Introducing Staff Training Policy & Budget
BHC has a strong belief that staff training is not only a benefit to the staff but also a clear benefit to the business. It allows staff to improve on current skills or perhaps gain new skills required for the job. It allows the business to ensure that one of their most important assets (the staff) are always kept up to date with the ever changing environment within the medical industry.
In this instance the practice was fairly accepting of ongoing education and development of their staff, however they wanted to have a more formal & structured approach by introducing a budget line specifically for this purpose.
Our first step was to work out how to develop this budget. How much to allocate? How to implement it? What to do with employees who had been with the practice for 17 years or 25 years compared to employees who have been there for 1 to 5 years? How do we make it equitable for all at the starting point?
This budget takes into account:
The length of service of current employees
Number of hours allocated per year to each employee
A qualifying period for new staff
A realistic and achievable level of training hours
Allocated Annual Percentage
We looked at the number of employees in the practice, the type of training required and approximate costs of training as a starting point. Using this information we came up with a percentage against the practices income that we felt was sufficient to generate an equitable training program.
Realistic and Achievable Hours of Training Required
Next step was to work out how many hours or days per year per staff member would be required to attend training. Based on past experience and knowledge of the number of hours that staff may be required to attend training by the employer and allowing for training courses that may be beneficial to the employee over a twelve month period, a nominal number of hours per year per staff member was agreed upon as realistic, within budget and therefore achievable.
Length of Service of Current Employees
Consideration was given to the number of years of service for current staff members with regard to the initial allocation of hours. Long-term employees were allocated a pro-rata allotment of training hours at commencement of the training program based on every 5 years of service up to 15 years then a set allotment thereafter.
Number of Hours Allocated Per Year
The number of hours allocated to each staff member each year on 1st July was the same. Unused training hours would accrue annually. This allows staff to attend longer training sessions if they arose. July 1st was set as the training anniversary date simply due to to it being the commencement of the financial year.
Qualifying Periods for New Employees
A qualifying period was deemed as the standard probationary period of 3 months. Once a staff member had moved through this period they were then allocated the initial start rate. New employees commencing after 1st January would have their initial start rate allocated on a pro-rata basis.
Reimbursement of Staff Time
Wages are paid at ordinary rate of pay to staff attending courses in their own time. This was set at 4 hours for a half day course and 7.5 hours for a full day course. Courses less than 4 hours would be paid at the same rate according to the number of hours attended. Staff attending courses on their normal working day would be paid at the above rate. Staff would not be paid to attend training that is not relevant to their employment; however, they may choose to do this in their own time and at their own expense.
Staff were paid on an hourly basis (according to length of training) at the ordinary rate of pay.
Expenses were also taken into consideration and were capped for the following: course costs (per course); out of region travel costs (per course); and accommodation (per course) (if applicable). Out of region travel was defined as “not local to the metropolitan area of the practice”