SOAS University of London



Professional Development

SOAS encourages all staff, regardless of contract status, to participate in continuing personal development. The Staff Learning and Development Office offers a wide variety of courses and workshops held in SOAS or at any other Bloomsbury College. In addition there is a limited amount of funding for attendance at external conferences, workshops, briefings and seminars where these are important for the professional development of staff members.

Involve your Line-Manager

Before making a formal booking for any event, please talk to your line-manager who will be able to give you advice and support you with your current and future development. S/he will need to give you permission to attend any particular training or development event.

Making a Request to Attend an Event

To make a booking for any event/activity, you will need to complete a booking form. This might be to apply for a course being run by Staff Learning and Development at SOAS or to fund your attendance at an external conference, seminar, workshop, or training event. It might also be an application for funding to do an accredited course. You will need to apply to Staff Learning and Development using the appropriate form:

Internal Events Request Form: 

For all internal events and selected events organised on a collaborative basis with other University of London institutions. SOAS staff can apply for a place using the online booking system. You will need to be registered with Staff Self-Service for this (see below). Please note you will still need to discuss attendance at events with your line manager and have their approval to attend any event.

To use the Online Request Form: 

Once registered with Staff Self-Service (see below) you will only need to provide your SOAS username and password to open the form. Your personal details will automatically be displayed when you open the form. You then need to:

  • Select the course you wish to apply for from the given options
  • Fill in details about why you wish to take this course
  • Fill in details of any special needs you may have
  • Confirm that you have discussed attending this course with your line manager, and that you have their permission to attend
  • Submit the form by clicking on the 'submit' button
  • You will automatically receive an e-mail copy of your application, and the Staff Learning and Development office will contact you once the application has been processed.  
To register for Staff Self Service:

Go to the Registration for Staff Self Service HR page. You will need your SOAS username and password. Follow the instructions for Staff Self Service. You will have to quote your Employee Number (found on your pay slip), National Insurance Number, Date of Birth and SOAS network login credentials. Take care that these items of information remain known only to you. Once you have registered with the Self-Service system you will not need to do it again and it will save time when you book onto other courses.

To Use a Paper Based Form:

For internal events you can also print off a request form, fill in details of the course you would like to attend, and send it to the Staff Learning and Development Office, Room 472. Please note you will still need to discuss attendance at events with your line manager and have their approval to attend any event. Internal event request form (msword; 34kb)  

Application for Funding Form: External Event:

For all non-internal events (except those leading to an accredited qualification). This might be a briefing, legislation update, seminar or workshop, short course or conference.  Application for Funding - External Events (msword; 39kb)   Please ensure you have read about the content of the external event carefully and request any further information you need before applying to Staff Learning and Development for funding. Also try to apply for funding well in advance of the event.

Application for Funding Form: Accredited Qualifications:

For all events leading to an accredited qualification.  Application for Funding Form - Accredited Courses (msword; 35kb)  

Booking a Bespoke Event / Awayday

When requesting advice on, or funding for, a bespoke event for your team or department, please indicate clearly what your main objectives for the event will be and what outcomes you hope to have achieved at the end of the event. This will enable us to design your tailor-made event to closely match your needs.

Why do I need to complete a Booking Form?

All staff are requested to complete a formal booking form for every event they wish to attend. This allows us to monitor attendance at training and ensures that Line Managers are involved in the process of deciding which training is important.