AUDE Work Shadowing guidance/FAQs

What is the AUDE work shadowing programme?

AUDE’s work shadowing programme allows members to develop their career through on-the-job learning. It allows an individual specifically from estates and FM in one institution to work alongside and gain experience of the role of another individual either within their own institution or from within one of the 186 member institutions of AUDE. It can benefit full time and part time members at any stage of their career.

This initiative offers unique career development opportunities and we encourage members to get involved. The programme requires hosts to volunteer their time to help another member progress their learning and career. They can take place in person or virtually depending on any restrictions in place.


The main aims of the work shadowing programme

The overarching objective of AUDE’s work shadowing programme is to support aspects of personal resilience and enhance succession planning within sector.

The main benefits of the work shadowing programme


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Main roles in job shadowing

The line manager

For potential guests: as part of your usual professional development process, individuals may discuss job shadowing as either a way of developing their current role or as part of their career development into a different role. The line manager will agree with them what this will look like and how much time can be allowed for this activity. Your line manager should at this stage be made aware of the AUDE work shadowing programme and you should both agree if this is the best way forward to develop your career. Your own institution may have a similar work shadowing programme for you to consider.

For potential hosts: before registering as an AUDE work shadow host we recommend you discuss the opportunity with your line manager. The line manager will agree with you what this will look like and how much time can be allowed for this activity. Your line manager should at this stage be made aware of the AUDE work shadowing programme and you should both agree for you to register as a host.


The host

A host is the person who agrees to be shadowed. This role does involve some preparation and thought and is not just about having someone follow you around for an agreed time span. A host needs to consider if the time requested is the best time for the shadowing to take place and how long each period of shadowing should be for. They will also need to take into consideration their work obligations and ensure that the shadowing experience does not get in the way of their day to day responsibilities.

The guest

A guest needs to consider why they are doing the shadowing and, what they hope to achieve. They will also need to do some preparation which will involve working with their line manager or the host prior to the shadowing to set objectives for the sessions. Following the shadowing its important to review and discuss outcomes and what happens next.


How to meet a guest or host within AUDE

The AUDE website allows hosts and guests to register themselves to be involved in the programme and contact suitable members, click here for details.


Different types of work shadowing

Observation – “fly on the wall”
As a visitor/guest you will spend the agreed period of time observing the day to day work of your host. This may involve a range of activities such as attending meetings, watching interactions with customers, etc. In fact it should be a typical representation of what the “host” individual does on a daily basis. This type of shadowing works best when a visitor/guest is looking to gain a greater understanding of what the host’s job role actually consists of. So, for example, if someone is considering a career change but isn’t quite sure if they fully understand what is involved in that role doing some job shadowing will give them the opportunity to explore this further. The host will provide opportunities for questions and a de-brief to ensure that both parties benefit from the shadowing.

Regular Briefings – “Burst Interactions”
Here a visitor/guest will shadow the host for specific activities over a period of time which are all preceded by a mini brief and follow up debrief. This works best when individuals work near to the host and the host can then advise them of dates and times of specific activities which are of value in understanding the role of the host. This type of shadowing provides short periods of focused activity, rather than passive ongoing observation. However it needs careful timing and planning if it is not to become disruptive.

Hands On – “job sharing”
This is an extension of the observation model, where the visitor/guest starts to undertake some of the tasks they have observed. This provides the visitor/guest with hands on experience of the role whilst having the safety net of being closely supervised by the host. This is not always possible and would need to be discussed on a case by case basis between the host and the visitor/guest.

Expectations of host


Expectations of guest


Key Consideration before work shadowing

For the guest and line manager to record

For the guest to consider and record

For the guest and host to consider and record?


Practical considerations





During the work shadow activities

Guests should prepare to ask their hosts questions to understand their role better such as:


General questions

Job Pros & Cons


The job itself


After the work shadowing activities

For the guest and their line manager to reflect on and record

For the guest to reflect on and record

For the guest and host to consider and record


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