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Academic Staff Probation Guideline - Review Committee and Supervisors

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) These Guidelines describe how to implement the Academic Staff Probation Policy and Procedure . It is particularly designed to assist Heads of School, Centre Directors and the Division of Human Resources to administer academic probation effectively and efficiently.


(2) These Guidelines apply to supervisors of academic staff, Probation Review Committees and the Division of Human Resources.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(3) Nil.

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Section 3 - Policy

(4) Refer to the Academic Staff Probation Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(5) Refer to the Academic Staff Probation Procedure.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

Part A - Division of Human Resources Responsibilities

(6) Ensure that probation requirements (e.g. the length of the probation period) and any conditions (e.g. attendance at Tertiary Teaching Colloquium and Foundations of University Learning and Teaching) are clearly stated in the letter of offer and that they are reasonably attainable within the probation period.

(7) Notify employees and the Head of School/Centre Director six weeks prior to the review date that a review meeting is due, and provide a link to the Academic Staff Probation Portfolio Templates document.

Part B - Head of School/Centre Director Responsibilities at Pre-interview Stage

(8) Ensure that the Academic Probation Review Committee is properly constituted as described in the Academic Staff Probation Procedure.

(9) Ensure that all members of the Probation Review Committee are familiar with the Academic Staff Probation Policy and Academic Staff Probation Procedure.

(10) Confirm the following with the Probation Review Committee:

  1. name of employee to be reviewed;
  2. review period (first, second, others);
  3. any relevant conditions attached to the employee's letter of appointment and expectations for meeting these conditions;
  4. that all members have a copy of the employee's probation report, completed on the prescribed Template B in Academic Staff Probation Portfolio Templates); and
  5. that the Division of Human Resources representative has brought the employee's Probation Portfolio from the personal file stored in the Division of Human Resources to the meeting.

(11) Discuss the probation criterion areas, and types of questions to be covered and by whom.

(12) Allow time for consideration of any procedural issues before proceeding with the interview.

Part C - Probation Review Committee Responsibilities at Interview Stage

(13) The Presiding Officer of the Committee welcomes the employee to the interview and introduces members of the Committee.

(14) The Presiding Officer outlines to the employee the purpose of the interview, the review procedure, and the role of each committee member and the Division of Human Resources representative (Executive Officer).

(15) Each committee member in turn discusses the agreed criterion area with the employee, seeking clarification, elaboration or evidence as required.

(16) Ensure that 'advisory' and 'conditional' statements identified in the letter of appointment or any previous reports (if applicable) are addressed.

(17) Provide feedback to the employee about the strengths of his/her performance and areas where further development and/or improvement are required in order to meet probationary requirements.

(18) Provide the employee with the opportunity to comment on areas where support or advice is needed.

(19) Check progress on the employee's professional development plan.

(20) Identify professional development activities and/or resources that the employee or the committee believes are necessary to enhance the employee's performance and career opportunities.

(21) Explain to the employee the process for developing the recommendation, writing the report and obtaining approval (including timelines).

Part D - Probation Review Committee Responsibilities at Post Interview Stage

(22) Discuss the details of the employee's performance for the review period, taking the following into consideration:

  1. all relevant documents relating to the appointment;
  2. reports made by employee;
  3. reports made by the supervisor;
  4. relevant teaching evaluations;
  5. other relevant documents submitted by the employee;
  6. responses to interview questions; and
  7. other evidence addressed during the interview.

(23) Agree on a recommended outcome (i.e. continued probation, confirmation of appointment or annulment).

(24) The Presiding Officer completes and signs the Probation Review Committee Report (Template C in Academic Staff Probation Portfolio Templates). The report should be clear and concise, reflect the Committee's discussion, and give reasons for the Committee's recommendation.

(25) If confirmation is recommended, then the Presiding Officer completes and signs the Confirmation of Appointment form (Template D in Academic Staff Probation Portfolio Templates), and attaches it to the Probation Review Committee Report (Template C).

Part E - Head of School/Centre Director Administrative Responsibilities

(26) Ensure the employee is informed of the outcome of the review and issued with the Committee's report as soon as possible.

(27) Ensure a copy of the probation review report is sent to Division of Human Resources for inclusion in the Probation Portfolio on the employee's personal file.

Part F - Division of Human Resources Notification of Employee

(28) The Executive Director, Human Resources advises the employee of the outcome of the probation review.

Part G - Head of School/Centre Director Further Actions

(29) If continuation of probation has been recommended, then meet with the employee to review the statement of objectives for the next probation review meeting.

(30) If applicable, seek advice from the Director, Workplace Relations and Policy on any potential employment issues related to the probation review.

(31) If the employee's appointment is confirmed, then conduct a performance management meeting within four weeks of completing probation. NOTE: This performance planning meeting should be informed by the final probation review.