Academic Promotions

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Current Status: Under Review - With Editor 9 March 2017

Academic Promotions (Higher Education) Policy

Policy Code: HR956

Purpose

The purpose of the Academic Promotions (Higher Education) Policy is to recognise and reward individual merit and achievement by academic staff of the University.

Scope

Academic staff who have successfully completed their probationary period and who have completed at least one year's service at the date of call for applications are eligible to apply for promotion.

Applicants must have participated in the University's Performance Review and Development Program (or probationary period) during the 12 months prior to the closing date of applications and demonstrated at least satisfactory performance and professional development.

Academic staff who have applied unsuccessfully for promotion are eligible to apply in the year after an unsuccessful application, but are encouraged to discuss the timing of the next application with his/her Executive Dean.

Casual and sessional academics are not eligible to apply for promotion.

Definitions

Term Definition
Academic Organisational Unit (AOU): Academic staff of the University may be employed in variously named academic organisational units such as a School, Faculty, Portfolio and Research Centre, and directorates/sections that undertake teaching and research functions as a primary objective.
Academic Promotion: Advancement to a higher academic level based on evidence that the applicant is performing satisfactorily at the higher academic level to which promotion is sought and that the applicant meets the levels of achievement required for promotion to the higher level.
Achievement Relative to Opportunity:

The University is committed to ensuring that the principles of equal opportunity are applied in relation to the promotion process through providing the opportunity for evaluation of an applicant's achievements relative to the opportunities available.

The promotion process takes account of work arrangements that have not been consistently full-time by enabling staff to outline relevant personal circumstances and working arrangements, and their impact on career progression and performance. The consideration of ‘achievement relative to opportunity’ ensures that merit standards are being maintained and positively acknowledges what has been achieved given the actual opportunities available. Relevant personal circumstances or arrangements that might have resulted in limitations to opportunity can include:

  • ill-health and/or disability, whether temporary or permanent;
  • carer responsibilities;
  • part-time or flexible work arrangements, planned or unplanned, including absence on parental leave; and
  • other relevant circumstances.

Applicants need to make explicit the relationship between these relevant personal circumstances or arrangements and the relative impact on the opportunities available to them and their career progression and performance.

Promotion committees will consider whether overall, and on balance, applicants holding, or having held, fractional appointments demonstrate an appropriate level of contribution and of the requisite quality, relative to the opportunities available to them. This aims to reduce the possibility of applicants being assessed against the norm of an uninterrupted full-time fraction where it does not apply.

Application Types:

Applicants may elect to apply for academic promotion using either a standard application or an intensive application.  These two types of applications, together with levels of achievement per area of achievement assigned by the applicant, allow applicants to identify the emphasis of their activity and outcomes and to represent their achievements accordingly in order for these achievements to be evaluated and rewarded.

In consultation with their respective Executive Dean, applicants are responsible for electing to apply for academic promotion using either a standard application or an intensive application.

Applicants are responsible for clearly indicating in the relevant section in the application template whether they are applying using a standard or an intensive application type.

Application Type: Intensive:

An intensive application will normally apply to academic staff with non-standard duties as described in their position description and which normally preclude them from submitting a standard application.

An intensive application in Learning and Teaching or Leadership and Engagement does not normally apply to Academic Level A staff seeking promotion to Academic Level B.

Applicants are responsible for clearly indicating that they are using an intensive application. 

An intensive application allows applicants to describe an intensive engagement with resulting increased achievements in one of the three areas of achievement, e.g.:

  • Learning and Teaching – increased achievement is a result of intensive engagement in teaching or contributing to educational endeavour;
  • Research and Creativity – increased achievement is a result of intensive engagement in research, discovering and applying new knowledge or creating artistic work/performances;  or
  • Leadership and Engagement – increased achievement is a result of intensive engagement in leadership and management in the University and/or community.

Applicants must indicate the area of achievement in which they are claiming intensive outcomes and achievements. 

The promotions committee will assess an intensive application based on the outcomes and achievements in the area of achievement indicated by the applicant.

Application Type: Standard: A standard application allows applicants to describe activity with outcomes and achievements across all three areas of achievement.  Applicants are responsible for assigning levels of achievement for each area of achievement based on their assessment of outcomes and achievements in each area and in line with the level of promotion sought.
Areas of Achievement:

Three areas of achievement, reflecting the University’s Charter, provide a framework for describing achievements in applications. These are:

  • Learning and Teaching;
  • Research and Creativity; and
  • Leadership and Engagement.
Area of Achievement: Leadership and Engagement:

Achievement in Leadership and Engagement will be demonstrated through internal and/or external activity, the achievement of outcomes and impact in relation to:

  • school and University leadership, management, governance and committee roles;
  • the discipline, for example editorial boards for journals, convening seminars and conferences, through professional associations;
  • commercial partnerships with industry, in professional service settings, community organisations, government or corporations leading to significant applied outcomes; and
  • pro bono contributions to the public welfare or the common good, which call upon the applicant’s academic/professional expertise, and directly address or respond to civic problems, issues, interests or concerns.
Area of Achievement: Learning and Teaching:

Achievement in Learning and Teaching will be demonstrated through:

  • elaborating a philosophy on teaching and learning;
  • providing evidence of innovation in teaching;
  • reflection on practice and on feedback from peers and students which has lead to improvements and developments; and
  • evidence that practice and innovations are communicated to others in the profession or discipline.
Area of Achievement: Research and Creativity:

Achievement in Research and Creativity will be demonstrated through the scope, quality and impact of research and creative endeavour, determined by the nature of the individual contribution, and in relation to:

  • major research themes and significance to the field/discipline;
  • verifiable outcomes;
  • collaborations; and
  • publications, performances, exhibitions.
Executive Dean: The Academic Promotions (Higher Education) Policy and Procedures refer generically to the Executive Dean, the faculty being the main employer of academic staff who may seek promotion. This may also be taken to refer to Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Director of other academic organisational units (AOU) such as a Portfolio, a Research Centre and directorates/sections that undertake teaching and research functions as a primary objective and who employ academic staff who may seek promotion.
Equivalent Accreditation and Standing:
An applicant who can demonstrate a case for promotion, but who does not hold the expected qualifications for their level and discipline as outlined in the relevant Academic Promotion Procedures and Generic Academic Profiles, may apply for equivalent accreditation and standing status prior to applying for promotion. Applicants who believe this category may apply to them should discuss this with their Executive Dean and with reference to the Generic Academic Profiles.  This status must be established separately from, and prior to, the applicant submitting an application for promotion. Refer to Equivalent Accreditation and Standing Status in this Procedure for action in this regard.
Formal Qualifications: The Academic Promotion Procedures and Generic Academic Profiles stipulate a requirement of a doctoral or a master's level degree or equivalent.  An applicant without the required degree may make a case for equivalent accreditation and standing status prior to, and separately from, the promotion process.
Generic Academic Profiles: The Generic Academic Profiles are guidelines for achievements and expectations of an academic at each prescribed academic level, and include guidelines and expectations for standard and intensive applications. The profiles complement the Minimum Standards for Academic Levels.
Level of Achievement:

In the application documentation, the applicant must indicate the level of achievement being claimed in each area of achievement (Learning and Teaching;  Research and Creativity;  and Leadership and Engagement), according to the following criteria:

  • Sustained contribution requires evidence of continued activity and quality outcomes.

  • Meritorious achievement requires evidence of achievements and contributions to the relevant field, discipline or profession at a local/regional and/or national level that are acknowledged by peers/clients to be significant. In the Area of Leadership and Engagement, this level of achievement requires demonstration of substantial leadership at the school level or in the relevant discipline.

  • Outstanding achievement requires evidence of achievements and contributions to the relevant field, discipline or profession at a national and/or international level that are recognised and acknowledged by leaders in the field, discipline or profession as being significant. In the Area of Leadership and Engagement, this level of achievement requires demonstration of significant leadership at the school and University level and/or in the relevant discipline over a period of time.

  • Distinguished achievement requires evidence of definitive and sustained achievements and contributions at national and/or international level together with recognition at national and/or international level as an authority in the relevant field, discipline or profession. In the Area of Leadership and Engagement, this level of achievement requires demonstration of highly effective leadership and management with evidence of key achievements over time at the school and Univesity level and/or in the relevant discipline.

  • Highly distinguished achievement requires evidence of exceptional and sustained achievements and distinctions at an international level together with international recognition as a leading authority in the relevant field, discipline or profession. Although achievements and recognition are required to be at an international level, it is acknowledged that some fields, disciplines or professions may have limited international relevance and/or prominence (e.g. Indigenous Studies). In the Area of Leadership and Engagement, this level of achievement requires demonstration of exceptional leadership and management which is widely recognised inside and outside the University or in the relevant discipline.

Levels of Achievement Required at each Level of Promotion:

Depending on the application type, the following levels of achievement are required for promotion at each level and according to the application type (Table A and B):
Table A: Levels of Achievement required in Areas of Achievement for Promotion to relevant Academic Level – Standard Application:
Levels of Achievement: to Level B to Level C to Level D to Level E
Sustained
Contribution
Across the three areas of achievement At least in two areas of achievement At least in one area of achievement  
Meritorious Achievement   At least in one area of achievement At least in one area of achievement At least in one area of achievement
Outstanding Achievement     At least in one area  of achievement At least in one area of achievement
Distinguished Achievement       At least in one area of achievement
Table B: Level of Achievement  required in Area of Achievement for Promotion to relevant Academic Level – Intensive Application:
Levels of Achievement: to Level B to Level C to Level D to Level E
Sustained
Contribution
       
Meritorious Achievement In intensive area of achievement      
Outstanding Achievement   In intensive area of achievement    
Distinguished Achievement     In intensive area of achievement  
Highly Distinguished Achievement       In intensive area of achievement
Term Definition
Minimum Standards for Academic Levels (MSALs): The Minimum Standards for Academic Levels are a generic listing of standards and/or expectations of an academic at each level.  For further information refer to the Union Collective Agreement.
Performance Review and Development Program:

The University's performance management process whereby:

  • the strategic priorities and objectives of the University and relevant Portfolio/Faculty/School/Directorate/Section are aligned to the performance and professional development of employees;
  • PRDP Supervisors clarify duties, responsibilities and expectations for employees;
  • PRDP Supervisors and employees meet to plan, monitor and review performance and professional development; and
  • satisfactory performance and development are linked to salary incremental advancement for eligible employees.
Procedural Observer: The procedural observer is an NTEU nominated staff member. The role of the procedural observer is to provide feedback to the promotion committee on their application of and adherence to the Academic Promotions Procedures at the end of the committee meeting. The procedural observer has no voting rights on promotion committees.
Professional Folio: The application templates require the presentation of evidence in professional folios. This is a structured format for presentation of evidence of achievement in the three areas of achievement and provision of critically reflective comment on both the scope and quality of activity and achievement.
Referee:

For academic promotion purposes there are three types of referee:

  • internal referee - a person employed within the University;
  • external referee - a person not employed within the University and who has not been employed at the University during the three years preceding the application; and
  • international referee - an external referee as defined above who is an internationally recognised authority in a relevant discipline, field or profession and resides outside Australia.

A testimonial document does not represent a reference in the context of the Policy and Procedures.

Policy Statement

  1. The Academic Promotions (Higher Education) Policy is part of an integrated system of human resource management which aims to attract, retain, develop and motivate the people needed to achieve the University’s Charter. It complements and is complemented by the academic appointment processes, Performance Review and Development Program, and staff development programs and activities.
  2. The purpose of this Policy is to:
    • foster the achievement of the University’s Charter by ensuring that individual activities and performance which are formally recognised and rewarded also contribute to the achievement of the strategic directions of the University and reinforce the principles and culture to which the University aspires;
    • provide a career structure and development path for academic staff by describing a framework of three areas of achievement being Learning and Teaching, Research and Creativity, and Leadership and Engagement;
    • ensure all academic staff are clear about the standards of performance expected at each academic level;
    • provide a fair and equitable system that recognises and rewards sustained achievement;
    • encourage, acknowledge and reward leadership and engagement in the University and in the community; and
    • facilitate alignment between the reward for high achievement of individual academic staff and the School’s staffing structure, budget and strategic directions.
  3. Satisfactory performance at their current academic level is considered the norm for staff. To be promoted to a higher academic level, a staff member needs to demonstrate that they are performing satisfactorily at the higher academic level and meet the levels of achievement required for promotion to the higher level.
  4. Staff, in consultation with their Executive Dean or Senior Discipline Leader, elect to apply using a standard or intensive application. An intensive application in Learning and Teaching or Leadership and Engagement does not normally apply to Academic Level A staff seeking promotion to Academic Level B.
  5. This Policy provides for Faculties and other Academic Organisational Units to assess candidates seeking promotion from Level A to Level B with a committee chaired by the Executive Dean and with University and faculty/school/academic organisational unit representation on the committee. Candidates seeking promotion to Level C will be assessed by a committee chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) with internal and external representation. Candidates seeking promotion to Levels D and E will be assessed by a committee chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) with internal and external representation.
  6. The implementation and outcomes of the Academic Promotions (Higher Education) Policy will support and be supported by the University’s Equal Opportunity and Valuing Diversity Policy through providing the opportunity for assessment of achievement relative to opportunity, with a candidate able to specify personal circumstances that might have resulted in limitations to opportunity to achieve.
  7. The Policy makes provision for applicants to present a case for promotion without the required formal qualifications. Equivalent accreditation and standing acknowledges the professional standing and recognition of expertise deemed to be equivalent to formal qualifications at any academic level as defined in the Minimum Standards for Academic Levels (MSALs) and the Generic Academic Profiles. Equivalent accreditation and standing status is achieved through a separate process from promotion.

Responsibility

  1. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and the Director, Human Resources are responsible for ensuring compliance with the Policy and for ensuring that appropriate Procedures and other systems are in place where relevant.
  2. The Executive Dean has specific responsibility for ensuring that appropriate Procedures and other systems are in place for compliance with the Academic Promotion for Level B Only (Higher Education) Procedure.
  3. The Director, Human Resources has specific responsibilities for the maintenance of the related Procedures.

Implementation

The Academic Promotion Policy is to be implemented throughout the University community and will take the form of:

  1. An Announcement Notice under 'FedNews' on the University's website and through the University Policy - ‘Recently Approved Documents’ webpage to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy;
  2. Inclusion on the University's online Policy Library;
  3. Information Sessions conducted by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Manager, Human Resources to Executive Deans.