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NOTE: This document must be read in conjunction with University Ordinance 3.24, under which this document has been drawn up.

1. The aims of probation are to ensure that high standards in teaching, research and administration (leadership and management) are developed in the context of the Birmingham Academic (, and to provide evidence that these standards have the potential to be maintained beyond the probationary period. Experienced colleagues will provide help and encouragement to probationers. In particular, a mentor will be assigned by the Head of School to give advice and guidance to the probationer. (The mentor, who will not be the Head of School or a line manager of the probationary member of staff, should be an experienced teacher and/or researcher.) It may be appropriate to assign two mentors, one for research-related activities and one for teaching-related activities. The appointees performance of the duties of the post during the probationary period will provide evidence whether he or she has the qualities which would justify confirmation of the appointment.

2. The University considers that defining, and then meeting, the development needs of new lecturing staff is important in helping them to achieve their potential across all three areas (teaching, research and administration i.e. leadership and management) of their activities. For this reason during the first month of the appointment the Head of School will work with the probationer to define a Probationary Personal Development Plan (PPDP) for the probationary period. The PPDP, which will cover all three areas of activity, will include clear targets of what is to be achieved, and the development activities to help them to be achieved. Guidance on formulating targets is available at The PPDP should take due account of the prior experience of the probationer, and should be set in the context of the requirements of the post to which they have been recruited. The targets to be achieved, together with any required training or development activities, as contained within the PPDP, will be viewed as requirements for satisfactory completion of probation, and hence be part of the overall contractual requirement. The PPDP must be agreed with the Head of College. Once agreed, a copy of the PPDP will be given to the probationer (and the mentor) and this process should be finalised no later than two months after the start of the appointment. The copy of the PPDP will be sent to Human Resources for information.

3. All probationary staff are required to participate fully in appropriate induction activities, including induction courses provided by the University, at the first available opportunity. In addition, all Lecturers on probation will be required to complete successfully the Universitys Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PCAP) programme as a condition of successful completion of probation. Successful completion of the PCAP may also be required for academic teaching staff above the grade of Lecturer who are on probation if they do not have substantial relevant teaching experience on appointment to the University: this will be considered during the development of the PPDP (see paragraph 2 above).


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4. The Head of College in which the probationary appointment is held, or the Head of Colleges representative, has responsibility for ensuring that:

the PPDP is agreed and that a copy is given to the probationer within two months of start of the appointment a suitable mentor or mentors has/have been appointed for the probationer an annual written report on the probationers progress is provided to the probationer by the Head of School the probationer has a review interview with the Head of School at least once a year, including a review of performance and progress towards the targets and required development activity as specified in the PPDP and, subject to the approval of the Head of College, modification of the PPDP

Provided the targets have been satisfactorily met, the Head of College, on the recommendation of the Head of School, may decide to confirm the appointment before the end of the probationary period.

5. A probationer who wishes to discuss an issue relating to his or her probation should raise the matter in the first instance with his/her mentor(s) and/or the Head of School. If the matter remains unresolved or if the probationer does not feel able to discuss the matter within the School, he or she may contact the Head of College.

6. A final probationary report will be prepared by the Head of School which will be considered in accordance with the procedure set out in Ordinance 3.24.

November 2011


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