ATTENDING CONFERENCES, TRAINING EVENTS, formal courses and being involved in research can bring huge benefits for both your service and individuals in your teams (CIPD, 2015). These activities provide the opportunity for staff to build networks, bring new ideas and innovate. As a result of participating, individual team members are likely to be more motivated, engaged and generally happier in their careers, which can only be good for your service. Ongoing personal development for team members is vital for the success of your service; however, as LKS budgets are cut and we see more UK libraries under threat of closure, it is no surprise that funding for staff development is one of the first areas to be hit.
If you need members of your team to undertake training or attend conferences as part of their personal development objectives and your service strategy, then you will be expected to cover some or all of the costs from your staff development budget. Sending staff members to national and international conferences or on accredited training can be a rewarding experience, but the cost for one individual could wipe out your annual staff development budget. Travel, accommodation and providing cover for your service adds to the overall cost of activities.
Bursaries and grants
Whilst conferences and research projects can give you great insights into your service and can be of huge benefit to individuals in your teams, they can also be costly in terms of time, resources and training requirements for individual researchers. Bursaries and grants can be a great way to cover some of these costs and in this Tip we will consider what is available to support your teams. Competition for funding is fierce, with many applicants fulfilling all the criteria. This means your member of staff will need to make their application form stand out, ensuring that it does more than just meet the criteria outlined in the application form.
Most bursary applications give candidates at least a month to apply, so it is important that applications are not rushed. You must make sure that the staff member has fully addressed all of the criteria and included relevant examples or ‘evidence’ of how they meet the particular points.