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Probation Procedures

This is the current version of this document. To view historic versions of this document click the link in the main navigation (grey) bar above or contact policies@scu.edu.au for versions that expired pre August 2012.

Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) These procedures are intended to give effect to the uniform implementation of the Southern Cross University Enterprise Agreement as it applies to probation.

Section 2 - Approval Authority

(2) The Head of Work Unit has the authority to confirm a probationary appointment in accordance with the provisions of University Policies and Procedures. They also have the authority to extend a probationary appointment in accordance with the employee's contract of employment and University Policies and Procedures.

Section 3 - Procedures

Appointment

(3) The University may require an employee who is offered an appointment with the University to serve a probation period. The term and conditions of the probation must be reasonable and in determining the length of the probation period, or whether to waive the requirement to serve a period of probation, the University will consider the:

  1. nature and circumstances of the work to be undertaken;
  2. employee's prior service at the University or at other institutions; and
  3. employee's qualifications and experience.

(4) Prior to their employment with the University, the employee will receive written confirmation of the length and terms of their probationary period in their letter of offer. Any possibility of extension of the probationary period will also be communicated in writing in their letter of offer.

(5) Probation periods may be extended for up to six months for professional staff and up to 12 months for academic staff in exceptional circumstances.

Probationary Reviews

(6) During the probation period the employee's supervisor or Head or Work Unit will regularly provide the employee with feedback on their performance. Where concerns are raised during this period the employee will be given sufficient guidance and support to address the performance issues.

(7) Prior to the due date of a probationary review, HR Services will inform the Head of the employee's work unit that a probationary review is due.

(8) Normally, if the maximum period of probation applies, supervisors are required to complete probationary reviews as follows:

  1. Professional employees: on or before the 8th week and 24th week.
  2. Academic employees: on or before the 12th, 24th and 33rd month.

(9) At the conclusion of each review, the supervisor will prepare a report (either a Probation Report for Academic Employees or a Probation Report for Professional Employees), which includes a summary of the outcomes as they relate to the probation. The completed report should be signed by all parties, and a copy provided to the probationary employee.

(10) An employee has the opportunity to provide a written response to their Probation Report.

(11) Completed reports are to be referred to HR Services within 10 working days of the review being completed.

(12) The report and any additional documentation, including the employee's response, if appropriate, will be placed on the employee's personnel file in HR Services.

(13) Reviews are conducted by the employee's supervisor and/or the Head of Work Unit. However, for academic employees, final reviews are conducted by:

  1. Head of Work Unit (HoWU); and
  2. Deputy Head of School or where there is no Deputy Head of School, the HoWU will nominate one other member of the University's continuing academic staff at the same or higher classification level as the probationary employee.

(14) If an employee's probationary period exceeds 12 months, and they would normally be subject to an annual PMDR review, two separate reviews are not required and the formal probationary review will take precedence.

(15) A final probation review may occur at any time during the probationary period. Where it is determined that an employee has met all probation requirements in advance of the review period, their appointment may be confirmed in writing.

(16) Where the supervisor or HoWU is considering a recommendation not to confirm an employee's appointment, advice must be sought from HR Services in the first instance.

(17) A recommendation not to confirm an employee's appointment is to be made in writing, and the employee is to be provided an opportunity to respond to this recommendation.

(18) The recommendation together with the employee's response, if provided, will be sent to the Vice Chancellor.

Termination of Employment

(19) Where the Vice Chancellor receives a recommendation not to confirm an employee's appointment, the Vice Chancellor will consider all documentation provided, prior to making a decision.

(20) In the event that a decision to terminate employment is made, HR Services will advise the employee of the Vice Chancellor's decision in writing.

(21) Where an employee's appointment is to be terminated, they are entitled to the following notice periods:

Period of continuous service Period of notice
Less than one year: one week
One year and up to the completion of three years: two weeks
Three years and up to the completion of five years: three weeks
Five years and over: four weeks