Induction of New Staff

contact: Richard Laughlin, Organisational Development, Human Resources

Good Practice

Induction of New Staff

Starting a new role raises opportunities and challenges for all new staff and UCL seeks to provide a supportive environment that makes it easier for the individual to meet their responsibilities and fully participate in the life of the university.

There are several aspects to induction:

Formal arrangements

Certain groups of staff are required to undergo an initial probation period upon joining UCL and UCL policy on induction and probation can be found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/docs/prob_procedure_links.php

Structured induction and probationary procedures ensure the necessary information and support is provided at an early stage to enable successful employment.

Introduction to UCL

A range of UCL induction activities are provided for all staff and in some instances there is a requirement for new staff to complete these as a requirement of their probationary period. Details are provided below:

a) The Provost’s Welcome

All new staff are invited and encouraged to attend the Provost’s Welcome. Each term Professor Michael Arthur personally welcomes all new staff to London’s Global University through an event hosted by Human Resources Organizational Development (OD) Team. Each event takes about two hours and includes presentations and video footage from the Provost and members of his Senior Management Team (SMT), as well as an opportunity to talk to other new staff. Following the formal presentations a ‘marketplace’ is set-up nearby, where you can browse information stands and ask questions about the support and benefits available to new UCL employees.

More information about the Provost’s Welcome can be found at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/osd/timetable/programme/sdpw/index.php

b) Mandatory Induction Activities

All new staff are required to complete the following training and it is the responsibility of the Head of Department to ensure that this is completed:

c) Online induction resources

A comprehensive webpage containing practical information tailored for new staff and providing access to a range of relevant UCL policies and documents and information about the university and it’s Bloomsbury campus in London can be found at


d) Departmental Induction Procedures

Heads of Department are expected to establish procedures for the induction of new members of staff and to monitor their effectiveness. All members of the Department responsible for briefing and supporting newcomers should be clear about their particular roles.

Heads of Department will normally welcome new staff, introduce them to their colleagues and show them around. Responsibility for outlining Departmental policies, procedures and routines is likely to be shared by several members of the Department. It is important to recognise that induction is an ongoing process, often lasting several months and is not one that is completed within the first week of an appointment.

The degree and nature of the support that new staff need will vary according to their background and situation. For example:

  • UCL Probationary Lecturer Scheme and departmental mentoring system provide additional support and guidance for staff who are beginning their careers as university lecturers. Our ‘Guidelines for Probationary Lecturers and Research Fellows, Heads of Department and Mentors’ can be found at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/docs/prob_procedure_links.php
  • Staff who join UCL from other professions or from industry and who may have extensive work experience may be less familiar with academic routines and the university culture than new colleagues with a background in higher education and may require additional support in familiarising themselves with this environment.

e) Local Induction Activities

Heads of Department are responsible for ensuring that new members of staff are fully briefed on the duties of their post, the standards expected of them and UCL’s quality assurance processes.

All new staff require a local induction in addition to the UCL induction activities detailed above. A manager’s checklist to support this process can be found under ‘Local Induction Materials’ at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/staff-induction

Course coordinators/supervisors should supply copies of degree programmes relevant to their teaching in accordance with the Academic Committee Guidelines for Good Practice (section 7.4)

Mentors have a specific responsibility to help probationers develop their teaching expertise, details of which can be found at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/docs/prob_procedure_links.php

January 2015