Interested in upgrading your skills and knowledge? Want to gain hands-on experience with a function you have been curious about? Cross-training is an informal learning option available to staff members who want to enhance their skills, knowledge and competences within the same duty station.

What is cross-training?

Cross-training is about learning how to do more than one specific job in order to become professionally well-rounded. Cross-training enables a staff member (the “visiting staff member”) to learn how to execute specific tasks by working with another staff member (the “receiving staff member”) for a set period of time. During cross-training, the receiving staff member teaches the visiting staff member about specific tasks related to their functions. Depending on the nature of the work, the visiting staff member will have the opportunity to actually carry out some of these tasks under the guidance of the receiving staff member. Please note that this is an informal learning option for staff to avail of as they wish based on the information and guidance below, not a centrally managed programme.

Cross-training allows the "visiting" staff member to be trained and preform specific functions related to a particular job while job shadowing allows the employee to gain knowledge and understating about the responsibilities and tasks in a particular job. 


Visiting staff members

  • Expand their knowledge and skills in relation to current and future roles and functions within the Organization
  • Can help support their career development

Receiving staff members

  • Can share knowledge, expertise and skills in a particular area, which allows them to review and reflect on their own work and gain a fresh point of view;
  • Support colleagues in their career development and aspirations

Host section

  • Creating an environment of continuous learning
  • Gain new ideas and good practices from visiting staff members with a fresh point of view

Releasing section

  • Support staff in their career development and aspirations
  • Gain new ideas and good practices from staff members returning with a fresh point of view

Overall, cross-training allows the Organization to provide staff members with opportunities for continuous learning, contributing to improvements in organizational effectiveness and efficiency.


Eligibility Staff eligible for participation in learning activities as per existing policy

Duration The duration of cross-training is to be agreed between visiting/receiving staff and participating sections. It may be done on a full time, continuous basis or during dedicated working hours. Planned leave of the participating staff members should be taken into consideration when planning the schedule

Scope Cross-training is possible:

  • within the same duty station
  • between staff members at the same grade level or at a higher grade level
  • between staff members in different categories

Learning objectives Learning objectives should be agreed upon between the visiting staff and the host section, prior to commencement of the activity

Agreement of confidentiality During cross-training, visiting staff members will be exposed to and be able to access information that may be confidential and/or legally privileged. Participating staff members are expected to respect the level of confidentiality


  • Identification of a receiving staff member who would be willing to host
  • Agreement of visiting staff member’s supervisor to participate in the cross-training activity
  • Agreement of receiving staff member’s supervisor for them to participate in the cross-training activity

Confirmation of understanding The arrangement can be confirmed by an email including all of the staff concerned (visiting staff and host and releasing sections’ supervisors). The arrangement includes:

  • Outlining the nature of the role and the specific tasks to be assigned
  • Describing the knowledge and skills expected to be acquired
  • Providing the timetable by which the cross-training activities will be governed
  • Providing expected work outcome

Visiting staff are expected to return to their regular role and functions upon completion of the cross-training.

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