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Probation for professional security, grounds and document services staff

POLICY NO: HR - 31.0

DATE OF APPROVAL: University Council 15 November 2005

REFERENCE AUTHORITY: Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture




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 and general staff.



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

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

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

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

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



1. Staff appointed to continuing positions will normally be subject to a probation period defined in the procedures on probation for professional, security, grounds and document services 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 Management Guidelines 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 management procedures for staff. 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 Head of School/ Director of Research Institute/ Director of Unit/ Division Manager/ Director: Centre for Regional Engagement whether the appointment should be confirmed or terminated.

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 take into account 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 Management Guidelines.

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, grounds and document services staff. Payment may be made in lieu of notice.

Appeals and Grievances

Staff members are referred to the Staff Appeals Policy (HR - 6.4) or procedures 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. Members of the Senior Management Group, Directors of Research Institutes and Units, Director: Centre for Regional Engagement/ Dean: Whyalla, Heads of Schools, and Human Resources personnel are responsible for the operation of this policy.

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



The Director: Human Resources 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: