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Middle Management Development Programme

This programme has a curriculum of nine learning paths:

• People management: Delegating, monitoring and mentoring
• People management: Dealing with poor contribution, providing and receiving feedback
• People management: Understanding development needs and facilitating development
• Building positive relationships
• Working effectively in teams
• Influential and courageous communications
• Problem solving and decision making
• Priority and time management
• Operations management: Planning and scheduling work

Each learning path will comprising a blend of learning activities such as:

• Self study (pre work) and/or structured conversations with supervisors or peers (±2h)
• Facilitator led classroom learning (±8h)
• Application exercises supported by application guides (±2h)
• Assessment activities

Including the personal leadership workshop (see below), the mid management curriculum would include ±11 days of classroom activities.

Classroom learning activities will be facilitated by a combination of senior HR practitioners and more experienced managers from within the institution. A facilitator development learning path, incorporating a content review for each of the learning paths, will also be developed. 

The learning paths provide flexibility as they could be delivered to separate or combined groups of academic and support staff, by division or combined. Although some learning paths may be pre-requisites for others, different units could be planned as mandatory or elective for different roles or individuals. 

Learning principles applicable

It is proposed that the learning paths be designed in line with the principles of ‘The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning’ (Wick, Pollock, & Jefferson, 2006, 2010) with particular focus on the following:

 D2: Design complete experience 

The design of the learning activities should consider the learners’ complete experience, including what happens before, and especially after, the traditional coursework.

Learning activities should include a blend of learning methods to cater for various learning styles and preferences, but with the aim of achieving variety and facilitating learners completing all stages of the learning cycle.

Where pre work is included it should include activities (i.e. not only reading) and lead to a submission or interaction (e.g. conversation) to motivate and allow for monitoring of completion.

D3: Deliver for application

Learning should be designed and delivered in a way to bridge the gap between learning and on the job application. Learning activities should simulate application situations and include preparation and practice for application.

D4: Drive learning transfer 

The learning paths should incorporate structured conversations in order to facilitate the application of learning and ensure that current managers/Deans take ownership for the development of their staff. These coaches will be supported by ‘conversation guides’.

D5: Deploy performance support

Performance support in the form of job aids (application guides) should be provided for key skill sets.


There is a need for assessment in key learning paths. This would consist of a combination of assessments during the learning path (e.g. submitted pre work assignments, notes from conversations, peer and facilitator observation of classroom activities) and summative assessment of the actual application of skills learned (e.g. application review by supervisor, recordings of application activities submitted for review).

Last Modified: Mon, 03 Jul 2017 09:37:14 SAST