skip to content

The use of this form ended on 30 September 2021. For the University’s revised probationary arrangements and forms which apply from 1 October 2021, please follow this link.

Notes for guidance

Newly appointed staff will undergo a structured induction programme within the first few weeks of taking up appointment.

The person most familiar with the requirements of the job (the line manager or immediate supervisor) will usually have delegated responsibility from the head of institution for carrying out induction, monitoring performance and providing guidance on a day-to-day basis. In practice, this is likely to include:

  • ensuring that member of staff knows and understands the main responsibilities of the post,
  • setting out which particular areas of work are to be given priority,
  • drawing attention to deadlines,
  • outlining the standards of work required,
  • highlighting any areas where particular care or sensitivity is needed,
  • ensuring that the member of staff has sufficient information and sources of immediate help and support to take forward the agreed tasks;
  • being available to give informal advice on an on-going basis,
  • assessing training and staff development needs based on the requirements of the job,
  • preparing a training action plan in consultation with the member of staff.
  • arranging for regular progress reviews.

The format for the progress review will normally be as follows. Each progress review is documented, however briefly, with copies signed and retained by the head of institution, line manager and individual member of staff. If, at any stage, a third party contributes formally to the progress review this should be recorded and signed accordingly. The level of detail will vary according to individual circumstances. Where performance and progress is clearly satisfactory the formal record is likely to be brief. A more detailed record will be made where specific improvements are needed.

  • the line manager reviews with the member of staff the work done to date or since the last review, addressing competence in carrying out particular duties and capability to perform at a level that meets the operational requirements of the department;
  • member of staff comments on progress to date and specify any areas in which further information or assistance is needed;
  • the line manager sets objectives for the next stage of work;
  • the line manager discusses training and staff development needs with the member of staff, taking the lead in identifying and agreeing a specific action plan.

Progress reviews take place at appropriate intervals — it is suggested that these be weekly during the first month and then monthly if progress is satisfactory — to enable the member of staff to take on progressively more responsibility in accordance with the requirements of the job. The tone of the reviews should be constructive, giving positive feedback on what has been done well and helpful advice on how to make improvements and/or develop aspects of the job. However, where progress has been unsatisfactory, the line manager, in consultation with the head of institution, will need to specify the nature of the concerns and the improvements needed, together with details of how these will be achieved. For example, this may involve making appropriate adjustments to the level of supervision, advice and/or support given to the member of staff.

When the Head of Institution makes the final overall assessment of performance during probation, the decision either to confirm appointment or to decide on an appropriate course of action after consultation with the Human Resources Division, will be based on the progress review documentation.

If, exceptionally, during probation, the performance of the individual is clearly unsatisfactory and likely to remain so, the head of the institution, after consultation with the Human Resources Division, may inform the individual that the probationary period be curtailed to enable early termination of the appointment.