Outside Insight - External Job Shadowing

The scheme entails spending time with and observing the work of a member of staff in a department or role of interest in another institution in order to gain insight into work in that area. The duration of the visit can vary between half a day and two days.

The scheme has 2 application cycles per calendar year: one in the Autumn Term and one in the Spring/Summer Term.


Outside Insight is a London Inter-institution work shadowing scheme that gives you the opportunity to engage with practical career and professional development in a way that allows you to have a wider appreciation, share and bring back knowledge, of work practices from other institutions.

Benefits of participating in the scheme include:

  • refreshed perspective and greater insight into other roles, departments, ways of working and institutions,
  • cost effective career and professional development,
  • staff can take ownership of their own development,
  • both parties (person doing the shadowing and the person being shadowed) and their institutions benefit from sharing knowledge and good practice,
  • staff have the opportunity to reflect on their own work practices and possibly highlight areas for change,
  • enhances career progression – spending time with a manager at next level up (for example) will give a deeper understanding of the skills, knowledge and experience required for that role,
  • allows staff to compare leadership styles, procedures and systems, organisational structure and raise awareness of what is working well and what could work better.


Job shadowing entails spending time with and observing the work of another member of staff in a department or role of interest in order to gain insight into work in that area. It can also be used to provide an individual within a department the opportunity to work alongside more experienced colleagues so they can learn and develop within their current role.


For more information please visit the Outside Insight scheme page. 



Staff must have passed their probationary period before applying to shadow someone and must obtain their line managers’ agreement for them to participate.

If you are interested in applying to participate in Outside Insight you will need to complete an application form  [4pgs, 124KB] and return to osd@london.ac.uk.  

The deadline for applications is the 7th November 2016.



Confidentiality will be treated as a priority. Organisational knowledge and information gained during participation in Outside Insight which under any conditions would be deemed to be confidential will remain confidential between the parties but also no information that could be to the detriment of either party will be shared with others as in Principle 3.

All parties agree to adhere to the Principles of Outside Insight and Data Protection.

To ensure that you get the most out of the work shadowing experience you should consider the following questions which will also help you complete the application form:

  • What do you want to get out of the experience?
  • What are your overall aims and objectives for wishing to undertake this visit? For example: specific knowledge, skills and experience
  • Are there any specific aspects of the role that you are especially interested in finding out about?
  • Do you have any particular questions that you want to find the answers to?
  • How will the work shadowing experience fit with your development needs generally?
  • How will you use the information you have learnt in your own work?
  • What would be the ideal timing and duration of your visit?

Please look at the websites of the partner institutions when deciding which institution you would like to visit.  This will give you a better idea of what each institution offers, any specialisms they may have and where they are located.