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2.2.9 Employee Training

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Formerly Known As Policy Number: 

Stanford University is obligated to provide necessary training to employees of the University, and retains the right to identify certain training as required. Where identified as required, training will be considered a job responsibility, as it is integral to the quality of work performed by the employee and contributes to the overall effectiveness of organizational operations.


This policy is established by the Vice President of Human Resources, who determines training requirements upon consultation with the other University officials and groups as appropriate. Additionally, Deans, Vice Presidents or members of the Provost's staff may determine that specialized training is required within their Schools or organizations. Such training will be identified and delivered locally, with support from central training providers as appropriate and available.


The policy is applicable to all Stanford University employees, including faculty, staff and students.

1. Purpose/Rationale

The increasing complexity of the work environment requires continuing development of competencies and upgrading of knowledge and skills relating directly to the performance of work. In addition, changes in external regulation and Stanford policies, procedures and practices have created risks/liabilities which require the delivery of consistent information to Stanford University employees (faculty, staff and students) with specific responsibilities. The documented delivery of training is in some cases mandated by external agencies and subject to audit review (for example, in areas such as financial management, health and safety practices, and sponsored project administration).

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2. Actions and Instructions

a. Department Managers are responsible for:

  • Identifying those employees who perform work requiring specific training.
  • Taking necessary actions to enable the delivery of necessary training, including identifying appropriate courses and providing release time as needed for participation.
  • Monitoring job performance, and incorporating ongoing training and development as an element of continuing staff performance appraisal.
  • Providing support after training to maximize application of skills on the job.

b. Departments providing required University-wide training are responsible for:

  • Responding to client needs by developing curriculum to address job requirements; considering the content and delivery of training to maximize value, while minimizing the time needed to achieve proficiency, and considering alternatives to classroom instruction whenever feasible.
  • Continually evaluating the effectiveness of training programs.
  • Recommending to the Vice President of Human Resources specific training for required delivery to University populations. Such recommendations must include definition of:
    - rationale for requiring training
    - populations for which training is a requirement
    - delivery plans (including necessary resources)
    - methods for documenting delivery

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3. Documentation and Enforcement

Satisfactory completion of required training must be documented within the organization requiring the training. Such documentation is a prerequisite for authorization to perform certain tasks; e.g., for authority to expend University funds or for access to particular information or materials.

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4. Cognizant Offices

Questions about this policy may be directed to Learning & Organizational Effectiveness at (650) 723-4635 and This office chairs the University Training Advisory Committee.

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5. Definitions

a. Required Training—Material for which competency must be demonstrated as a condition of employment in certain jobs, or for the assignment of certain tasks.

b. University-wide—Having general applicability to members of the University community, not specific to any School, department or office.

c. Local Training—Having specific applicability to the needs of an individual School, department or office.

d. Release Time—Time away from the job made available for participation in training or other job-related activities. Release time is compensable working time.

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