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Planning for Success

It is important to think about what expectations are required for all parties involved in the secondment. You will need to think about this as you planning the opportunity. As a minimum you will need to include the secondee, the seconding manager and the substantive manager. It may help to use the secondment arrangement template to guide your thinking on what you need to consider when planning for a secondment.

Here is a secondment timeline that will help you to plan the required activities to make the secondment a success:

Secondment timeline

Objective Setting

It is important for the secondee to work towards the achievement of objectives set through the life of the secondment. The seconding manager should meet with the secondee on their transfer into the new post and agree these objectives. The secondment template can be used to set and review these objectives, and the guidance to support the secondment policy should be reviewed so that any obligations on those involved can be met. The objectives should be documented and reviewed regularly, and a final review meeting should take place to reflect on the secondment and facilitate handover. discussions.

Starting the secondment

Despite already being part of the University a thorough induction to the new role and department should take place to ensure that the secondee can become effective in their new role. Furthermore, it helps with the socialisation process into the new team. Be sure to review our guidance in this respect. All inductions should at the very least include information about the department, school or faculty and introductions to colleagues.


The secondment is good for personal and professional development. It is not expected that the secondee will be able to do everything required all at once. There will be some ‘stretch’ required of them, and it may even take them out of their ‘comfort zone’ entirely. Therefore, there will inevitably be development and training needs. It is crucial for seconding managers to discuss any specific training needs that the secondee may have in order for them to make a success of the secondment.  

Keeping in touch

There will be an end date to the secondment, so it is necessary that secondees maintain relationships and a link with the areas that holds their substantive post. It is the joint responsibility of the secondee and the substantive manager to have regular face to face meetings with each other throughout the secondment period. This should be of sufficient frequency to ensure that the secondee is kept up to date with development in their substantive area.  Keeping in touch activities may also include the circulation of news and updates, and attendance at team meetings or events.

Managing issues

It is recognised that from time to time issues may arise during a secondment.  With effective planning, clear objectives and induction and training, it is hoped these can be kept to a minimum.  Where there are issues relating to performance, absence, discipline or grievance, these will be addressed by the seconding manager.  The seconding manager will do so in consultation with the substantive manager.