agreeing relevant training, which we hope will normally be done through regular line management without the need to submit a formal request under this procedure.

What time to train can cover

You can request to undertake any training which you believe will improve your effectiveness in the University, and the performance of the University. The training may include accredited programmes leading to a qualification, or can be shorter unaccredited training in specific skills. You may request training to be delivered in whatever format you believe to be most appropriate and effective. There is no limit to the amount of time or training that you can request, but you may only make one request in each 12 month period.

Although you have the right to request time to train, you do not have the right to be paid for this time. Nor do you have the right to have the training paid for. However, it is expected that all employees will spend a reasonable amount of time in funded training and development each year as an integral part of their job, so depending on the nature of the request it may be possible to accommodate the training activities in paid time. Other possible solutions include all or part of the training time being unpaid, or you may be able to work flexibly to make up the time spent in training.

Who can request time to train

You are eligible to request time to train if:

  • you are an employee of the University
  • you have worked continuously for the University for at least 26 weeks on the day you make your request

You do not have the legal right to make a request if:

  • you are a young person who already has a statutory right to paid time off to undertake study or training
  • you are 16 or 17 years old and already under a duty to participate in education or training under the Education and Skills Act 2008
  • you are 18 years old but treated as though part 1 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 applies to you

However, the University would still expect to consider reasonably and thoroughly any request made by staff in these categories.

How to apply

Requests must be made in writing (email or hardcopy) to your Head of Department, copied to your line manager (if different) and the Department of Human Resources.

Read the guide to requesting time to train.

Considering your request

Within 28 days of receiving your request, your Head of Department or their nominated representative will either:

  • accept your request, in full or in part, on the basis of the information set out in your written application, and inform you in writing

  • inform you that the request is valid but that they need further information to make a reasonable decision. If you refuse to provide this additional information, your application will be treated as withdrawn

  • meet with you to discuss your request, then within 14 days of that meeting, inform you of the decision in writing

  • inform you that they do not consider the request to be valid because it does not contain all the required information (in which case you may make a new request with the errors corrected, with the timescale starting again).

These timescales may be delayed by mutual consent to allow for periods of leave, normal business processes etc. In any case, if the Head of Department is absent from work on the day the day the application is received, the 28 day response time will automatically start from the day they return to work. There can only be one such extension.

Such extensions will be recorded in writing and a copy given to you.


It may be possible to grant your proposals in full, or there may be reasons that the University thinks the training would be better met in a different way. In such cases, the meeting is an opportunity to discuss the options before a final decision. You may be accompanied at the meeting by a colleague or union representative. If all persons concerned are not available at the proposed time of the meeting, it may be delayed at your request for up to a further seven days from the originally proposed time.

The University may refuse your request for time to train for one of the following reasons:

  • the proposed study or training would not improve your effectiveness at work

  • the proposed study or training would not improve the performance of the University

  • the burden of additional costs

  • agreeing to the request would have a detrimental effect on the University’s ability to meet customer demand

  • it would not be possible to reorganise work among existing staff

  • it would not be possible to recruit additional staff

  • agreeing to the request would have a detrimental impact on quality

  • agreeing to the request would have a detrimental impact on performance

  • there would be an insufficiency of work during the periods you propose to work

  • there are planned structural changes during the proposed study or training period


You may challenge the University’s decision on any grounds, so long as you do it in writing within 14 days of receiving the written notice, to the person to whom you submitted the original request. The University may accept your appeal, or if it does not it must arrange an appeal meeting to be held within14 days of the receipt of the appeal notice. This appeal will be heard by a different manager to the one who originally assessed your request for time to train.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

On this page