Professional Development

Last updated: Apr 8, 2024

At CS&S we strive to support the career goals of our core team members within and outside of the organization. To that end, we:

  • Encourage regular (monthly, at minimum) check-ins between managers and their direct reports to share career goals, support needs and growth accountability;

  • Schedule quarterly skip-level feedback sessions between upper-level management and employees;

  • Conduct annual performance reviews between managers and their direct reports;

  • Provide a budget of $5,000 per 3 years for equipment expenses, detailed in the Equipment Policy;

  • Provide a budget for employee engagement in professional development opportunities of $1,000-3,000 per year, as determined by the organization’s annual budgeting process.

Skip-level Feedback Sessions

25 minute 1:1 meetings between employees and their manager’s manager (i.e. “skip-level”) are a quarterly opportunity to share feedback on the support employees receive from their manager as well as updates on personal and/or professional goals. These meetings will be scheduled by CS&S administrative support and will follow a template developed by CS&S HR.

Annual Performance Reviews

Performance reviews provide an opportunity for employees to reflect on performance and professional growth. This is also a time to give feedback to managers and the organization about success in supporting employees and where improvements can be made. Performance reviews are managed by CS&S HR and include: self-evaluations, 60 minute 1:1 synchronous calls between managers and direct reports, submission of a performance review report form completed collaboratively by employees and managers, and follow-up to provide feedback on the process, update professional biographies and pursue promotion within the organization, if applicable.

Budget for Professional Development Opportunities

All core team members who are full-time employees of CS&S are able to expense professional development resources with a budget of up to $2,000 in the 2023-2024 Fiscal Year via Ramp. Unused funds do not roll-over to the subsequent year.

Expense requirements

Professional development expenses must be either:

  • Aligned with the one or more responsibilities listed in the employee’s active job description within the organization, or;

  • Aligned with the employee’s stated professional goals within or outside of the organization and may lay outside of their current scope of work.

All professional development expenses over $100 require manager approval prior to purchase, and must follow the CS&S Expense and Credit Card Policies. Transactions in Ramp can only be approved after they are completed. Since these expenses must be approved beforehand, email your manager with the proposed expense and expected cost for approval.

Eligible professional development resources include:

  • Professional headshot services;
    • Headshots can be used for professional networking, as well as to accompany employee profiles on the company website.

  • Purchase of books or journals;

  • Subscription fees, such as memberships to professional networks or resource libraries;

  • Workshop fees;

  • Coursework:

    • Coursework may be eligible if it meets the IRS criteria for education expenses:

      • Under Regs. Sec. 1.162-5, education expenses are deductible as ordinary and necessary business expenses if the education:

        • Maintains or improves skills required by the individual in his employment, or

        • Meets the express requirements of the individual’s employer, or the requirements of applicable law or regulations, imposed as a condition to the individual’s retaining an established employment relationship, status, or rate of compensation.
          However, education expenses are not deductible under either of the following circumstances:

      • However, education expenses are not deductible under either of the following circumstances:

        • They are required in order to meet the minimum educational requirements for qualification in the employee’s employment or other trade or business; or

        • They are part of a program of study that will lead to the employees’ qualifying for a new trade or business

      • If you believe that it meets the criteria of an ordinary and necessary business expense (i.e. meets 1 or 2 from the first set, and neither from the second set), please provide more information on your coursework to CS&S HR for review.

  • Conference fees:
    • Conferences that are considered job-related, wherein employee attendance will directly impact their concurrent job performance, are not counted toward the employee’s annual professional development budget.
      • Travel expenses for job-related program attendance are not counted toward the professional development budget.

    • Conferences that are considered career-related, wherein the impact of employee attendance cannot be directly attributed to projects or tasks set for that year, and wherein employee attendance has not been requested by department or organization leadership, do count toward the employee’s annual professional development budget.
      • Travel expenses for career-related program attendance are counted toward the professional development budget.

    • Travel expenses incurred for program attendance must follow the company travel expense policy.

  • Coaching fees:
    • Leadership coaching:
      • Directors and/or people managers are eligible for a budget of $500 per month for up to 6 months of leadership coaching.
        • The leadership coaching budget is in addition to the employee’s annual professional development budget.

        • It is not required that all directors and/or people managers seek leadership coaching.

    • Expertise coaching:
      • Coaching sought in a job-related area of expertise, and wherein that expertise does not otherwise exist within the core team, does not count toward the professional development budget.
        • Employees seeking job-related expertise coaching should notify their manager to seek expense approval.

    • Coaching services that do not fall under the categories of eligible leadership coaching or expertise coaching are counted toward the annual professional development budget.

    • Coaching relationships must be arranged by the employee seeking services.
      • CS&S HR can provide a list of recommended coaches.

      • A database for coaching and other professional development resources is scheduled to be available on the company’s Notion page in January 2024.

Professional development expenses not included in the above list and/or exceeding $2,000, may be eligible for approval on a case-by-case basis, at the discretion of CS&S Leadership.


  • All expenses under this policy should be submitted to Ramp via your [CS&S] Professional Development card limit.

  • For expenses over $100, or expenses not in line with the eligible expenses, employees must get approval from their manager.

  • Approved budget variances will be communicated to the Finance team to update the limit reflected in Ramp.

For each expense under this policy, follow the instructions in the Ramp user guide to purchase using Ramp or submit a reimbursement.

  • All expenses should be submitted towards the [CS&S] Professional Development Spend Program in Ramp.

  • Your card limit will be used to track the total spending and remaining amount available to spend under this policy.

  • You will be issued a virtual credit card to spend directly on this budget. You can also use your physical Ramp credit card or submit reimbursements to this budget, as long as you specifically select the [CS&S] Professional Development limit.
    • To purchase directly: Use the [CS&S] Professional Development virtual card.

    • To use your physical Ramp card: select your virtual card in the transaction or beforehand to spend towards the professional development budget.

    • To submit a reimbursement: select the Professional Development limit when drafting your reimbursement.

To expense professional development resources over $100, employees must:

  • Consult with your manager, noting:
    • Brief description of the resource and its contribution toward your professional development;

    • Cost:
      • If the proposed expense will exceed your annual budget, your manager may need to consult with CS&S Leadership before approving.

      • Managers must communicate approvals of annual professional development budget exceptions to the Finance team after approval (email [email protected]).

Any variances from the standard annual budget will be reflected in Ramp (for leadership coaching, exceptional budget changes, or other approved variances).

  • Coaching:
    • After coaching is approved by the manager, or initiated by the employee for pre-approved coaching, the expected fiscal year cost will be added to the employee’s budget in Ramp.

    • After approval, the operations team will increase the limit in Ramp for the employee’s professional development limit including the expected fiscal year cost.

    • Coaching paid via bank transfer will be handled outside of this process.

  • Other budget variances:
    • The manager will inform the Finance team of any approved budget variances to the professional development limit. The total budget for the fiscal year will be increased in Ramp to include the approved costs.


Director of Human Resources

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