South Wales and South West Staff Developers’ Group

The Group provides a professional network for Developers representing Higher Education institutions in the region, dealing with a wide range of issues and inclusive of all types of Developer.

The group has been meeting for over 20 years and was one of the first UK Staff Developers’ Groups to establish itself. The challenge for the group is that it is so geographically dispersed, from Falmouth, Cornwall in the south to Gloucester in the north, then from Swansea to Portsmouth. A recent survey confirmed that members are not put off by the distance and are primarily motivated by an interesting theme, especially if it is a facilitated discussion. Most topics are suggested by members.

We communicate via:

  •  an email group of approximately 47 members, valued as a way of sharing, asking for information/assistance.
  • face to face meetings and seminars, three times a year.  

Two of these meetings take place in the Bristol area and for the third, we go ‘on tour’ to one of the other universities. There is no charge for attendance. The meetings are an opportunity to welcome speakers (many of whom are external to the sector), discuss a range of issues, network and offer advice and support.

Bournemouth University – July 2012


Staff Developers in Discussion – ‘Putting the E into Staff Development’ CPD event – University of Exeter – July 2013


The SWSWSDG is a self-organising body. The Chair attends the national Staff Development Forum Council meetings in an advisory capacity and members are encouraged to become involved in dialogue and events with the Leadership Foundation and other bodies.

Contact Details: Kemi Oladapo – Staff Development Manager (Leadership and Management
Development) Email: Telephone: (0117) 92 88109. [Contact the South Wales and South West Developers]
Kemi leads the Leadership and Development team for Professional Services Staff from new to senior management.

This involves the strategic design, development and provision of high
quality leadership development interventions, internally and externally
sourced. These consist of a wide range of structured programmes and more
informal methods to equip leaders and managers to achieve their full
potential whilst meeting demanding organisational goals, and enabling their
own staff to realise their potential too.

Kemi is an experienced leadership coach, a member of the Chartered Institute
of Personnel and Development (CIPD), and holds a Maser’s degree in
Organisational Behaviour. She is qualified to use both the Strength
Deployment Inventory tool to Level 2 as well as the Myers Briggs Type
Indicator Practitioner (MBTI) indicator.

Her personal drive and enthusiasm is to work in partnership with
individuals, teams and at organisational level to facilitate the achievement
of potential and resourcefulness.

Meetings – Agendas:

Member Profiles:

Dr Alison Leggett- Staff Development Manager (Academic Staff), University of Bristol





Main responsibilities:

  • Academic Staff Development
  • Leadership and Management
  • Academic Skills Development
  • Researcher Transferable Skills Development
  • HRD Strategy and Policy Development related to this group
  • Team development events; MBTI practitioner

Full Profile            Contact:



Michelle picMichelle Armitage – Head of HR, National Composites Centre





Main responsibilities:
· HR strategy development and deployment

· Setting up new HR systems and processes from scratch

· HR Team management

· Day to day delivery and advice to managers in:

o Recruitment and resourcing

o Learning and Development including management development

o Performance management

o Employee relations and risk mitigation

o Reward and recognition

o Employee wellbeing and morale


Angie Allcock – Staff Development Manager – University of Bath





Main responsibilities:

I head the People Development Team of 7 staff who help the University develop its organisational effectiveness by supporting the development of staff’s core skills and capabilities so they fulfil their roles successfully and develop their full potential. The team also run key organisational diagnostics including the Employee Engagement Survey and the PDR process.

I provide advice on strategic initiatives such as the Exeter Academic and Transformation projects and policies associated with Learning and Development. An important aspect of my role is to keep up to date on latest innovations to ensure the University’s learning and development approaches reflect the latest thinking.

I am responsible for developing academic leadership initiatives and coordinate various women’s development schemes such as Aurora. I provide bespoke team event facilitation, frequently blended with diagnostic tools, from team building days to senior management teams developing strategic plans.

