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/supervisors as they foster the development of the performance of new employees, and determine whether an appropriate match has been made between a new employee, the position and the work environment, and whether the employee is able to perform the duties of the position as required.


This policy applies to all general employees and VET teacher appointments employed for six months or more that includes a probationary period.


Term Definition
Performance Work related activities expected of an employee and how well those activities are executed. This includes inappropriate behaviour and conduct.
Probationary Period: The probationary period is a defined period of time during which a new employee's performance and conduct are subject to formal assessment. During this probationary period, the employee is provided with continuing constructive counselling and support to confirm progress and/or identify difficulties and develop strategies for their resolution.
Probation Plan A formal probation review form used to capture information on an employees’ probation progression, assessment and performance.
Manager/supervisor or nominee An employee who has designated responsibility for managing and/or overseeing the performance, development and conduct of other employees.

Policy Statement

  1. Prospective employees will be advised of the requirement of a probationary period in the position description and in the letter of offer. The length of the probationary period will be stated in the letter of offer.
  2. For fixed-term appointments, the length of the probationary period will not exceed one half of the length of the fixed- term period.
  3. At or as soon as possible after commencement of employment, the new employee will undergo an induction process at which time the probation review and requirements are to be explained.
  4. For appointments where a continuing employee is appointed to another position in the University and has previously completed a probationary period in their substantive position, will not undergo a further probationary period. However, performance will be monitored in line with the provisions of the current Union Enterprise Agreement.
  5. Probationary periods will be determined as follows:
    Classification and length of appointment Probation period
    Appointments of six months or less No probation period is required
    Appointments of six months and up to 12 months A probation period may apply
    Appointments of 12 months or more: Probation period as follows:
    HEW levels 1 to 9

    Three months up to a maximum of six months

    (Depending on employee’s qualifications, extent of experience and the duration period of appointment)

    HEW levels 10 and above

    Education Managers (VET)

    Six months up to a maximum of 12 months
    VET teachers Six months
  6. Probation reviews are to be an interactive and positive process providing the employee the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, knowledge and attributes.
  7. Formal probation reviews and progress is to be recorded on Probation Review forms.
  8. Where performance concerns are identified, a clear statement of the issues and improvements required will be outlined on the probation review form and discussed with the employee.
  9. The manager/supervisor or nominee will decide on the action to be taken based on the probation review information.
  10. Probation periods maybe extended for a period no longer than the initial probation period or a maximum of six months to allow the employee to address performance and/or conduct issues. Probation periods may also be extended in circumstances where the employee has taken an extended period of approved leave.
  11. The Executive Director/Director/General Manager or nominee recommendation will be one of the following:
    • Confirm the appointment; or
    • Extend the probationary period up to no more than the initial probation period or a maximum of six months; or
    • Terminate the appointment.
  12. Documentation with a recommendation to:
    • confirm the appointment is required to be forwarded to People and Culture (HR) no later than ten working days prior to the end of the probationary period; or
    • extend the probationary period or terminate the appointment is required to be forwarded to HR as soon as possible and no later than ten working days prior to the end of the probationary period.

Termination of Appointment

The University will terminate an appointment if:

  • the 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 their performance in the position.

In this case, the employee will be advised of the reasons and justification for the decision and given an opportunity to respond within five working days.

Termination will be in accordance with the provision of the Fair Work Act and by mutual agreement, payment in lieu can be made.


People and Culture is responsible for:

  • providing advice to employees and manager/supervisor about this policy and its implementation;
  • coordinating implementation of this policy, including preparation of appropriate correspondence; and
  • providing guidance to manager/supervisors to ensure effective implementation of this policy.

Managers/supervisors or nominees have a specific responsibility for ensuring this policy is implemented for all employees in probationary periods for whom they are nominated as line managers/supervisors.


The Employment Probation for General Staff and VET Teachers policywill be implemented throughout the University via:

  1. An announcement notice under the 'FedNews' website and on the University Policy website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy, and/or
  2. Information sessions to Executive Directors, Directors, Associate Directors, General Managers, Education Managers and manager/supervisors or nominees.