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Human Resources


The University is committed to the development of its employees. Secondments are a valuable tool for individual career development and for developing the skills of an organisation.

A 'secondment' is the temporary move or ‘loan' of an employee either to another Institution in the University (internal secondment) or externally to a different organisation (external secondment). In each case the employee will have the opportunity to return to their substantive position on completion of the secondment unless otherwise discussed. The term secondment can also be used if an individual moves within their own Institution, covering an alternative position and reverting to their original position on completion.

Secondments are an effective way of providing individuals with the opportunity to apply their skills and experience in a new environment and challenge themselves professionally, thereby aiding their development, bridging identified skills gaps and broadening their experience.

The department that 'hosts' the secondee benefits from the individual's existing and new skills whilst their 'home' department benefits from their increased motivation and enhanced skillset on their return. There is also an organisational benefit of promoting increased mobility within the University and retaining staff with valuable skills, knowledge and experience.

The University operates three types of secondments:

  • Internal (within/between different institutions in the University)
  • External (from Cambridge to an external organisation)
  • Incoming (from an external organisation to Cambridge)

For all types of secondment, it is essential that all parties are clear about their obligations, expectations, accountabilities and objectives. To support this understanding, a template secondment agreement has been developed for use in these circumstances.

Host Institution: Faculty or Institution where secondment is to be held
Home Institution: Faculty or Institution where the substantive position is held

For employees who are taking on additional responsibilities or completing temporary acting up assignments for which additional responsibility payments may be made there are separate arrangements in place. Please refer to the guidance for additional responsibility payments.