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The University of Southampton
Professional Development

Workshops FAQ





Below are the answers to some our most commonly asked questions regarding staff development.




How can I book/unbook a workshop?

The online booking system which you can use to book yourself onto a workshop is called Staffbook ( Upon first visiting, you will be required to register using your staff number and other pertinent information, including your department's agresso code in the case of professional services and estates and facilities staff. Once you have access you are free to book or unbook yourself on any course you see listed in which there is space.

You will find the 'book/unbook' check box to the right hand side of the name, date and time of the course and current uptake information. In order to book a place, simply click the box. If you then wish to unbook yourself, click the box again. You should receive automated e-mails after each action to confirm your attendance/cancellation.

Booking on or unbooking from a course will become unavailable 24 hours before the course is due to start.


Can I join a waiting list for a workshop that is full?

If the course uptake information shows that the workshop is already full, you will not be able to book a place. If you still wish to attend, you may want to add yourself to the waiting list which means that in the event that a place becomes available, you will receive an automated e-mail telling you that a place on that course has been allocated to you. In order to join the waiting list, simply click the button entitled 'join waiting list'.

Waiting lists are only connected to the specific session of the course you signed up for. Were you to join a waiting list for a session in May, if a space appeared on the same course in a June session, you would not be automatically allocated that place. You are able to place yourself on multiple waiting lists for the same course, however once you have been marked as attending any session of that course you will be removed from all waiting lists for that course.

Please be aware that places on the course may become available in this way at very short notice. If you are unable to attend when a place becomes available, please unbook yourself via staffbook the usual way.


When will a workshop be repeated?

Professional Development will list any sessions of any workshops which are currently planned on the website and on staffbook. If new dates are not immediately listed after old ones are completed, it will normally be because new sessions have not yet been arranged with the trainer. Courses may continue to be added throughout the academic year, as and when they are organised or requested.

When a new sessions of a popular workshop is added, those on the waiting list for the most recent date of the course will receive an automated e-mail informing them of the new date. They would then be advised to go on staffbook and book onto the new session. Receiving this e-mail does not guarantee a person a place on the new session.

The surest way to find a place on a course you want to attend is to regularly check staffbook and the website.


Is lunch provided on a workshop?

Unless specifically otherwise stated in the workshop description or a pre-workshop e-mail, courses do not include lunch or lunch vouchers. In most cases however, workshops will include tea/coffee and light refreshments.

Can I get 1:1 coaching?

Within the University there is some provision for 1:1 coaching in essential skills like interview training, however the requirement for this must be weighed against the cost to your department and the availability of of a trainer. If you feel 1:1 training would be the best option for you, please discuss it with your line manager.

Where can I find information about PGCAP/PREP?

PGCAP stands for the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice.PREP stands for the Professional Recognition of Educational Practice framework. Both are run and administered by the Professional Development Team. If you have any enquiries, please contact Karen Hockley on

How can I give feedback to a trainer?

24 hours after each course, a feedback questionnaire will be e-mailed out to every delegate. In order for us to continue to improve our services year on year, it is vital that you take the time to fill in this questionnaire. It should only take 3 minutes of your time.

The information you provide to us helps us to gear our services specifically towards the people who benefit, and it also goes out to all the trainers to help them to better tailor their sessions so that future delegates can get the most out of them. If you were particularly impressed with a trainer and wish to send them your compliments, please have your feedback survey reflect this, and all your comments will be forwarded on to the trainer.


Should I be given an opportunity to discuss my learning and development needs at my appraisal?

One of the main purposes of appraisal is to help you develop to your full potential, and where possible, achieve your ambitions. Discussion of the impact of learning and development you have undertaken, identification of your future development needs and the creation of your development action plan are all fundamental aspects of an appraisal.  

Remember, this is not something that your manager should be doing for you. You are in charge of your development, so it is important that you prepare for the meeting and arrive ready to discuss your thoughts and ideas. 

For further details on appraisal, please visit the HR intranet site.


What is staffbook?

Staffbook is the online booking system for development workshops for University staff.

What is gradbook?

Gradbook is the online booking system for development workshops for doctoral researchers.

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