Probation and PPDP


Note - New Assistant Professors are appointed on a contract which requires them to complete the Academic Development Programme (ADP) – please see the ADP webpages for further information.  

The probationary period is a set amount of time for a newly appointed employee to learn new skills and gain experience in order for them to fulfil the requirements of their role. This will run in parallel to any staff induction process the department has for the new employee.

Please note that employees moving internally within the University will only be subject to a probationary period if they have not completed their initial probationary period.  Internal moves do need to be supported through an induction and PDR process i.e. setting of new objectives and a training plan.

To find out the probation end date please check the offer of employment letter or line managers can run a Staff FTE report on Core HR.  There are instructions for line managers on

The University has different procedures for Support staff, Administrative and Other Related staff (AoR) and Academic staff.  This page will aim to give a broad overview as to what happens during the probationary period and the relevant forms for each group of staff.  This should be read in conjunction with the relevant contractual procedures.

Support Staff   AoR Staff   Academic Staff   Quick Guide to Probation

All probationary periods have 3 stages to them;

Setting Objectives and a Development Plan

Within the first few weeks of the employee commencing  employment at the University, the Line Manager and the employee need to agree the objectives to be achieved during the probationary period.  These need to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Bound) objectives. 

If you need further advice on writing objectives please read the Quick Guide to Setting Objectives. In addition, People Organisational and Development (POD) also run a training course on Setting Objectives

There also needs to be a detailed and practical development plan designed to help the employee achieve work objectives.  This can include training courses, on-the-job training and self-directed learning.

Support and AoR Staff Probation Form  Probation Flowchart for Academics    PPDP Plan Template (Academics)  Annual Review Form (Academics) End of Review Form (Academics)


Monitoring, Evaluating and Reviewing

During the probationary period, regular one to one meetings should occur between a Line Manager and the employee to ensure constructive feedback is provided to the employee. There needs to be a formal review of the probation at least every 3 months. It is vital that these meetings are documented and both parties (Line Manager and employee) have a copy. 

Annual Review Form (Academics)

End of Probation

Towards the end of the probationary period, Line Managers have to make a recommendation on the outcome:

  • Early completion of probation - this can only happen where a probation plan has been initially formulated and the SMART objectives specified have been met sooner than originally planned.
  • Successful completion at the end of the probationary period.  The line manager will inform their team member of the successful completion. If a letter from HR is required then a HR Portal case will be opened to request a letter.
  • Extension of probation - where the objectives specified in the probation have been narrowly missed and further time is needed to successfully achieve these. The Head of School/Budget Centre can determine that an extension to probation be granted/recommended (please refer to the specific procedures for the relevant terms and conditions).
  • Probation has not been successfully completed and the appointment cannot be confirmed.

If an extension of probation or a dismissal is to be recommended, please contact your local HR Team as soon as possible

End of Review form (Academics) Support and AoR Probation Form

If you would like further advice please contact your local HR team.





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Initiator:  HR Operations Admin 
Where to start process: Core Systems Logo Core Systems

Systems steps demo: Canvas


If you need to find out more about the information on this page, or require additional support, please get in touch with us via the HR Service Portal

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