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Recruitment, Selection and Appointment Procedure - Probation and confirmation of academic appointment
At Monash University, all new continuing and fixed-term academic staff appointed up to Level D (Associate Professor), are subject to a probationary period in accordance with Clause 58 of the Monash University Enterprise Agreement (Academic and Professional Staff) 2009.
The review of a probationary academic staff member's progress during the probationary period is managed through the Academic Performance Development Process and in accordance with this procedure. The achievements of academic staff members during the probation period are assessed relative to the particular circumstances of their career progression and the opportunities which have been available to them.
This procedure applies to all Level A to D continuing and fixed term academic staff, including education-focused staff and research-only staff. It does not apply to casual, sessional, adjunct and conjoint appointees.
Academic performance development process: is a planning and review cycle that supports staff to reach their full career potential and to achieve their work goals through:
The process operates on a three year forward planning cycle that allows annual adjustments for changing priorities and circumstances. The process is intended to be a dynamic and interactive one between staff and supervisors which encourages trust and regular, open communication.
The process is coordinated with the University’s planning cycle to effectively align individual goals with faculty and University objectives.
Academic performance standards: are faculty or discipline specific performance standards for all academic staff against which academic performance will be measured, particularly for the purpose of probation, promotion and performance development. The standards are qualitative, quantitative or a mixture of both across the three key areas of academic activity - research, education and service. They include identified minimum performance standards, below which the staff member would be managed for unsatisfactory performance in accordance with the Staff Development Procedure – Managing Unsatisfactory Performance: Academic Staff.
Academic performance supervisor: see definition for Supervisor
Achievement(s) relative to opportunity: is an evaluative framework in which the overall quality and impact of achievements is given more weight than the quantity, rate or breadth of particular achievements. Assessing achievements relative to opportunity involves giving consideration to circumstances, arrangements, career histories and overall time available to the staff member. This in turn allows appropriate evaluation of achievements in relation to:
Achievement relative to opportunity is a positive acknowledgement of what a staff member can and has achieved given the opportunities available and is not about providing “special consideration” or expecting lesser standards of performance.
Appointment Review Committee: is a Committee responsible for determining whether to confirm, not confirm or extend the probationary period of continuing staff and teaching and research staff on fixed-term contracts of three years or greater in length. The composition of the Appointment Review Committees is outlined in Section 7 of this procedure.
Enterprise Agreement: is the Monash University Enterprise Agreement (Academic and Professional Staff) 2009.
GCAP: means the Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (GCAP) which is a certification aimed at providing participants with applied skills in teaching and research. Staff appointed to the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences may be required to undertake the Graduate Certificate in Health Professional Education during the probation period instead of the GCAP. Further information on the GCAP can be found on the website of the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching).
Head of unit: is the academic head of unit/school/department/centre or, where applicable, a person acting as his or her nominee. If there are no heads of unit within the faculty, a Deputy Dean or equivalent may be delegated the head of unit’s responsibilities for the academic probation process.
HR Business Partner: is a member of the Monash HR community who operates as a strategic partner responsible for providing a range of human resources services for an assigned Faculty or administrative Division.
Letter of offer: is the letter sent to a successful candidate for employment at the University which offers them employment on certain terms and conditions.
Performance Development Online (PDO):is an online performance planning tool that supports academic staff to manage the performance development cycle in a timely and consistent way. It is a hosted, web-based product that offers a secure repository for documentation, streamlines user data entry via SAP and ROPES feeds and gives heads of unit and Deans oversight of unit/faculty performance development activity.
Performance development plan: is a planning template for academic staff to record three-year career and performance plans, strategies, annual achievement indicators and achievements. The template is accessible via the Performance Development Online (PDO) system.
Performance development portfolio: is evidence or material that supports the staff member’s claims of progress made and goals achieved such as awards received, articles published, SETU data, books written and any other relevant evidence. These documents may be stored electronically within the Portfolio Attachments section of the staff member’s PDO plan.
Period of notice: except in cases of serious misconduct or other legal requirement, the period of notice required for termination is one-sixth of the staff member's probationary period up to a maximum of six months. If any period of notice of termination given extends beyond the period of probation, the employment will nevertheless end on the expiry of the period of probation. Further, any payment in lieu of notice will not include any payment referable to a period of employment after the expiry of the period of probation. Refer to Clause 58, Monash University Enterprise Agreement (Academic and Professional Staff) 2009.
Probation Period: the relevant period of probation as referred to in Clause 58, Monash University Enterprise Agreement (Academic and Professional Staff) 2009. Probation periods are based on periods of service. The standard period of probation for continuing staff is 3 years service which may be extended by up to a further 2 years of service.
