Human Resources

Your Probation Period

Your probation period is intended to support you in your new role and to highlight training and development needs or measures required to help you to fulfil your new responsibilities.

The main aims of the probationary process are:

a)    to provide structured development opportunities, support mechanisms and constructive feedback to individual staff.

b)    to make a fair, reasonable and open assessment of the individual’s suitability for employment.

The key principles governing the probationary process include:

a)    The probationary process supplements the University’s induction process for new staff. 

b)    The formal duties and responsibilities allocated to staff should reflect their development needs.  Staff should receive encouragement, support and guidance during their probationary service. 

c)    The outcome of a probationary review should be a clear statement identifying strengths, areas for development and advice on ways in which performance can be improved. 

d)    If difficulties become evident, it is important to take early remedial action in order to seek to rectify the situation. 

e)    Where, after attempts at resolution, it seems likely that a probationary period may not be completed satisfactorily, appropriate measures should be considered under the University’s employment procedures.  If this is the case, it is important that the employee’s line manager or Head of Department contacts Human Resources well before the end of the probationary period.

The time periods for the different probationary services are given in the table below:

Contract Type

Interim probationary period

Final probationary period


6 months

12 months

Senior Staff

6 months

12 months


3 months

6 months


3 months

6 months


An assessment of the employee’s suitability for work is made at the end of both the interim and final probationary periods. The factors which will be taken into account when assessing suitability for employment include:

a)    Have attendance and timekeeping been satisfactory?

b)    Have effective interpersonal relationships been established with colleagues and with contacts in other Services/Departments?

c)    Have positive attitudes been displayed towards:

                      i)        The job?

                     ii)        Supervision?

                    iii)        Systems, procedures and regulations?

d)    Taking into account the employee’s length of service to date and previous experience, have appropriate standards been achieved in terms of:

                      i)        Output?

                     ii)        Quality?

                    iii)        Knowledge and skills?

e)    Academic staff only (up to and including Grade 9)

                      i)        Has agreed time allowance (10% or 0.5 day per week) been given?

                     ii)        Is the employee on track for completion of the relevant UK Professional Standards Framework Descriptor (via the University’s APEX programme) within the agreed time frame?