Recruitment and Appointment

Casual and Sessional Appointment Procedure

Policy code: HR2057
Policy owner: Director, People and Culture
Approval authority: Vice-Chancellor
Approval date: 25 October 2021
Next review date: 25 October 2024


The University aims to be a first-choice employer and destination for students in each of our communities we serve, embedding a values driven and talent-focused culture, ensuring contribution and commitment to the candidate and employee experience.

Our recruitment and appointment decisions are aligned to the strategic goals and priorities of the University. They will support our values of inclusion, innovation, excellence, empowerment and collaboration as outlined in Federation’s Living Values Charter. As Australia’s leading regional University, we will recruit and appoint talented people who will continue to transform lives and enhance communities; ensuring a strong and sustainable university for all.

Appointments are made on the principles of merit and achievement relative to opportunity, ensuring adherence to equity and equal opportunity employment.

The purpose of this procedure is to advise recruiting managers and Selection Committees on the Casual and Sessional recruitment process and to ensure compliance with relevant legislative frameworks.


This procedure applies to the appointment of all casual and sessional staff at our campuses, sites and centres of the University.


For further definitions, refer to the University’s Recruitment and Appointment Policy, Federation University Australia Union Enterprise Agreement 2019–2021, and Federation University Australia TAFE Teaching Staff Agreement 2019A further list of definitions specifically relevant to this procedure is included below:

Term Definition
Casual/Sessional employee

An employee who is:

  • offered a job;
  • the offer does not include a firm advance commitment that the work will continue indefinitely with an agreed pattern of work; and
  • the offer is accepted knowing that there is no firm advance commitment to become an employee.
Conversion to Non-casual Employment (General staff employed under Federation University Australia Union Enterprise Agreement Academic and General Staff Employees 2019-2021) As per Federation University Australia Union Enterprise Agreement 2019–2021, the process of casual employees applying for conversion to non-casual employment.
Conversion (TAFE Teaching Staff Agreement 2019) As per Federation University Australia TAFE Teaching Staff Agreement 2019, the process of reviewing casual employees’ eligibility for conversion.
Nominated Officer A nominated member of the university, responsible for providing an endorsement of a casual or sessional appointee within a School or Directorate.


Conflict of interest within a recruitment process

Recruiting Manager

A conflict of interest occurs where a person’s personal interest could improperly influence, or may appear to improperly influence them when making a work-related decision/s as outlined in the University’s Conflict of Interest Policy and Conflict of Interest Procedure.

A conflict of interest exists whether it is:

  • actual, it currently exists;
  • potential, it may arise, given the circumstances; or
  • perceived, members of the public could reasonably form the view that a conflict exists, or could arise, that may improperly influence the performance of their duties to the University, now or in the future.

Where an actual, potential, or perceived conflict of interest occurs within the Recruitment and Appointment process, the following steps must be undertaken.

Where a potential conflict of interest exists (or may exist at some time in the future) the committee member must declare that conflict of interest in writing to the Director, People and Culture. 

It is at the discretion of the Director, People and Culture, in accordance with relevant policies and procedures, to determine if the disclosure may impede the Recruiting Manager’s impartial decision making.

The University is committed to ensure that no undue advantage or disadvantage occurs as a result of the existence of a personal relationship.  Staff members should access the Staff Code of Conduct Policy for further information.

In the event that a potential conflict of interest has been disclosed and that disclosure is not considered a conflict by the Director, People and Culture, the conflict must be recorded.

Establishment and approval of casual/sessional position

Recruitment and appointment of casual/sessional staff is the responsibility of the School/Directorates. People and Culture will support Schools/Directorates with

  • classification of position descriptions;
  • referee reports; and
  • validation and central storage of staff documentation.

People and Culture will conduct spot audits to ensure compliance with this procedure.

For casual/sessional appointments exceeding four weeks, a duties statement must be provided to People and Culture for classification purposes. Following classification, recruitment may commence.

Where there is a need to engage a casual or sessional staff member, the recruiting manager will:

  • ensure that the position has been established and approved by the Delegated Officer;
  • confirm that funding is available and space management provisions have been considered; and
  • identify any pre-employment checks (e.g. Working with Children Check etc.) required.

