The professional development of academic staff is in most cases based on scientific work. There are no requirements determined by the Law regarding professional development on this level, which is therefore most commonly optional, unless required differently by the particular higher education institution. However, professional development in the form of published scientific papers and other relevant publications is extremely important for career promotion, this being one of the criteria for the teacher’s employment and earning a higher-ranking title (as explained in the section on Entry to the Profession).
Professional development can be organised in the forms of specialization, work towards a higher level of formal education, symposia, courses, study theses, congresses, seminars, conferences and similar activities. Institutions are required to provide conditions for the professional development of their staff, including the time for the completion of such engagement within regular working hours.
Incentives for Participation in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Activities
Hours spent on professional development can count towards working time and the institution is responsible for covering all expenses incurred in the process. A certain number of working days, as determined by the institution, is used up for professional development. If the institution budget allows so, the staff may receive additional funds for research work and participation in conferences and other important academic events. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development regularly approves funds for research work and science development, for which academic staff may apply. A special fund is available to young researchers who recently joined the academic community (PhD students, assistants and associate professors).
After 5 years of employment, the higher institution may approve 1 year of paid absence for the teacher’s professional development and scientific research purposes. The institution is obligated to approve unpaid absence for the purpose of professional development, especially for participation in scientific projects and preparation of PhD or specialisation thesis.