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Academic Staff Probation Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Procedure describes how supervisors and Probation Review Committees conduct probation reviews of academic staff.

Scope

(2) This Procedure applies to all academic staff involved in the probation review process.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(3) In this Procedure:

  1. Probation - is an extension of the appointment process and offers a period of mutual testing, during which time decisions on continuation of employment beyond the period of probation can be made. During a period of probation, an employee shall be required to demonstrate that he/she has satisfactorily performed the duties and responsibilities determined by the Charles Sturt University (the University) for his/her position.
  2. Academic staff - refers to employees of Charles Sturt University who are employed at Academic Levels A to E.
  3. The supervisor - is normally the Head of School for level A, B, C and D employees and normally the Executive Dean of Faculty for level E employees. The Centre Director is normally the supervisor for staff employed in Research Centres, and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) is normally the supervisor for Centre Directors.
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Section 3 - Policy

(4) Refer to the Academic Staff Probation Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Role of the supervisor

(5) The role of the supervisor in the probation process includes conducting Induction Development Plan meetings and probation reviews to:

  1. clarify duties, performance expectations, and any special requirements or conditions of appointment contained in the letter of offer;
  2. in conjunction with the employee, set objectives for the probation period, which are consistent with the standards, expectations and qualifications for the employee's classification level (see Template A in "Academic Staff Probation Portfolio Templates");
  3. in conjunction with the employee, plan appropriate professional development activities, including those required as part of the induction and probation process;
  4. in conjunction with the employee, confirm, or review and revise, the agreed objectives;
  5. provide feedback on performance and progress;
  6. provide formal counselling to address performance problems and issues raised by a Probation Review Committee; and
  7. recommend annulment if he/she or the Probation Review Committee deems the employee's performance to be unsatisfactory.

Part B - Probation Review Committees

Levels A, B and C

(6) The Probation Review Committee for level A, B and C employees will normally be comprised of the following members:

  1. the Head of School / Centre Director or nominee appointed by the Executive Dean / Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) (Presiding Officer);
  2. one employee from the School/Centre; and
  3. one member of staff external to the School/Centre (as deemed appropriate by the supervisor).

Levels D and E

(7) The Probation Review Committee for level D and E employees will normally be comprised of the following members:

  1. Vice-Chancellor or appointed nominee (Presiding Officer);
  2. a Deputy Vice-Chancellor;
  3. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) or appointed nominee;
  4. the relevant Executive Dean of Faculty (except where the Executive Dean is the subject of the probation review); and
  5. the relevant Head of School/Centre Director.

Gender balance

(8) Probation Review Committees, where possible, will have both genders represented in their membership, and normally be comprised of persons who are equal or senior in rank to that of the employee on probation.

Executive Officer

(9) The Executive Director, Human Resources (ED, HR) will, on request, appoint an employee of HR to act as an observer of process at probation reviews, and provide advice and support, as needed, to the Presiding Officer and Committee.

(10) The Executive Officer should bring matters relating to process to the notice of the Presiding Officer of the Committee and, where relevant, to the Executive Director, Human Resources (or nominee).

Role of Probation Review Committees

(11) The role of Probation Review Committees includes:

  1. reviewing and making recommendations on the assigned duties for the position occupied by the academic staff member under review;
  2. interviewing the employee to review and report on his/her performance against the probation requirements (as specified in the Academic Staff Probation Policy);
  3. advising, where appropriate, on the counselling of the employee on aspects of performance and, where any deficiency is detected, providing advice on how to remedy that deficiency; and
  4. providing guidance and support to the employee in relation to his/her duties, performance, continual professional development and career development.

Part C - FULF and EEL409

(12) If a probationary employee (other than research only) does not successfully complete the Foundations of University Learning and Teaching Program (FULT) and the subject EEL409 University Learning and Teaching in the Graduate Certificate in University Learning and Teaching course, then the Probation Review Committee determines whether to recommend re-enrolment in the program/subject and continuation of probation or annulment of the appointment.

(13) Details about FULT can be accessed from the Learning and Teaching webpage.

(14) Details about the Graduate Certificate of University Learning and Teaching are also available on the website.