Recommendation for appointment of a casual/sessional employee

Where approval has been granted by the Delegated Officer, Schools/Directorates must identify an appointee, taking the following into consideration:

  • whether the appointee has the right to work in Australia and whether any restrictions apply;
  • the candidate’s qualifications and experience;
  • completed reference reports; and
  • alignment to the duties required to be performed  and the University’s Living Values Charter.

Following selection of an appointee, recommendations for appointment must be presented to the Nominated Officer for endorsement, as per the below table. The Recruiting Manger must also disclose any potential, perceived or actual conflict of interest to the Nominated Officer.

Type of position Nominated Officer
TAFE Teacher Head of Centre or Program Manager
Education Manager Director, Operations or Head of Centre
HEW Level 1 – 6 Direct Supervisor of the position (or nominee)
HEW Level 7 - 10 Dean or Director (or nominee)
Academic Staff, Levels A – C (or equivalent Sessional) Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Director, Academic Operations, or Discipline Lead (or nominee)
Academic Level D - E Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Executive Dean

Appointment of Casual/Sessional employee

Following endorsement of the appointment, the Recruiting Manager must ensure the appointee’s documentation is presented for validation and central storage by People and Culture. This must include:

  • qualifications, certificates, or deemed equivalence required for the role;
  • the appointee’s resume;
  • two referee reports; and
  • a statement of duties.

People and Culture must also conduct a Disallowed Person Check for TAFE teaching staff.

If the appointee is an internal applicant, please consult with People and Culture for further advice.

Conditions of Casual employment

Casual staff can be appointed to perform non-academic work that is ad hoc or short-term in nature. Appointments can be offered for a maximum duration of 12-weeks unless the appointee is hired as an invigilator, is a current Federation University student or is engaged on external research funds. In these cases, a casual appointment of up to 12-months may be offered.

Casual staff under these contracts will be paid following the approval of a timesheet for each pay period they work.

Refer to the relevant enterprise agreement for minimum hours of engagement.

Variations to casual employment contract will not accepted and will require the submission of a new casual contract.

Conditions of Sessional employment

Sessional staff (including casual academic research assistants) can be appointed to perform academic session-based activities (e.g. semester-based teaching) and can be employed for a maximum duration of 12 months.

A timesheet is not required for payment of sessional staff as the salary for each pay period will be averaged out over the life of the contract.

Any variation to the initial sessional contract will need to be initiated by submitting a Variation to a Sessional Employment Contract Form to People and Culture, prior to the expiry of the sessional contract.

Supporting Documents

All university policies and procedures

Related Items

•      Applicant Information via Careers at Federation University website.


The Vice-Chancellor is ultimately responsible for the implementation of the Policy and Procedure.

The Chair of the Selection Committee is responsible for ensuring adherence to Policy and Procedure, and making appointments based on an applicant's merit, free from bias and unlawful discrimination.

The Director, People and Culture is responsible for:

  • the development of the Recruitment and Appointment Policy and Procedure;
  • monitoring recruitment and appointment activities and addressing inconsistencies in the implementation of the Policy and Procedures; and
  • overseeing the provision of support and advice on the Policy and Procedure.


This procedure will be communicated throughout the University community via:

  1. A FedNews announcement and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the University’s Policy Central website.
  2. Distribution of emails to Deans / Directors / Directors / Managers / University staff.
  3. Documentation distribution, e.g. posters, brochures.
  4. Notification to Schools.


This procedure will be implemented throughout the University via

  1. An Announcement Notice under 'FedNews' on the ‘FedUni’ website and through the University Policy - ‘Recently Approved Documents’ webpage to alert the University-wide community of the approved Procedure; and
  2. Inclusion on the University's online Policy Library.
  3. Information and training sessions advertised via FedNews and provided by People and Culture to Deans/Directors, Directors and Managers.

Records Management

Document title Location Responsible Officer Minimum retention period
Recruitment Request Form and Approval People and Culture Director, People and Culture Seven years after contract has expired
Additional Recruitment/Contract Renewal Information People and Culture Director, People and Culture Seven years after contract has expired
Referee Check People and Culture Director, People and Culture Seven years after contract has expired