Relevant decision maker: for the purposes of this procedure, is the person or body responsible for making the decision to confirm, not confirm or extend the probationary period of a probationary staff member. The relevant decision makers in this procedure are:
Required performance standard:
ROPES: the Researcher's Online Project Enquiry System (ROPES) displays researchers' current research activities, past outputs and profiling information and enables them to establish collaborative links with their fellows. ROPES autopopulates the relevant fields of the PDO system nightly to ensure an accurate summary of research outputs is maintained for each academic staff member. The ROPES data includes research achievements for the past three years, as entered on Research Master 4.
Selection Panel: a panel of staff responsible for the recruitment and selection of a new staff member in accordance with the University’s recruitment procedures and guidelines.
Supervisor (or academic performance supervisor): is the person who is responsible for managing the performance of a staff member. This will be the immediate academic line manager, unless the University nominates an alternative supervisor at Level C or above. The supervisor must be trained to effectively perform his or her role in the performance development process. Where a staff member has two or more supervisors, one should be nominated as the primary supervisor.
All new continuing and fixed-term academic staff appointed up to Level D (Associate Professor or Reader), are subject to a probationary period in accordance with Clause 58 of the Monash University Enterprise Agreement (Academic and Professional Staff) 2009.
As part of the recruitment process for new academic staff, the Selection Panel must make the successful candidate aware of the requirements s/he will be expected to meet during the probation period.
All continuing teaching and research staff and teaching and research staff on fixed-term contracts of 3 years or more are required to complete the GCAP during the probation period. In some circumstances, new staff may be exempted from this requirement should the Selection Committee Panel assess his/her past qualifications and/or experience as being equivalent to that of the outcomes of the GCAP. The Selection Committee Panel’s decision on the requirement to complete the GCAP (or exemption) is recorded in the Notification of GCAP Requirement form [Word] [PDF] and must be endorsed by the Dean. Should a staff member be required to undertake a doctorate as a condition of probation, the requirement to complete the GCAP is suspended until the completion of the doctorate.
The completed Notification of GCAP Requirement form [Word] [PDF] is provided to the HR Business Partner who uses this information as part of the process of generating the letter of offer. The letter of offer includes information on probation conditions including the requirement to:
For more information on this process, please see the Recruitment Guidelines.
Research-only staff and teaching and research staff on contracts of less than 3 years are exempt from having to complete the GCAP however supervisors or heads of unit may request that these staff undertake the GCAP. In order to request this, a notification of GCAP Requirement form must be completed and provided to the HR Business Partner in sufficient time for the requirement to be included in the letter of offer.
Commencement of employment
Upon commencement at the University the staff member will be informed of the name of his or her designated academic performance supervisor.
Within the first month of the staff member’s commencement, the supervisor and staff member should meet to discuss and confirm:
Following this initial meeting, the staff member should begin to formulate his or her performance plan and portfolio within the Performance Development Online (PDO) system. This process should include the input of the staff member’s publications data into ROPES.
As part of the Academic Performance Development Process, the supervisor should meet with the probationary staff member to formalise his or her performance development portfolio within three months (and no later than six months) after the staff member’s commencement with the University. This meeting helps to further clarify and review the expectations of the staff member’s performance during the probation period.
Probationary staff members are required to include a goal specifically requiring the staff member to achieve the conditions of probation within their performance development plan. This is included in the 3 year goal tab of PDO. This will ensure that the staff member and the academic performance supervisor discuss and review the staff member’s progress towards meeting the conditions of probation throughout the probationary period.
Performance development and review during the probation period
The review of a probationary staff member's progress during the probationary period and the goals that must be met are managed through the Academic Performance Development Process, as detailed in Clause 59 of the Monash University Enterprise Agreement (Academic and Professional Staff) 2009 or, where applicable, the relevant AWA Terms and Benefits Policy.
As part of the Academic Performance Development Process, the supervisor and probationary staff member are required to have a mid-cycle and end of year performance review. The supervisor will also meet regularly with the probationary staff member to review the staff member’s performance and provide feedback throughout the year. The mid-cycle review meeting is compulsory for all probationary staff members and must be completed and reflected in PDO within the June to August timeframe.
If a supervisor has concerns with the performance and ability of the staff member in meeting the required performance standard, s/he is encouraged to contact the relevant HR Business Partner for advice.
Leave during the Probation Period
The following periods of leave do not count as service and therefore the probation period does not operate during these periods.
Other periods of leave during the probation period will count as service in accordance with the particular circumstances outlined in clause 34.5 of the Enterprise Agreement and form part of the probation period.
In circumstances where a staff member takes a period of leave that does not count as service and therefore does not form part of the probation period, the "deferred" probation end date will be confirmed with the staff member at the time of taking the leave. This will assist in ensuring that the probation period accurately reflects the period of recognised service.
