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Induction and Probation Procedure

This Policy is only applicable to UCL staff seconded to Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan

Scope and Purpose

1. This procedure outlines guidance on the induction of all staff new to the CPS and for their support, training and assessment within the probationary period. This procedure applies to non-teaching staff and teaching staff who have not participated in a competitive appointment process.

Introduction

2. It is UCL policy that all staff who have not been recruited through a competitive process, including those on part-time and fixed term contracts who are new to UCL, undergo a probationary period during which they will be introduced to the main duties and responsibilities of their post, the performance standards expected of them, the colleagues with whom they will be working most closely and the context of their work, within the CPS, the Language Centre or UCL as a whole.

3. During the probationary period, or the early period of employment when probation is not served, the onus is on the manager to provide the necessary information and training that will equip the individual to undertake all aspects of their role at UCL and on the individual, to demonstrate their suitability for the post. Managers must ensure systems are in place to support and monitor the probationer's work throughout the probationary period in order that s/he receives such assistance as is reasonable to fulfil the duties and responsibilities of the post.

4. The period of probation is 3 months, excluding periods when the employee was absent..

Induction

5. It is the manager's responsibility to ensure that staff new to UCL (and staff who have moved within UCL and are commencing a new role) are furnished with the information necessary to enable them to commence work and that they are given a copy of, and briefed on, all relevant employment policies and procedures and any other departmental, faculty or UCL procedures relevant to their work. As part of the induction process, the manager should discuss the individual's training needs with them and book them onto any appropriate training courses. New staff must also complete the online diversity training package at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/equalities/training/diversity_module.php within their first six weeks. (See Induction checklist at appendix 1)

6. The induction process should give staff in roles with management responsibilities1 a detailed understanding of the management competencies expected of them (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/competencies/) in their roles.

Probation Procedure

7. As the job is explained to the new employee the manager must make clear any service standards relating to the work of the department or area within which the employee works and the performance standards related to their particular post in terms of

  • quality and quantity of output
  • skills that must be acquired, including expectations of teaching excellence and management competency as indicated above
  • protocols that must be learnt
  • deadlines which must be met and how any changes to deadlines will be communicated
  • working relationships that must be developed with other staff and students etc

8. The manager must also make clear how these standards will be monitored throughout the probation period and the frequency with which they will be formally reviewed.

9. Heads of departments and departmental administrators will be reminded of the requirement to complete these reviews by the Human Resources Division and in the case of fixed term staff with a contract shorter than the length of the relevant probation period, the probation process will be followed for the period during which the individual is employed with UCL.

10. At the first review at the end of the first month of probation, the manager will formally discuss the probationer's performance with them and summarise their discussion on the relevant form. The probationer will add their comments to the written assessment. The second review will take place at the end of the second month of probation. Where performance is satisfactory, probationary staff will be confirmed in their post on completion of their probation period and the HR Division will write to the individual (copied to the manager) to confirm this. Following the satisfactory completion of probation, the employee's performance will be reviewed in line with the Appraisal, Review and Development Scheme.

11. If the first review is not satisfactory in any way the manager must discuss with the probationer the aspects of performance which need improvement and should set clear objectives and timescales within which they will be reviewed. The probationer should be asked if they consider that any further assistance and/or training is necessary to enable them to complete tasks to the standards expected of them. The probationer should sign the review form and receive a copy of it to confirm that they have been made aware of the improvements required.

12. If at the second review stage, insufficient improvement has taken place, the manager must arrange a further meeting; the probationer should be given 5 working days notice of the meeting and be given the right (in writing) to be accompanied by a work colleague or a trade union representative. The date of this further meeting must be set immediately. If possible, it is advisable to ensure that a senior manager is present at the meeting, in addition to the line manager who conducted the previous reviews. If termination of the appointment is likely, advice should be sought from the HR Consultancy team prior to the meeting. At this meeting a full review of progress should be held and a decision made to either terminate the appointment at the end of the probationary period or to confirm the appointment and at the same time set further meeting to review progress in meeting the performance improvement objectives set. This meeting will be held in terms of Stage 3 of the Capability Policy. Any decision as a result of such meeting should be confirmed in writing to the individual (in consultation with HR). Written notice of termination must be given not less than 7 calendar days before the end of the probation period.

13. Probationers will have the right to appeal against a decision to terminate their employment for failure to satisfactorily complete their probation period. An appeal must be lodged in writing with the Human Resources Director within 5 working days of receipt of confirmation of termination. The appeal will preferably be heard by a manager not previously involved with the case. At such an appeal the probationer has the right to be accompanied by a trade union representative or work colleague.

14. N. B. Please note that it is not possible to extend a probationary period. It is therefore very important that the review meetings are held timeously. If the appointment is not to be confirmed there is very little time left to hear an appeal and issue the required notice of termination of the employment contract.

Probation Period and Discipline and Capability

15. The Disciplinary Procedure and Capability Policy apply to staff that have successfully completed their probationary period. For staff on probation this Induction and Probation Procedure applies in relation to under-performance. In circumstances involving alleged misconduct, the probationer will receive written notice of a disciplinary interview which will set out the details of the alleged misconduct. The probationer will have the right to be accompanied by a trade union representative or work colleague and will have the opportunity to state their case before any decision is taken. Any case of misconduct during the probationary period may lead to dismissal and gross misconduct may lead to summary dismissal without notice. The probationer will be informed of their right to appeal against a decision to dismiss them on the basis of misconduct and any appeal would be considered by the manager's line manager.

Notice Periods during the Probationary Period

16. During the probationary period all staff Grades 7 and above may terminate the appointment by giving one month's notice. UCL will also give one month's notice to terminate the appointment.

HR Policy and Planning
January 2014

1 Management competencies currently apply to grade 10 staff.

Appendix 1

Appendix 2