This policy applies to all staff.

1. Policy Statement

1.1 The University recognises that a supportive and developmental probation process is vital in providing the appropriate level of support and training for new members of staff on commencement of their employment.

1.2 The following probation procedures are available providing guidance on the implementation of the policy.

1.3 The relevant procedure should be read in conjunction with the policy.

2. Scope

2.1 This policy applies to all newly appointed staff, whose terms and conditions of employment state that their appointment is subject to a probationary period. This includes academic staff, teaching only staff and research only staff and professional and support staff.

2.2 The length of the probation period will be stated in the terms and conditions of employment, is detailed in the relevant procedure and is dependent on the skills and competencies required for the role.

2.3 In cases where a member of staff has been redeployed to another role within the University, a trial period will be a more appropriate method of ensuring that the redeployment is satisfactory to both the individual and the department. Where this situation arises guidance can be found in the Redeployment Policy and from your HR Adviser.

2.4 Staff on probation will not be subject to the performance review process until such time as their probation period is successfully completed.

2.5 Staff who have successfully passed probation in one role at the University who then move to a different role will not be subject to a further, formal probation process in their new role. It will still be necessary to ensure that an effective induction for the new member of staff is carried out, that objectives are set and that their performance is reviewed etc.

3. Aims

3.1 The policy aims:

  • To ensure that the probation process is undertaken for all staff and is applied in a fair and consistent manner, within a supportive framework and in line with employment legislation
  • To ensure the University is provided with an opportunity to assess the skills, conduct, capability and attendance of new staff before deciding whether or not to confirm their appointment
  • To identify the link between induction, probation and developmental processes (e.g. Post Graduate Certificate of Academic Practice and mentoring opportunities) and emphasise the need for all to underpin the support and development of a new member of staff

4. Principles

4.1 The University aims to secure equality of opportunity in all its activities, and in this respect, the probation process must be objective, clear, transparent and free from discrimination

4.2 The probation process should work alongside the induction process to help create a positive and supportive working environment, allowing new staff to settle into the organisation and learn the key elements of the job within a reasonable and realistic timescale

4.3 During their probation, new members of staff will be made aware by their line manager of the performance standards expected of them and will be given support, training and feedback necessary to achieve these standards

4.4 Clear, comprehensive and accurate records of probation review meetings should be maintained, including how standards are set, what methods are used for measuring them and what timescales are given for reaching them. A Probation Review Form is provided for this purpose. Induction materials may be used to inform the initial probation review meeting i.e. the job description and the policies and procedures to be followed

4.5 In circumstances where problems arise during a period of probation, the line manager should raise these with the member of staff in a timely manner, and the member of staff must be given an opportunity to respond to any concerns. Line managers should discuss the action required by the member of staff to address the problem and where necessary give clear, unambiguous warnings if standards are not met

4.6 Members of staff have the right to be accompanied by a colleague or trades union representative at any formal meetings held to address serious performance issues that have arisen during probation

4.7 Documentation relating to staff will be treated confidentially and related documentation will be subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) as appropriate

6. Related documents

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  • Last reviewed: 31 July 2014