Part D - Probation Review Meetings and Reports

(15) Unless waived by the University in part or in full, the timing of the probation review meetings and key events will normally be as follows:

Appointment Period Period of Probation Meeting with supervisor to set objectives and professional development Meeting with supervisor to confirm or revise objectives Committee Review
Less than 2 years 3 months Within 6 weeks of appointment Complete Template A. Prior to 3 months Complete Template E. N/A
2 years but less than 3 years 6 months 5 months Complete Template E. N/A
3 years but less than 4 years 12 months 5 months Update Template A if objectives revised. 10 months Complete Template B and Template C. Complete Template D if confirming appointment.
4 years or more Up to 18 months 12 months Complete Template B and Template C. Complete Template D if confirming appointment.
Continuing Up to 36 months 12 months 24 months 30 months (if applicable) Complete Template B and Template C. Complete Template D if confirming appointment.

(16) On advice from a Probation Review Committee, the Executive Dean of Faculty/Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) or Vice-Chancellor may decide to hold more frequent reviews that are in addition to the scheduled reviews.

(17) The review report (Template C or Template E) will include all supporting documentation, as well as a recommendation that:

  1. the probationary appointment continue to the next review; or
  2. the appointment be confirmed; or
  3. the appointment be annulled, with an appropriate period of written notice of the date of annulment, as specified in the applicable industrial agreement, or payment in lieu of part or all of such notice.

(18) The supervisor or Presiding Officer promptly completes the prescribed report (Template C or Template E) and forwards it to the employee to comment, sign and return within seven days of receipt.

(19) The following officers endorse or approve the supervisor's or Presiding Officer's recommendations:

Level Appointment Type Continuation of probation Confirmation of appointment Annulment of appointment
A, B or C Continuing or fixed term of 3 years or more Executive Dean (for teaching/research or teaching/professional employee) OR Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) (for research only employee) Executive Dean (for employee based in School or Faculty) THEN Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (for teaching/research or teaching/ professional employee) OR Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) (for research only employee) Executive Dean (for employee based in School or Faculty) THEN Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (for teaching/ research or teaching/ professional employee) OR Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) (for research only employee) THEN Vice-Chancellor
Fixed term of less than 3 years N/A Executive Dean (for teaching/research or teaching/ professional employee) OR Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) (for research only employee)
D or E Continuing or fixed term of 3 years or more Vice-Chancellor Vice-Chancellor Vice-Chancellor
Fixed term of less than 3 years N/A

(20) A flow chart of the probation process for continuing academic appointments is attached. (See Appendix 1).

Part E - Recommendation of Annulment of Appointment

(21) If a supervisor is concerned with an employee's performance, then he/she should contact the Division of Human Resources as soon as possible for advice.

(22) If annulment of appointment is recommended, then a report citing evidence shall be submitted via the Division of Human Resources to the Vice-Chancellor for approval.

Annulment Procedure

(23) If the supervisor or Probation Review Committee recommends annulment of appointment, then the employee shall be provided with a copy of the probation review report and a copy of all documentation and information that resulted in such a recommendation.

(24) The employee will be allowed a period of not less than five working days to make his/her written response to the Committee's report and recommendation.

(25) Following receipt of the employee's written response (or failure to respond by the specified deadline), the Executive Dean/Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) shall determine whether or not to endorse the Committee's recommendation and record this determination.

(26) Where the Executive Dean/Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) does not endorse a recommendation to annul the probationary appointment, then the employee's probationary appointment shall proceed in accordance with the relevant provisions of the "Academic Staff Probation Policy".

(27) If the Executive Dean endorses a recommendation to annul the probationary appointment of a level A, B or C employee based in a School or Faculty, then a copy of the report and the employee's response to the report shall be provided to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (for teaching/research and teaching/professional employees) or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) (for research only employees) for endorsement.

(28) Where the Vice-Chancellor receives a report from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) recommending annulment of a probationary appointment, then he/she shall provide the employee with a copy of the report and the opportunity to advise of any mitigating factors to be considered in making his/her decision to annul or continue the probationary appointment.

(29) The employee will be allowed a period of not less than five working days to make his/her written response to the Vice-Chancellor.

(30) On receipt of the employee's response (or failure to respond by the specified deadline), the Vice-Chancellor will make a decision on the annulment or continuation of the employee's probationary appointment and advise the employee in writing of that decision.

(31) The Vice-Chancellor's decision shall be final and not subject to internal review or appeal.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(32) Refer to the Academic Staff Probation Guidelines .