Probation for Professional, Security, and Grounds Staff

POLICY NO: HR - 31.0

DATE OF APPROVAL: University Council 15 November 2005

AMENDMENTS:  Revised 17 January 2020 (Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture)

REFERENCE AUTHORITY: Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture

CROSS REFERENCES:

  • Applicable industrial instrument (i.e. the applicable Collective/Enterprise Agreement, Award, Australian Workplace Agreement, contract of employment or legislation).
  • Performance Management Policy and Performance Management and Development Framework
  • Procedures on Probation for Professional, Security and Grounds Staff

CONTENTS:

 

Policy statement

For the purposes of this policy, the term 'staff' or 'staff members' refers to any professional, security, grounds and document services staff members.

This policy provides a guide to the management of probation for professional and general staff and is to be applied in conjunction with the Procedures on Probation for Professional, Security, and Grounds staff.

 

Definitions

Probation period is a period of assessment in which a decision about the continuation of employment can be made.

Confirmation of employment is formal acknowledgement that a staff member ceases to be on a probation period.

Termination of employment is notification that the staff member ceases to be an employee of the University of South Australia.

Performance and Development Plan is document which describes the outcomes, indicators and performance expectations of the position and a professional development plan for the staff member.

The supervisor is the person to whom the staff member reports.

 

Principles

  1. Staff appointed to continuing positions will normally be subject to a probation period defined in the Procedures on Probation for Professional, Security and Grounds Staff. If appointed to a first fixed term contract the probation period will vary depending on the length of the contract. The probation period may only be varied with the prior approval of the Vice Chancellor or nominee.
  2. The length of the probation period shall be included in the Contract of Employment.
  3. The supervisor shall be responsible for monitoring and reviewing the performance of each staff member during the probation period in line with the following:

Performance plan

Within the first two weeks of the staff member commencing employment, the supervisor will establish a performance plan with the staff member in accordance with the Performance Development and Management Framework as they relate to probation. The plan should contain clear outcomes and result areas and address development needs of the staff member.

Formal review

The performance plan will be reviewed on a regular basis throughout the probation period, in line with the performance management cycle outlined in the Performance Development and Management Framework. The supervisor will conduct a formal review of performance in the beginning of the final month of the probation period. The review may be held earlier if appropriate.

The supervisor will recommend in writing to the relevant approving authority, as set out in the Vice Chancellor’s Authorisations (VCAs) whether the appointment should be confirmed or terminated.

The authority to approve employment after completion of a probationary period, either fixed term or continuing are:

  • senior staff, covered under the senior staff agreement, the Vice Chancellor
  • for professional staff HEO 10 and above, depending the unit, institute or portfolio; the Chief Academic Officer, the Chief Operating Officer, the Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Enterprise, the Executive Director: People Talent and Culture and the Chief Academic Services Officer
  • for professional staff up to and including HEO9; the senior staff listed above and relevant senior manager of a Portfolio, Academic Unit, Research Institute or Central Unit. [VCA 8.4c]

The staff member shall be advised of, and given an opportunity to respond to, any adverse material about the staff member which the University intends to consider in a decision to terminate employment.

Confirmation of employment

The staff member will be notified when their employment has been confirmed and their probation period has ceased. Where employment has been confirmed the performance management process will continue according to the Performance Development and Management Framework.

Termination of employment

If a staff member is deemed unsuitable for a position for reasons of performance or conduct, the probation period may be terminated on the giving of notice on either side, in accordance with the notice requirements in the Procedures on Probation for Professional, Security and Grounds Staff. Payment may be made in lieu of notice.

Appeals and Grievances

Staff members are referred to the provisions contained in the applicable industrial instrument (Collective/Enterprise Agreement, Award, Australian Workplace Agreement, contract of employment or legislation) with respect to grievances arising out of the probation process.

 

Responsibilities and/or authorities

The offer of employment and termination of employment are consistent with the Vice Chancellor's Delegation of Authority.

All senior managers and supervisors of professional, security and grounds staff are  responsible for the operation of this policy.

Staff are responsible for participating fully in the probation, induction and performance management processes.

 

Evaluation

The Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture is responsible for the development and continuous improvement of this policy.

 

Further information or assistance

Management and staff may seek further advice regarding probation for professional, security, grounds and document services staff from:

  • Their immediate supervisor
  • The relevant senior manager of the Portfolio, Academic Unit, Research Institute or Central Unit
  • People, Talent and Culture Unit