1. Policy statement

The University recognises that its staff are fundamental to its success. To enable all staff to become effective and efficient in their role as quickly as possible, it is essential that all staff new to the University, or the role, receive a timely induction.
The University places critical importance on thorough induction procedures which make new staff feel welcome, valued and settled in their new role. This then forms the basis from which staff can quickly get up to speed, perform their duties effectively and begin to make a contribution to their team, the department and the University.

2. Scope

This policy relates to all newly appointed staff and to existing staff members who have taken on a new role within the University. Staff are expected to be proactive in their own induction, and ensure that they receive from appropriate sources the relevant information and support that enables them to apply themselves to their job and fully contribute to the success of the University.

3. Aims of the policy

The policy aims to set out the University’s approach to Induction and to indicate how appropriate inductions can be provided. The policy will be accompanied by guidance on procedures and further supportive information for employees and managers.

The policy encompasses several strands of Induction:

  • Pre-arrival Induction
  • University Induction
  • Department Induction
  • Job Induction
  • Centrally provided or coordinated specialist Inductions
  • Web-based and on-line induction resources

4. Objectives of induction

4.1 Pre-arrival

Some induction information can be provided in advance of the start date once a candidate has accepted an offer of appointment. This will enable new employees to begin familiarisation with the University, the job and in some cases the city of York.
The pre-arrival induction information is in addition to that provided in the recruitment process.

4.2 University level

University Induction is currently a six and a half hour event held several times per year. New staff should attend the event closest to their start date. The aim is to allow staff to orientate and understand the University culture so that they can work comfortably and effectively in it.

4.3 Departmental level

Departmental Induction involves making new staff familiar with how the department operates, the support staff within the department, and how they can operate effectively within it.

4.4 Job Induction

Induction into the job for which the individual has been employed is an essential part of the induction process and complements the probation process. Activities carried out during job induction may be used by managers to document an individual’s performance during the probationary period.

Job induction enables the individual to:

  • consolidate their understanding of the duties and responsibilities of the role
  • understand the expectations of them in the form of standards, objectives or a work portfolio, set with their line manager
  • understand how their work performance will be monitored (including probation and performance review processes)
  • discover the information and support that is available to them, including mentoring and key contacts
  • highlight areas where training and development would be appropriate
  • apply their skills and knowledge to performing the job and demonstrate that they successfully meet probation requirements

The specific activities within job induction will be dependent on the demands of the role and the skills and knowledge that the individuals brings with them, and will be at the discretion of the line manager.

Job induction activities are likely to take place within the department, team or interdisciplinary group, but some may be provided by central support departments such as Health & Safety, IT Services, Finance department and DFM. An assessment of any training and development needs and how they might be addressed should be included in the Induction at this point.

During the job induction staff must be made aware of the probationary procedure and that records of induction activities may be used to support the probationary process.

Academic, research and teaching staff should also be informed of the University's research and teaching expectations.

Responsibility for induction at the local level falls with the line manager, though specific activities may be delegated at the line manager’s discretion or within departmental guidelines and practices. It is good practice for individuals and line managers to retain records of completed induction activities.

4.5 Centrally-provided/coordinated Inductions

It is important that the University also supports staff who are internally appointed to new roles, and an induction programme for such staff should be followed.

For new staff who have particular requirements e.g. international staff, those new to the HE sector, induction should include information and/or activities which provide the additional context they require.

4.6 Web-based and on-line materials

Induction resources including information sheets, templates and proformas, checklists and on-line interactive modules will be available via the HR website. Here managers will be able to find the guidance and tools to plan and carry out an appropriate and effective induction for new staff. Employees will discover all they need to proactively manage their own induction schedule.

5. Responsibilities

In line with the staff development policy there is a shared responsibility between individuals, line managers and training and development providers, for the development of staff at the University, and this begins with ensuring that all staff receive an appropriate induction.

All new staff will be expected to be proactive and take ownership of their own induction, which will form the initial stage of their personal and professional development. Individuals will be enabled and supported in doing this throughout the duration of the induction period, beginning at the pre-arrival stage. Staff can expect support from Learning and Development and their line manager who will both signpost and deliver a range of induction activities.

Learning and Development

  • University Induction, including design and delivery of the intervention in the appropriate format(s), and evaluation of its impact and effectiveness.
  • Centrally-delivered specialist Induction events for a number of specific roles e.g new HoDs. Learning and Development will co-ordinate a programme and contribute to the design, using appropriate formats, delivery and evaluation of events.
  • Information and guidance which represents “good practice” regarding local Department induction – this will assist departments in their Inductions and help to promote consistency across the University. This will take the form of
    • sample documents, templates and checklists
    • guidance on providing “induction colleagues” (buddies)
  • Information and guidance on planning and carrying out an effective job induction
  • Signposting induction events from other support departments eg Finance, IT Services and DFM
  • Web-based and on-line materials which supplement or provide an alternative format for all of the induction strands
  • Ensuring equal opportunities in access to induction events in accordance with the University’s Equal Opportunities Policy.

Line managers

  • Ensuring that staff receive the appropriate induction at job, department and University levels, including:
    • Induction into the department practices and culture and the local work environment – this may be delegated to an “induction colleague” or another member of staff.
    • Conducting/directing induction into the job (some elements may be delegated) in accordance with the probationary procedure.
  • Allocating time for induction activities
  • Enabling new staff to be proactive in conducting their own induction
  • Maintaining induction records which support the probation procedure.

New staff

  • Identifying and undertaking, in a timely fashion, all the induction activities which are indicated to them by their line-manager and Learning and Development.
  • Applying knowledge and skills gained through Induction to performing their job.
  • Maintaining induction records as part of their personal and professional development.

Heads of Department

Giving full support to adopting best practice Induction processes.

6. Quality assurance

This will be addressed by:

  • Gathering evaluation and feedback data
  • Alignment to the probation process
  • Provision of guidance and support which represents “good practice”.

7. Related documents and activities

Document control

  • Last reviewed: 31 August 2008