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Edinburgh Napier  approach to learning for our staff 

Our University strategy documents our commitment to supporting staff to have fulfilling careers through a collaborative, supportive connected community - creating, sharing, and applying knowledge to positively impact individuals and society through teaching, research, enterprise, and practice. 

To enable that commitment our Staff Development Team recommend staff use range of approaches to develop their skills and practices. The three approaches we suggest are: 

  • On the job/ informal learning 
  • Near the job/ learn through others ​
  • Off the job/ formal learning ​

On the job/ informal learning

This is where most of our learning takes place. We often learn by doing, experiencing, and practicing something new. There are numerous examples of learning activity that we would consider as informal learning. For example, taking on new task increase decision-making authority, or new on managerial responsibilities. The development in this category can happen naturally or purposefullyIt’s helpful to use the My Development and My Contribution processes with your line manager to guide and inform this learning. Reflecting on what you have achieved and the lessons you have learned, is an enjoyable and pragmatic way to develop your skills, knowledge and application in a real situation. On the job learning covers a wide range of activities a more detailed list of these activities is HERE.

Near the job/ learn through others  

Our learning is also developed from our relationships with other people, our networks, and the feedback we receive. Learning through others is about observing, asking questions, and getting answers – not just from Google but from others in your team, school, or department. Activities such as mentoring, and coaching are often used within this category. Further activities you could consider can be found HERE.​


Off the job/ formal learning    

Off the job/formal training is an essential part of any learning and is the theory and facts that informal learning builds on. This can be formal training, such as courses, workshops, and programmes. Essentially anything that takes you away from you job to learn. Other activities in this category can be: 

  • Courses, workshops, seminars (in person or online) 
  • eLearning courses and modules 
  • Professional qualifications / accreditation 
  • Certification 
  • Formal education, e.g., University or college 


Our Staff Development Team offer and encourage a mix of these activities to help support you in your career and development objectives. You can find information on our formal learning events HERE and some self-directed learning HERE​.