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Academic Staff Probation Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This procedure supports the Academic Staff Probation Policy and provides information about probation review processes.

Scope

(2) See the Academic Staff Probation Policy.

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Section 2 - Policy

(3) See the Academic Staff Probation Policy.

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Section 3 - Procedures

Probation review meetings and reports

(4) Unless waived by the University in part or in full, the timing of the probation review meetings and key events will normally align to the timeframes set out in the following table. The Division of People and Culture will normally notify the employee and supervisor that a meeting is due and provide links to the templates required, six weeks prior to the date.

Appointment period Probation period Initial objective setting Objective progress review Probation review meetings
Fixed term, up to three years Six months
Within six weeks of appointment
Complete template ‘Initial objectives'
NA
Five months (supervisor only)
Complete template:
‘Fixed-term staff members report’
Fixed term, more than three years but less than four years 12 months
Five months
Review and update template 'Initial objectives' if objectives revised
10 months (supervisor only)
Complete template:
‘Fixed-term staff members report’
Fixed term, 4 years or more 18 months
15 months (supervisor only)
Complete template:
‘Fixed-term staff members report’
Continuing 24 months
12 months (committee)
21 months (committee)
For each review, complete templates:
‘Staff member’s report’
‘Probation committee report’
Continuing 36 months, at employee request    
12 months (committee)
24 months (committee)
30 months, if applicable (committee)
For each review, complete templates:
‘Staff member’s report’
‘Probation committee report’

(5) Notwithstanding the timeframes above, an academic staff member may request an earlier review if they believe they can demonstrate that the probation requirements as set out in the Academic Staff Probation Policy are fulfilled.

Initial objective setting

(6) Within six weeks of commencing in the position, the employee and their supervisor will meet and set objectives and professional development activities as appropriate to:

  1. the duties, responsibilities and expectations of the position
  2. the induction requirements for the position and the organisational unit
  3. the minimum probation requirements stated in the Academic Staff Probation Policy, and
  4. any special conditions for confirmation that have been identified for the employee in the offer of employment.

(7) The ‘Initial objectives’ template must be completed and signed by the employee and the supervisor, and a copy retained by each until the next objective review meeting.

Objective progress review meetings

(8) The employee and their supervisor will meet to review progress against the objectives set during the initial objective setting meeting. At this meeting, the supervisor will:

  1. in conjunction with the employee, confirm or revise the agreed objectives
  2. provide feedback on performance and progress.

Probation review meetings

(9) All academic staff will have one or more probation review meetings, either with their supervisor or a probation review committee:

  1. See clause 4 for the timing of these reviews.
  2. See clause 30 for information about probation review committees.

(10) The supervisor is responsible for the coordination of meetings and convening a probation review committee (if required).

(11) Where a probation review committee is convened, the academic staff member must complete and submit the ‘Staff member’s report’ template at least two weeks prior to the meeting.

(12) At a probation review meeting, the supervisor or probation review committee will:

  1. review and make recommendations on the duties and objectives assigned to the employee
  2. allow the employee to review and report on their performance against the minimum probation requirements (as specified in the Academic Staff Probation Policy) and any special conditions for confirmation of appointment (as specified in the offer of employment) and any areas where support or advice is needed
  3. provide feedback to the employee about the strengths of their performance and areas where further development and/or improvement are required in order to meet probationary requirements
  4. ensure that 'advisory' and 'conditional' statements identified in the offer of employment or any previous reports (if applicable) are addressed
  5. check progress on the employee's professional development plan, and identify professional development activities and/or resources that the employee, supervisor or the committee believes are necessary to enhance the employee's performance and career opportunities, and
  6. explain to the employee the process for developing the recommendation, writing the report and obtaining approval (including timelines).

(13) After meeting with the employee, the supervisor or probation review committee will:

  1. consider the details of the employee's performance for the review period, with regards to the following:
    1. all relevant documents relating to the appointment
    2. reports provided by the employee
    3. comments and feedback provided by the supervisor (for committees)
    4. relevant teaching evaluations
    5. research outputs consistent with the University’s research productivity index
    6. equity related matters (the assessment advice provided in the Academic Promotion Guidelines may also be considered for probation purposes)
    7. other relevant documents submitted by the employee
    8. the employee’s responses to questions asked during the meeting and other evidence addressed during the meeting
  2. if the necessary subjects from the Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education have not been completed, consider recommending re-enrolment in the program/subject and continuation of probation             
  3. determine which of the following outcomes to recommend:
    1. continue probation (subject to the duration of the probation period)
    2. confirm appointment, or
    3. terminate appointment.

