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District School Board of Niagara
Policy Human Resources - General

E-10 Staff Development

Date Nov 2020
Review Nov 2025

The District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) encourages all employees to be life-long learners supported by Staff Development that is based on system, school and individual needs. The following definitions seek to clarify the key components of effective and comprehensive staff development:

  • Training: Training provides specialized instruction to fulfil the basic needs required for competency in a specific job. Training is either legislated or mandated by DSBN, usually for the purposes of safety or accountability.
  • In-Service:
  • Professional Growth: Professional Growth encompasses a wide variety of self-initiated activities that enhance growth in the individual’s respective fields.

Staff Development is offered and supported at DSBN, area, school and department levels.

The DSBN believes in supporting new staff through processes, including the following:

  • Induction: Induction is a process for new employees (first two years) that includes all the activities that train and support new employees and it acculturates them to the mission and philosophy of their school/department and the DSBN. Induction encompasses orientation, mentoring, ongoing structured training, and other components.
  • Mentoring: Mentoring is defined as a non-evaluative process which entails a role model in a "role-alike" position dialoguing to share knowledge, experiences, needs and strategies.
  • Orientation: Orientation involves familiarization with the operational procedures of the school/department and the DSBN.

The DSBN supports the principle that workers should be multi-skilled, within parameters of Collective Agreements and job descriptions. Cross training helps to implement this principle:

  • Cross Training: Cross training develops employees who can readily adapt to changes in job requirements and advancing technology. Cross training may be used as a strategy to enable employees to become more productive, prepared for new opportunities, as well as creating more flexibility within departments.

Supervisors/Managers facilitate communication and coordination of Staff Development opportunities for individuals and groups within the scope of their portfolio.