Basic Skills Development and Training


The policies provided herein apply to all classified and wage employees of George Mason University.


It is the policy of George Mason University to allow classified and wage employees time away from work to provide them the opportunity to develop basic skills.  Appropriate semester long training and development courses will be offered through the Office of Adult Learning and Professional Development at no cost to the employee or department.  Training and development obtained under this policy must provide new skills or improve existing basic skills of an employee expected to continue in service to the University.  All training must be allied to the needs of the University and should meet at least one of the following criteria.  The training should:

A. Develop and enhance an employee’s basic skills.

B. Provide basic skills required by changes in the employee’s current position.

C. Secure basic skills to prepare an employee for advancement to a position for which qualified applicants are not otherwise available.

D. Allow employees appointed with below-minimum qualifications, because of no other qualified applicant was available, to obtain basic skills needed to perform the job.


Basic Skills:

Literacy and communication skills in English, basic reading skills, GED preparation, basic math skills, and basic computer literacy skills.


The Assistant Vice President of Human Resources, in consultation with the Office of Adult Learning and Professional Development, will administer the application of this policy.  Heads of Departments, Offices, and Activities will establish internal controls and assure approved requests are within the scope of this policy.


Time away from work for training under this policy shall be considered only for classified and wage employees whose employment is expected to continue with the University after completion of training courses.

For participation in this program, approving officials shall enter into a written agreement with the employee.  Before doing so, consideration should be given to the employee’s potential contribution to the University and whether the employee will personally benefit from the training.  A memorandum of agreement must be used, and it should clearly state that the employee is expected to remain a University employee following completion of training.

Care must be taken by the approving official not to create an “expectation” of continued employment as a result of the agreement.

A. Requests for basic skills training.

1. Requests for training may be initiated by the employee with the approval of the supervisor, or by the supervisor.

2. Requests should be by memorandum or by registration forms provided by and submitted to the Office of Adult Learning and Professional Development.

3. Requests should contain the following information:

a. The name and position title of the employee to receive training.

b. Description of the training.

c. Inclusive dates of training.

d. Justification, to include an explanation of how the training relates to the employee’s job and how it meets the criteria set forth in Paragraph II above.

B. Approval

All requests must be approved by the employee’s supervisor.

C. Disapproval

Requests may be disapproved at any point of the process and returned to the requester.

Required Training and Development Courses

Employees whose positions require them to obtain basic skills through training and development courses will count any hour(s) attending required courses towards their total work time for that day.  Additionally, if an employee’s development plan (located in the Employee Work Profile) requires them to obtain basic skills to meet future organizational needs, hours attending those courses will count towards their total work time for that day.  Overtime/compensatory time may apply.

E. Using University Leave for Non-Required Courses

Classified and wage employees are encouraged to schedule training courses during their non-working hours if those courses are not required for their position.  However, when a desired course cannot be scheduled during non-working hours, classified employees may use University Leave equivalent to one half of the total course time per day without charge to their personal leave balances.  For example, for a two-hour course during the workday, an employee may use up to one hour of University Leave for that day.  The remaining hour must be taken as annual leave, family/personal leave, overtime leave, compensatory leave, or the employee may be placed on leave without pay.  When possible, work hours may be adjusted for the employee to work an hour to make up for that hour spent at class.  Time away from work while attending these courses must be reported on time sheets, but cannot be used to calculate hours towards overtime pay.

Wage employees who attend a course during their normal working hours are not eligible to receive University Leave, and therefore are not paid for hours missed to attend such courses.

F. Adjusting Work Schedules

With the approval of the supervisor, employees may adjust their daily work schedules in order to accommodate their course times and/or to work their required hours per week.

Course Load

Employees may take no more than one such course per semester during the workday.


All amendments and additions to Administrative Policy Number 2220 are to be reviewed and approved by the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Senior Vice President.


The policies herein are effective August 17, 2005.  This Administrative Policy shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, annually and to become effective at the beginning of the University’s fiscal year, unless otherwise noted.


Maurice W. Scherrens
Senior Vice President

Peter N. Stearns

Date approved: August 31, 2005