The staff member may still seek early confirmation of appointment if the staff member satisfies the criteria outlined in the “Reduction of probation period” section below.
Promotion during the Probation Period
Where a staff member is successful in gaining promotion during his or her probationary period the staff member should provide the letter advising of the promotion along with his or her case for confirmation (see Section 6 below) to the relevant decision maker.
If the relevant decision maker decides that the probationary conditions have already been met, the probationary period ends on the date of the promotion.
If the relevant decision maker decides that the probationary conditions have not been met (for example staff member has yet to complete the GCAP), the outstanding probationary conditions will continue to apply at the time of the promotion taking effect.
Reduction of probation period
In an exceptional case where the new staff member is:
the head of unit may recommend to the Dean that an appointment be confirmed prior to the conclusion of the normal probationary period.
The minimum period of probation will be one year's service and, unless the staff member is research-only, will include at least one semester of teaching.
Prior to the recommendation, the head of unit will:
The Dean, if satisfied that confirmation is timely, may then recommend the confirmation to the appropriate Appointment Review Committee for consideration and decision in accordance with these procedures.
In the case of research-only staff and teaching and research staff on fixed-term contracts of less than 3 years, the Dean will endorse recommendations for early confirmation.
Appointment review and confirmation process - Continuing Staff and Teaching and Research Staff on fixed-term contracts of 3 years of more.
The relevant HR Business Partner will be notified by HR Operations of upcoming probation end dates one year prior to each probation end date.
The HR Business Partner will then work with the head of unit to initiate a formal review of the staff member's progress at least six months before the end of the probation period (or six months before the end of the extended probationary period, where applicable) to determine whether or not a recommendation should be made for the staff member's appointment to be confirmed.
The HR Business Partner will:
This should happen at least three months before the scheduled Appointment Review Committee meeting to ensure the staff member is given sufficient time to assemble evidence in support of confirmation of appointment. The staff member will use the Request for Confirmation Form to build his or her case in support of confirmation of appointment and should utilise the evidence that he or she has developed within his or her performance development portfolio.
The staff member should ensure that he or she outlines any relevant personal circumstances in the Request for Confirmation Form [Word] [PDF]. Relevant personal circumstances may include any period of parental leave taken during the probation period, any absences due to ill-health or injury and/or any periods of part-time work. Divulging relevant personal circumstances will enable the Appointment Review Committee to assess the staff member’s achievements relative to opportunity. This personal information will only be used for the purposes of making a holistic and contextual assessment of the staff member’s achievements and will be kept confidential at all times.
The staff member must submit his or her completed for Request for Confirmation Form and all accompanying documentation (including his or her performance development plan) to the head of unit for his or her consideration at least two weeks prior to the relevant Appointment Review Committee meeting.
The head of unit will indicate on the Request for Confirmation Form [Word] [PDF] whether s/he considers that the staff member should be confirmed. Before making this recommendation, the head of unit will consult:
Upon completion, the head of unit will return the Request for Confirmation Form [Word] [PDF] and its attachments to the relevant HR Business Partner who will refer it to the appropriate Appointment Review Committee.
Should the head of unit feel that the staff member has not met the conditions of probation the head of unit should contact the relevant HR Business Partner in advance of the review stage of probation for advice. The HR Business Partner will ensure that s/he seeks the advice of Workplace Relations in providing advice.
Constitution of Appointment Review Committees
The HR Business Partner will convene the relevant committee on the date specified in the original notification letter sent to the staff member. All members of the Committee should be provided with a copy of the staff member’s Request for Confirmation Form [Word] [PDF] and it’s attachments in advance of the committee meeting.
All Appointment Review Committees must be as close to equal gender representation as reasonably practicable, with a minimum of one-third representation of each gender.
Appointment reviews for staff at Levels A, B and C are referred to a Faculty Academic Appointment Review Committee. The members of this committee are:
Appointment reviews for staff at Level D are referred to the Level D Appointment Review Committee. The members of this committee are:
A representative from Monash HR, will provide procedural and secretarial support for each Committee meeting.
Where the appointment sought is for a Clinical Associate Professor, the committee membership will include at least one representative of the clinical discipline.
Probationary staff members being reviewed will be invited and encouraged to attend the committee meeting.
Consideration and Decision by Appointment Review Committee
The appropriate Appointment Review Committee will consider the recommendation of the head of unit and the accompanying information. The Committee will assess the staff member’s achievements relative to opportunity (see Guidelines for Decision-Makers on Assessing Achievement Relative to Opportunity). Where necessary, the Committee may seek further information as it deems fit from the staff member and relevant head of unit as well as academic colleagues focusing on the key tasks of the position, conditions of probation and the staff member's current level of appointment.
