Guidelines for Paid Volunteer and Professional Development Time for Staff

The University’s guidelines for staff to receive pay for taking volunteer or professional development time have recently been updated.

University staff are eligible to receive paid time off per month to participate in community service or volunteer activities (Volunteer Time) or to participate in professional development opportunities (Professional Development Time) during regular working hours. These guidelines are effective as of January 1, 2022.

The temporary COVID-19 volunteer policy of eight hours per week and the Staff Handbook release time policy (for career-related development workshops/seminars) ended on December 31, 2021.

For more information about these new guidelines, please refer to the University’s Staff Handbook.


Full- and part-time regular staff are eligible for Volunteer and Professional Development time:

  • Full-time regular staff may use up to 7.5 hours during regular working hours per month for volunteer or professional development time.
    • 7.5 hours is the total available time per month; full-time regular staff cannot take 7.5 hours for volunteer time and 7.5 hours for professional development within the same month.
    • Full-time regular staff may take a partial day for volunteering and a partial day for professional development time in the same month; however, that time may not exceed a combined 7.5 hours in a month.
  • Part-time regular staff are eligible for pro-rated volunteer time and professional development time based on their full-time equivalency.
    • For example, an employee at 50% effort is eligible to take up to 3.75 hours of paid volunteer or professional development time per month.

These guidelines do not apply to faculty, temporary employees, or executives. Represented employees should review their collective bargaining agreement for eligibility for Paid Volunteer time, Professional Development time, or a combination of both. Temporary employees should work with their supervisor on professional development opportunities. 

Utilizing Volunteer and Professional Development Time

Opportunities for volunteer and/or professional development time must be requested by the employee and approved by the supervisor prior to that time being taken. Time should be requested in the same method as requesting vacation or personal time.

Both exempt (monthly pay) and non-exempt (biweekly pay) staff are required to document the appropriate time taken on their time card in Pitt Worx:

  • When taking volunteer time, use the Hours Type “Volunteer Time
  • When taking professional development time, use the Hours Type “Professional Development Time

For more information about utilizing volunteer and professional development time, how to record this time on time cards in Pitt Worx, and other frequently asked questions, please visit the Volunteer and Professional Development Time Guidelines page.


For questions about these updated guidelines, please submit an inquiry online at