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Learning and Development – North Dorset District Council


North Dorset District Council is committed to realising the potential of all its employees through a range of learning opportunities which includes a range of blended learning approaches such as the use of e-learning; workshops; career development programmes and distance learning.

Our induction and probation programme, which includes health and safety, and valuing diversity amongst others, is designed with the support of the line manager, to welcome and support new employees into the organisation and confidently be introduced into their role and the work in the council over the first six months.

The programme provides an in depth understanding of how the organisation works; what North Dorset District Council’s culture and values are; our ABC priorities; our policies and procedures and how these can support employees as they take on their new roles and responsibilities.


Our appraisal system is called the “Staff Performance Review” (SPR).

A formal SPR is held formally with the line manager once a year, however informal reviews are an ongoing part of the job. The purpose of the SPR is to review performance, highlight successes, explore any areas of concern, set achievable targets in line with Service Business Plans and enable employees to identify their learning and development needs.

Work related learning and development

Following the SPR process each service collates their learning & development needs for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and for the development of individuals within existing or for future roles. These needs, alongside other priority learning needs identified to meet changes in the law or national and local priorities, are collated and expressed in the Annual Learning and Development programme which sets out how the training budget will be used to further develop employees.

Investors in People standards

The council is committed to and implements the Investors in People (IIP) standards as a method of improving the council's business through investing in its most valuable resource - its people - and has been recognised as an IIP organisation for ten years.

Apprenticeships schemes, trainee posts and career development programmes

We look to support employees to develop their potential and will use a number of different methods, such as apprenticeships, career development programmes to support individual learning and development at all levels within the organisation.

Learning and development agreements

Because of the significant investment made by the council, employees undertaking agreed qualification training will be required to sign a learning and development agreement. This commits them to repay a proportion of the costs incurred in the event they leave within a specified period.

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