Resources for Casual / Sessional Staff

Casual, or sessional, staff make an important contribution to the CDU landscape, and form a significant part of the teaching community. This webpage has been designed as a resource for Sessional Teaching Staff. It provides a range of links and basic information that may assist sessional staff to quickly settle into their role.

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General information for all staff is available on the Office of People and Capability (OPC) website, however as a casual employee, you should be aware of what needs to occur to ensure that you are paid in a timely manner. Your supervisor, administrative leader or other key contact in the area will explain the process, and answer your questions, however some significant points of which to be aware are:

  • Your initial engagement with Charles Darwin University is via a Casual Employment Advice, or contract, which reflects agreed hours, roster, rate of salary and start date.
  • CDU, like most employers, utilises timesheets as a record of your time spent on University activities, and it is good practice to complete this as soon as possible after the work has finished for that period
  • Once this is done, the timesheet must be approved by the supervising CDU staff member. NB: you should check with this person to see who else would do this, should they be unavailable, or away
  • The approved timesheet is then entered into the Staff Online HR system, typically by an administrator within the area
  • If you have any concern, for any reason, that your timesheet has not been actioned, this should be raised with your Supervisor in the first instance
  • Payroll dedicates two consultants to process timesheets for the Casual workforce, and the appropriate contact for your area appears on the OPC website; most queries may be sent to in the first instance
  • Your timely salary payment is a Payroll priority, so coordinating timesheet approval and submission with the responsible staff in your area, is the first step in this important process
  • Find out from the School who you should submit your timesheet to and by what dates.   Note this is usually a few days before the official cut off dates set by OPC which can be found on the OPC website.

There are several key contacts in the University that can assist you in your role including the School Administration Leader, the Office of Learning and Teaching education developer assigned to your school and the HR staff member responsible for your school. It is a good idea to find out quickly who these people are and their contact details. The following links can assist:

Learnline is CDU’s name for the learning management system (Blackboard) and the associated technologies such as the Online Classroom (Powered by Blackboard Collaborate)

Learnline staff support

The University operates a Learnline staff support desk between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday. If you are having problems with Learnline you can contact the staff support desk either by email ( or telephone 08 8946 6198 if off campus or x6198 on campus. 

After hours support is also available via the 24 hour/7 day a week Learnline Online Support Centre situated in the USA.

There are a wide range of policies on the CDU Governance website including those related to occupational Health and Safety issues and  the use of IT. While all policies and procedures are important, the following are particularly relevant for teaching staff:

While policies and procedures are University wide, the way schools carry out their work and implement these procedures varies considerably. As such it is essential that you get this information from the school that you are working for. Here are a few suggested questions to ask your supervisor/theme leader/Head of School or School Administration Leader. 

  • What is the school process in relation to the submission of my timesheets?  This could include:
    • Who needs to authorise it?
    • Who do I give it to?
    • What is the school timeline for submitting them?
  • When are the school and theme meetings? Do need to attend? How can I find out about key items that are covered at those meetings?
  • What is the moderation process in relation to marking of assignments?
  • Who will enter the grades into the Callista system? What is the timeline on this?
  • What has been accredited for this unit/course in terms of assessment, learning outcomes, teaching approach etc? (Each unit and course taught in the University is accredited and approved and must be taught in line with this approved documentation.) 
  • What is the role of the Academic Liaison Unit in relation to my job? Who is the main contact I can speak to in that area? (The Academic Liaison Unit provides a range of support to academic staff and students and can answer many basic questions about enrolment, credit transfer etc. The nature of your relationship with them will depend on the role that you have been employed in.)
  • Is there an academic staff member who can act as my mentor/go to person?

There is a range of required PD for all CDU staff related to Occupational Health and Safety including units on Fire Awareness and Emergency Evacuation and Ergonomics. These should be organised through OPC.

All staff must complete an orientation to Learning and Teaching and an Introduction to Learnline before they will assigned a login for Learnline or have access to any Learnline Units. Both of these are short but essential and can be organised through the ES Developer assigned to your school..

If you have the requirement in your teaching to use Collaborate, you must undertake training. This is required to ensure the best possible outcome for students and to avoid disruptions to the learning experience. For more information, speak to the ES Developer assigned to your school.

Many of the teaching spaces at Casuarina Campus have been upgraded to take advantage of a range of technology.  It is important that you are familiar with this technology if you are teaching on this campus. 

The staff Learnline page offers a range of information about computer set up and support as well as various resources to assist you in using the Learnline system.

Sessional staff are welcome and encouraged to undertake any Learning and Teaching PD activities offered by ES. There are a range of online PD modules covering everything from approaches to online teaching through to the use of Collaborate. More information can be found on the PD at CDU webpage.