Human Resources

University-Wide Work Shadowing Opportunities -Work Shadowing Guidelines

What is Work Shadowing?

Work Shadowing provides an opportunity for staff to network and Shadow other areas of the university within similar or complementary roles   It offers a ‘fact finding’ opportunity and provides both personal & professional development.

Who is the Target Audience?

  • This opportunity is aimed at supporting all UoP staff who have limited cross-department opportunities
  • The aim is to offer increased opportunities &  provide wider organisational insight, experience & knowledge

Why Bother?

The aims of Work Shadowing are:

  • To gain additional experience and working knowledge across different services in the University 
  • To increase skills and  better support the student experience
  • To help build a network of contacts for collaboration and networking
  • To reflect on services and share experiences
  • To contribute to a knowledge bank of shared information and experience
  • To consider future recommendations and impact
  • To increase awareness of new  career paths and routes – increase options and opportunities

Where is the Benefit?

The benefits for both Shadows and Hosts may include the following:

  • It expands knowledge of others’ services, departments, processes, roles
  • It builds networks across teams & departments
  • It initiates and considers change through example
  • It updates skills through observing how others work
  • It shares and disseminates knowledge and best practice
  • It increases understanding of own role in a wider context
  • It increases confidence and networking through working with others

How Long Should It Last?

  • Work Shadowing can be flexible and agreed locally – between Shadow and Host department
  • The length of a Shadow can vary according to the learning objectives – usually it can be for a full or half day, or even for a few regular hours over a given time-  maximum time circa 3 days per annum

How to Get the Most Out of the Shadow

  • Work shadowing is the most effective when the host explains the roles and the tasks and the shadow undertakes tasks together with them.  Observation, discussion and hands on practical experience significantly improves the depth and quality of the experience for both parties
  • See the 'TOP TIPS' hand-out – make the most of a shadowing opportunity

How to Arrange Work Shadowing

  • Step 1 is to identify what type of Shadowing you want to do, what you are hoping to achieve and then discuss this with your line manager, and possibly colleagues
  • Step 2 is to consider which department you wish to approach and what the benefit would be to your department/personally