Organisational and Professional Development

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Job Shadowing

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Job Shadowing - The current application cycle closes 31st October 2018!

Job shadowing provides a unique opportunity to find out how other staff work. It can help improve communications across departments, faculties and institutes. It is an excellent networking tool, an opportunity for sharing best-practice and for self-development.

A simple definition of job shadowing is where one person (the shadow) visits another (the host) to experience their work by observing them for an agreed period of time. Generally, this will be for one half-day, full-day or two half-days. Job shadowing is very often a learning experience for both parties involved who, in turn, can feed their new knowledge back to their teams.

To find out more about the different types of job shadowing available, please review the QMUL Job Shadowing Scheme guidance documentation [PDF 573KB] and see below:


Job shadowing has numerous benefits for individuals, departments, faculties and institutions, including:

  • Career development
  • Broadening the knowledge and understanding of the participants' roles and departments / teams as well as broader issues in the HE sector
  • Increasing understanding of wider institutional goals and objectives
  • Bringing people together who might not normally have contact and providing networking opportunities
  • Allowing the opportunity to compare and contrast standards and achievements
  • Improving communication within the organisation
  • Providing the opportunity to observe good practice elsewhere and bring back to current role
  • Breaking down barriers and myths about how others work
  • Facilitating succession planning

Job Shadowing outside Queen Mary

There is also an opportunity to shadow staff at other HE Institutions through the Outside Insight work shadowing scheme. Further details, including how to apply and the other institutions involved in the scheme, can be found at

Further Details

If you are interested in being a shadow or a host, please see the QMUL Job Shadowing Scheme guidance documentation [PDF 573KB] for more information about this scheme. This useful document includes how to prepare and what to expect as well as guidance for line managers. If you have any further queries, please contact the Organisational & Professional Development team via

How to Apply

To apply to be a shadow, please complete the Internal Job Shadowing Application Form - Shadow [DOC 86KB]. If you are interested in being a host, please complete the Internal Job Shadowing Application Form - Host [DOC 83KB].

Application cycle

Applications to be a shadow for either scheme are limited to two cycles per year. The current application cycle closes 31st October 2018. All completed applications must be received before this date to be considered for this cycle. The date for the next cycle will be advertised in early 2019. If you have any questions please contact Organisational & Professional Development via

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