Areas of expertise: leadership/management development; Executive Coach; coaching and mentoring; employee engagement; organisation development; internal consultancy; working with you.

Full Profile    Contact:


Clive Betts – Learning and Development Adviser – University of Exeter




Main responsibilities/interests:



I am responsible for the research, creation and support of developmental pathways for professions in the University (eg Technicians, Finance, IT, Research Managers). I am a qualified 360 reviewer and remain actively engaged in online learning development, training design and delivery, 1-1 and team development.

My background is in IT management, vocational training, scientific civil service and Biosciences (research and teaching) having successfully changed careers several times in the past 35 years.

Areas of expertise: structured professional and career development; vocational qualifications and accreditation; e-learning; support for mentors; working with you.

Full Profile     Contact:


Kass Hawkley – Management & Staff Development Adviser – University of Portsmouth




Main responsibilities/interests:

  • Research & development of courses & programmes
  • Design & delivery of skills based training e.g.Train the Trainer, Working with Assertiveness
  • Individual & organisational development projects
  • Support for managers & teams in periods of change and/or transition



Dr Simon Inger – Head of Staff Development – University of Bath





Main responsibilities/interests:

  • Organisational development policy and strategy
  • Learning and development policy and provision for all staff groups
  • People strategy
  • Academic leadership development and talent management
  • Organisational capability for change

Profile          Contact:


Pam Fitzsimmons – Learning & Development Manager – University of the West of England

Main responsibilities/interests:

  • Leadership and management development
  • Personal and career development
  • Supporting organisational development and projects
  • Talent management



Emma Loten – Management & Staff Development Adviser – University of Portsmouth

Main responsibilities/interests:

  • Design and development of courses and programmes
  • Consultancy, support and facilitation for team and individual development
  • Change management inc support for teams in transition and development of a change programme
  • Supporting organisational development projects
  • Performance & Development Review policy and practice



Debbie Waters – Staff & Organsational Development Manager – Falmouth University

Main Responsibilities/Interests: 

  • Management of Staff Development function and planning
  • Background and interest in systems to record and report training activity and compliance
  • Organisational Development and Business Planning
  • Design, development and delivery of staff engagement initiatives and support
  • Consultancy


—————————————————————————————————Helen Woods – Staff Development Manager (Culture Change and Career Management) – University of Bristol


Helen manages the Culture Change and Career Management (CC&CM) Staff Development team at the University of Bristol.  The team’s broad remit includes project managing a range of initiatives sponsored by the PositiveWorking@Bristol Steering Group such as the staff satisfaction survey and new Professional Services Excellence Awards, as well as the facilitation of activities to promote behavioural change at team, Division/Faculty and organisation level.  The team also provides advice and guidance on career management for Professional Services staff, in conjunction with the University’s Coaching Team.  The CC&CM team’s remit also includes responsibility for supporting the technical staff group in their professional development and strategic positioning within the University.


Helen’s professional background began as a History teacher in secondary education, followed by roles in recruitment and training and development in the public housing, transport, and construction sectors.

Helen is an alumna of the University of Bristol, having studied Social and Economic History there too many years ago to admit! Helen completed a Masters in Management with Human Resources Management at the University of Bath prior to her move into training and development fourteen years ago.  She is an accredited Belbin Team Roles practitioner, and has been an NVQ Assessor and Verifier.  Helen is an Affiliate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.



Member Institutions – Links:

(Developers from the following universities are on our email group list)

            • Bath Spa University
            • Bournemouth University
            • Bristol University
            • Cardiff University
            • Cranfield University (Shrivenham Campus)
            • Falmouth University
            • Newport University
            • Open University SW (Bristol)
            • Oxford University
            • Plymouth University
            • Portsmouth University
            • Southampton University
            • Swansea University
            • University of Bath
            • University of Exeter
            • University of Gloucestershire
            • University of St Mark and St John (Plymouth)
            • University of the West of England (Bristol)
Go to Top