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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Continuing professional development for academic staff working in Higher Education


9.Teachers and Education Staff

9.6Continuing professional development for academic staff working in Higher Education

Last update: 14 February 2024

Organisational aspects

Universities themselves, both public and private, are responsible for organising the continuing professional development for the university teaching staff through the Training Programs for Teachers.  Its aim is to offer lifelong learning that contributes to the improvement of the quality of university teaching, research, management and the personal and professional development of each of the members within this group. University departments and, where applicable, the teaching support services are in charge of providing training activities aimed at their teaching and research staff. In addition, several public and private institutions, such as foundations, associations or professional associations may complement this offer.

This training is optional, although a necessary requirement to be eligible for certain additional remuneration.

Incentives for participation in continuing professional development (CPD) activities

Undertaking continuing training activities has a positive impact on teachers’ professional careers, as a merit in competitive examinations or as a necessary requirement to be eligible for additional remuneration. This is available for all teachers on a voluntary and personal basis, except in the case of  assistant teachers.

Assistant teachers are those who have been admitted or are about to be admitted to Doctoral studies. Their lifelong learning includes doctoral programmes and does not require structuring in ECTS credits. According to article 4 of  Royal Decree 99/2011, which regulates official doctoral studies, it includes both transversal and specific training in each programme, although in all cases the doctoral student's main activity will be research.

In addition, public universities grant study leaves to their teaching staff, in accordance with the requirements and duration established in their statutes. Besides, the autonomous communities offer their staff public aid to attend scientific conferences or carry out research projects.

For detailed information on the continuing professional development for the teaching staff of training cycles in Advanced Vocational Training and Advanced Artistic Education, see the article on Continuing professional development for teachers working in early childhood and school education.