After considering the recommendation of the head of unit and the accompanying information, the Appointment Review Committee will decide whether to:
There is no guarantee that a staff member's appointment will be confirmed.
Appointment review and confirmation process - All Research-Only Staff and Teaching and Research Staff on fixed term contracts of less than three years
HR Operations will notify the HR Business Partner of upcoming probation end dates for research-only staff and teaching and research staff on fixed-term contracts of less than 3 years at least six months prior to each probation end date. In cases where the probation period is less than six months, the HR Business Partner will be notified of the upcoming end date as soon as practicable.
The HR Business Partner will give written notice to the staff member of the forthcoming review of the staff member's probation status. If the staff member has any relevant personal circumstances that s/he would like the decision makers to take into account in assessing the staff memberís achievements relative to opportunity, s/he should make the head of unit aware of these circumstances. Relevant personal circumstances may include any period of parental leave taken during the probation period, any absences due to ill-health or injury and/or any periods of part-time work.
The HR Business Partner will work with the head of unit to initiate a review of the staff member's progress . The head of unit may consult with the following, as relevant:
In the case of research-only staff, the relevant Chief Investigator (CI) will be consulted and will provide their recommendation using the Fixed Term Probation Review Report.
If the head of unit requires further information in order to make an informed recommendation, the head of unit may request that the staff member complete the Request for Confirmation Form.
The head of unit will then consider the staff memberís case, taking into account any divulged relevant personal circumstances, and will make a recommendation to:
As soon as it becomes apparent that the head of unit may recommend an extension or non-confirmation, the head of unit must contact the relevant HR Business Partner. The HR Business Partner will liaise with Workplace Relations in order to provide appropriate advice and support to the head of unit.
For all outcomes, the head of unit will record the recommendation in the Fixed Term Probation Review Report and submit the report to the Dean (or nominee) for endorsement. The recommendation should be made at least three months prior to the probation end date.
Once endorsed, the report will be submitted to the HR Business Partner. The HR Business Partner will then notify the staff member of the outcome at least one month prior to the probation end date.
8.1 Confirmation of appointment
The relevant decision maker will confirm an appointment if the staff member:
The relevant decision maker ’s decision will be forwarded to the HR Business Partner who will notify the staff member in writing.
8.2 Extension of probationary period
If the relevant decision maker finds that the staff member has not:
during his or her initial probation, the relevant decision maker may recommend an extension of the probationary period. Such extensions will be for a single period not exceeding two years or two-thirds of the initial probationary period if lesser.
The HR Business Partner, on the advice of Workplace Relations, will notify the staff member of the committee’s decision to extend the probation period in writing. The notification will clearly state the performance and development requirements that need to be met during the extended probationary period for the appointment to be confirmed.
Before the end of any extended period of probation, the relevant decision maker may:
8.3 Non-confirmation of appointment
Where the relevant decision maker decides that the appointment of a staff member should not be confirmed before the end of the probationary period or any subsequent probationary period extension, notification is sent to the Director of Workplace Relations. The staff member will then be notified by the Director of Workplace Relations giving reason for the decision.
To ensure consistency and avoid confusion, faculties should not separately notify staff members in writing.
The employment of a probationary staff member who does not meet the goals and objectives of the position may be terminated by the giving of the appropriate period of notice, or payment in lieu, during or upon completion of the probationary period.
If the appointment of a staff member is not confirmed, the staff member has the right to appeal to a Probationary Review Appeals Committee in accordance with clause 58.11 of the Monash University Enterprise Agreement (Academic and Professional Staff) 2009.
Probationary review appeals
The staff member will be invited to submit written and oral evidence. A person chosen by the staff member other than a practicing barrister or solicitor may accompany a staff member who wishes to appear in person before the committee.
The Probationary Review Appeals Committee has the right to seek further information as it thinks fit.
Vice-Chancellor: as the chairperson of the Probationary Review Appeals Committee, the Vice-Chancellor or nominee is responsible for ensuring that committee members carry out a fair, confidential and objective assessment of applications for confirmation of appointment.
Dean: as the chairperson of the Level D Appointment Review Committee or the Faculty Academic Appointment Review Committee, the Dean is responsible for ensuring that committee members carry out a fair, confidential and objective assessment of applications for confirmation of appointment.
Head of unit: the head of unit is responsible for:
If there are no heads of unit within the faculty, a Deputy Dean or equivalent may be delegated the head of unit’s responsibilities for the confirmation of appointment process.
Academic performance supervisor: the staff member’s academic performance supervisor is responsible for:
HR Business Partner: the HR Business Partner is responsible for: