Employment Probation for General Staff and VET Teachers

Employment Probation for General Staff and VET Teachers Policy

Policy Code: HR958


The purpose of this policy is to guide managers or relevant supervisor as they foster the development of the performance of new staff, and determine whether an appropriate match has been made between a new staff member, the position and the work environment, and whether the staff member is able to perform the duties of the position as required.


This policy applies to all general staff and VET teacher appointments of more than six months that include a probationary period.


Probationary Period: This refers to a defined period of time during which a new staff member is subject to formal assessment and provided with continuing constructive counselling and support to confirm progress and/or identify difficulties and develop strategies for their resolution.
Natural Justice: This refers to a person’s entitlement to know of any detrimental comments made about his/her performance, by whom they were made, and having the opportunity to respond and be heard.

Policy Statement

For appointments of six months or less no probationary period is required.

For appointments greater than six months and up to 12 months a probationary period may apply.

For appointments of greater than 12 months probationary periods will apply in accordance with the following;

  • HEW Levels 1-6 three months;
  • HEW Levels 7-8 and VET teachers three months, unless a longer period up to six months is required due to the nature and circumstances of the employment;
  • HEW Level 9 and above and senior educators six months, unless a longer period up to 12 months is required due to nature and circumstances of the employment.
  1. Prospective applicants will be advised of the requirement of a probationary period in the position description and in the letter of offer.
  2. The length of the probationary period will be stated in the letter of offer.
  3. Probation reviews are to be interactive and provide the manager/supervisor with the opportunity to:
    • Review progress;
    • Provide constructive feedback on the employee’s performance;
    • Discuss problems and concerns;
    • Provide assistance and advice;
    • Identify any training needs;
    • Clarify the requirements of the position.
  4. Records of probation reviews will be documented on Probation Review Forms.
  5. Documentation and a recommendation must be forwarded to Human Resources at least ten working days prior to the end of the probationary period.
  6. The manager/supervisor’s recommendation will be one of the following:
    • Confirm the appointment; or
    • Annul the appointment.

Annulment of Appointment

The University will annul an appointment if:

  • An employee is unsuited to the position they hold, either by reason of performance or conduct;
  • Claims made by the employee during the selection process were either untrue or not substantiated by performance in the position.

Where the final probation report to the Vice-Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor’s nominee indicates a recommendation to annul the appointment, the Vice-Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor’s nominee shall give an opportunity to the employee and, if the employee so chooses, their representative, to hold a face-to-face meeting with him/her before a final decision is made. The meeting will provide an opportunity for the employee to make a case for further consideration or provide additional evidence on why the appointment should not be annulled. The Vice-Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor’s nominee shall consult with the Director, Human Resources prior to meeting with the relevant employee.

The Vice-Chancellor’s or Vice-Chancellor’s nominee’s decision is final

Where employment is annulled following a probation review, notice of termination shall be given in accordance with section 661 of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 or payment in lieu shall be made.


The Director - Human Resources or nominee is responsible for:

  • providing advice to staff and manager/supervisor about this Policy and its implementation;
  • coordinating implementation of this Policy, including preparation of appropriate correspondence; and
  • providing training to managers/supervisors to ensure effective implementation of this Policy. Managers/Supervisors have specific responsibility for ensuring that probation for General Staff and VET Teachers is implemented for all such staff for whom they are nominated as line manager or supervisor and who are employed for a probationary period in the first instance.

Associated Documents