The EACEP seeks to address the development needs of permanent and contract staff. It is acknowledged, however, that some universities use high numbers of contract staff, often on relatively poor employment conditions and with high teaching loads, with little access to developmental opportunities or career advancement opportunities. With appropriate support and access to development opportunities, this pool of staff can be developed towards full positions as permanently employed academics at institutions.

The development of existing contract and permanent staff can take place through supporting them to complete a formal qualification, for example a Master's or doctorate in their disciplinary area, if this is not yet in place, or the completion of formal courses linked to a qualification such as a Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education, or through participation in a range of non-formal development activities offered at institutional level.

Development support for this category of staff will be provided through enabling their formal, contract-bound participation on the SSAU Development Programme.