(14) The supervisor or presiding officer must provide a copy of the completed report and recommendation to the employee, who will be allowed a period of not less than five working days to make their written response to the report and recommendation.

(15) The supervisor or presiding officer will complete and sign the probation review report and submit this and the employee's response (if received by the specified deadline) for approval as per clause 18.

(16) The supervisor or presiding officer must provide copies of the completed and approved reports to the Division of People and Culture as soon as possible.

Additional reviews

(17) On advice from a probation review committee, the delegated officer (as set out in clause 18) may approve more frequent reviews that are in addition to the scheduled reviews.

Approvals

(18) The supervisor's or probation review committee’s recommendations must be sent to the delegated officer for approval. See Delegation Schedule B - People and Culture for approval authorities to:

  1. continue probation appointments (e.g. authority to approve probationary period (including waivers)
  2. confirm probationary appointments
  3. terminate probationary appointments.

Confirmation of appointment

(19) Once the employee's appointment is confirmed, further development and performance will be managed under the Performance Planning, Development and Review (PPDR), and a new objective setting meeting should be held within four weeks of completing probation.

Termination of appointment

(20) If a supervisor is concerned with an employee's performance, they should contact the Division of People and Culture as soon as possible for advice.

(21) If termination of appointment is recommended, a report citing evidence will be submitted via the Division of People and Culture to the delegated officer for approval.

(22) If the supervisor or probation review committee recommends terminating an appointment, the employee will:

  1. be provided with a copy of the probation review report and a copy of all documentation and information that resulted in such a recommendation, and
  2. be allowed a period of not less than five working days to make their written response to the report and recommendation.

(23) The probation review report and the employee's written response (if received by the specified deadline) will be submitted to the relevant Band 7 delegate, who will (in writing) endorse or refuse the recommendation.

(24) Where the relevant Band 7 refuses the recommendation to terminate the appointment, the employee's probationary appointment shall continue, with approval as per clause 18.

(25) Where the delegated officer receives the recommendation to terminate a probationary appointment they will provide the employee with a copy of the report and the opportunity to advise of any mitigating factors to be considered in making the decision to terminate or continue the probationary appointment.

(26) The employee will be allowed a period of not less than five working days to make a written response to the delegated approver.

(27) On receipt of the employee's response (or failure to respond by the specified deadline), the delegated approver will make a decision on the termination of appointment or continuation of the employee's probationary appointment and advise the employee in writing of that decision.

(28) The delegated approver’s decision is final and not subject to internal review or appeal.

Probation review committee membership

(29) Probation review committees will be convened, as required, by the employee’s supervisor, and will normally be comprised of the following members:

Employee’s academic staff level Committee membership
Levels A-C
  1. The supervisor (presiding officer)
  2. One employee from the school/centre*
  3. One member of staff external to the school/centre* (as deemed appropriate by the supervisor)
Levels D-E
  1. Executive Dean/relevant Band 7 (presiding officer)
  2. Supervisor
  3. One employee from the school/centre*
  4. One member of staff external to the school/centre* (as deemed appropriate by the Executive Dean/relevant Band 7)
*Committee members should normally be at a level equal or senior in rank to the employee on probation and, as far as is practicable, have at least 40% female members and at least 40% male members.

First Nations employees may request that the committee membership be adjusted to ensure the committee has an understanding of First Nations’ focused achievements.

(30) The Executive Director, People and Culture will, on request, appoint an employee of the Division of People and Culture to act as an observer of process at probation reviews, and provide advice to the presiding officer and committee and, where relevant, to the Executive Director, People and Culture (or nominee).

(31) The presiding officer will ensure:

  1. that all members are familiar with the Academic Staff Probation Policy and this procedure
  2. that all members have the information they need to participate in the review meeting including:
    1. the name of the employee
    2. the review period (e.g. first, second, third meeting)
    3. relevant conditions attached to the appointment
    4. a copy of the employee's probation report (Staff member’s report)
    5. other information from the employee's probation portfolio as provided by the Division of People and Culture),
  3. the members have discussed the probation criteria and prepared the types of questions to be asked and by whom
  4. that members are asked to disclose any potential, perceived or actual conflict of interest and that these are reported and managed in accordance with the Conflict of Interest Procedure, and
  5. time is allowed for consideration of any procedural issues before proceeding with the meeting.
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Section 4 - Guidelines

(32) Nil.

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Section 5 - Glossary

(33) See the Academic Staff Probation Policy.