ERI Continuing Professional Development Policy


Approved by ERI Board, Sep 2023

Rationale: In the framework of its Charter and guiding principles, EDMUND RICE INTERNATIONAL is committed to the continuing professional development (CPD) of all staff and Board members.

CPD covers (a) training (b) courses (c) study and examination leave (d) attendance and participation at conferences and (e) leave of absence/sabbatical leave.


The draft policy which follows seeks to address in a comprehensive and cohesive way the professional needs and aspirations of EDMUND RICE INTERNATIONAL as an organisation and of its staff members and to encourage and support personal, professional and spiritual development. 

The draft policy is a commitment to sustaining professional well-being by facilitating:

  • The  balance of personal, professional and spiritual needs with the system-wide goals of EDMUND RICE INTERNATIONAL
    • the development of  skills and knowledge relevant to the direction of the development of EDMUND RICE INTERNATIONAL
    •  a response to legal obligations pertaining to work e.g. Health, Environment, Finance and
    •  the need to keep abreast of contemporary challenges in the respective areas of trusteeship, governance, ethos and spirituality. 
    • the maintenance of an ethical and moral balance in the work of Edmund Rice International

The policy reflects an infrastructure that outlines resource strategies that will be reviewed on an annual basis by the Board of Directors after implementation in DATE.  In all cases outlined below, staff make applications to the Executive Director where the proposed CPD fee is under €1,000 and for proposed CPD fees over €1,000, applications must be made to the ERI /Chair of the Board of Directors.

(a). Training 

EDMUND RICE INTERNATIONAL provides paid training leave for staff members attending full-time or part-time courses which are deemed appropriate/necessary by EDMUND RICE INTERNATIONAL and with the prior approval of the Executive Director.

Staff members are eligible for training leave on approved courses and short conferences which they may be required to attend in order to up-skill or to be able to fully discharge responsibilities e.g. Computer Training; Health and Safety; Data Protection Act; Child Protection .


When selecting a course or short conference it is essential to consider:

  • the relevance of the course to the work of the applicant
  • the opportunities for the staff member to incorporate skills gained at the training
  • the goals/targets for the personal and professional development that the training meets
  • benefit to EDMUND RICE INTERNATIONAL and its networks
  • financial considerations
  • Disruption to staff schedules


The applicant completes the Continuing Professional Development  form – available from the Executive Director’s office – and submits it at least 4 weeks before the leave would commence.

(b) Accredited and Certified Course

Tuition fees, subject to agreed conditions, incurred by any staff members who undertake courses of study that are certified or accredited will be refunded according to “Reimbursement of Fees” below.


The following principles apply:

  • duration of the course and the qualification/certification to be obtained
  • relevance of the course of study to the staff member’s current or future responsibilities
  • ability to demonstrate the benefit for EDMUND RICE INTERNATIONAL of completing the course of study (i.e. incorporate it into work)
  • disruption to staff schedules
  • financial consideration  


The applicant completes the Continuing Professional Development form – available from the Executive Director’s office, and submits the completed form before 1st April of the year in question.

Applications may have to be prioritised, taking into consideration factors such as the number of years of service of the applicant(s).

Reimbursement of Fees

The applicant(s), whose course of study has been approved, pays fees for the first year out of their own funds.

On the production of evidence of successful completion of, or of sufficient progress on, the course, tuition fees are reimbursed, wholly or partly, up to a ceiling of €5,000, per annum, up to a maximum of 3 years.


As part of the application, the applicant has to commit to staying in EDMUND RICE INTERNATIONAL for one year or, in the case of completed post-graduate programmes, two years. In the event of the applicant’s leaving before that time has elapsed, reimbursement of the fees shall be sought. 

(c) Study and Examination Leave

EDMUND RICE INTERNATIONAL provides paid study and examination leave for staff members undertaking approved (certified/accredited) courses of study. 

Study and examination leave applies to courses pre-approved by the Executive Director as being of relevance to the work of EDMUND RICE INTERNATIONAL.

Leave is granted where examinations take place during the working day.  In addition, one study day per day of examination is granted, up to a maximum of five per annum.


The applicant completes the Continuing Professional Development form – available from the Executive Director’s office – and submits it to the Executive Director Application for Study and Examination leave is made by completing the Special Leave Form, available from the Executive Director’s office and attaching the examination schedule. The application has to be approved by the Executive Director.

(d) Conferences, Meetings, Seminars/Workshops

Attendance at Conferences, Meetings, Seminars/Workshops in Ireland and elsewhere that are relevant to present responsibilities and approved by the CE is supported through the regular EDMUND RICE INTERNATIONAL travel and subsistence rate.

Guidelines for conferences

The following principles apply:

  • Relevance of the conference, course, meeting, to the applicants current or future responsibilities
  • Ability to demonstrate benefit for EDMUND RICE INTERNATIONAL
  • Approval of the CE/Board of Directors
  • Disruption to staff schedules
  • Financial consideration


The applicant completes the Continuing Professional Development form giving details (if available) regarding the conference, course, or meeting and submits it at least two weeks in advance of the conference to the CE for approval.


The applicant completes the Continuing Professional Development form – available from the Executive Director’s office – and submits it to the ED at least 6 weeks before the event would commence.

All staff members wishing to attend meetings/conferences overseas must submit their application to the CE six weeks in advance.  All overseas travel must be approved by the Board.

Reimbursement of International Conference, Meetings, Seminars/Workshop, expenses

Following attendance at the conference:

  • A report is completed and submitted to the CE
  • Original Conference receipts (for purposes of audit) are submitted

(e) Leave of absence

A member of staff may wish to take leave of absence at their own expense to work on substantial studies. EDMUND RICE INTERNATIONAL is not yet in a position to entertain such extended leave.


Address the application, in the first instance, to the CE, so that the implications of the staff member’s absence can be explored.

If the unpaid leave is approved, the salary which the full-time member of staff has foregone is used to pay for a substitute person to carry out the responsibilities.