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Academic Probation

Academic Probation – Submissions to Academic Probation Review Sub-Committee

For Heads of School and those with delegated line management of probationary Lecturers, the table below details the deadline dates for submission to the Academic Probation Review Sub-Committees 2021-22.

Term

Deadline for submissions to HR

Academic Probation Review Sub-Committee Meeting date

Autumn 2021

18 October 2021

1 November 2021

Spring 2022

10 January 2022 

7 February 2022

Summer 2022

 11 April 2022

20 May 2022

Summer 2022

 27 June 2022

25 July 2022

Line Managers need to ensure the completed Probationary Review Form is submitted for the Lecturer at these three points in their probation:

  1. Objectives agreed within first 6 weeks of employment;
  2. 18 months into academic probation period;
  3. Final sign-off of probation at 36 months.

Please ensure the form has the appropriate authorisations prior to submitting to Human Resources by emailing hr@reading.ac.uk by the submission deadline dates.

HR will collate the forms and provide these to the Academic Probation Review Sub-Committee.


Academic probation – how it works

Newly appointed Lecturers are appointed with a three-year probationary period. The procedure will enable progress against probationary objectives to be reviewed over the course of the 3 years. The Academic Probationary Procedure outlines how this works in practice but in short, the key points are as follows:

  • Within the first 6 weeks of employment probationary objectives are set and agreed between the new Lecturer and their line manager. These are submitted to the Academic Probation Review Sub-Committee for sign off
  • The line manager will hold 6 monthly review meetings throughout the probationary period with the new Lecturer to check on progress and to offer support and signpost as required
  • At 18 months there will be a formal review of all new Lecturers by the Academic Probation Review Sub-Committee.
  • Before the end of the probationary period the Academic Probation Review Sub-Committee will consider whether the new Lecturer has satisfactory met the requirements of the academic probationary process and, if so, the individual will have their probation confirmed.

The Academic Probation Framework provides an outline of expectations of new Lecturers in relation to the areas of citizenship and emerging leadership, teaching and learning and research (where applicable) and will be used to inform the setting of probationary objectives. 


Academic Probation mentors

Details in relation to the mentoring support new Lecturers can expect to receive are outlined in the Academic Mentoring Guidelines on the People Development webpage.


Impact of COVID on achievement of probationary objectives

It is recognised that work restrictions resulting from the pandemic may, for some individuals, have an impact on achieving probationary objectives.

It would be helpful to the Academic Probation Sub-Committee if the impact was highlighted in the ‘further special circumstances’ section at either the 18 or 36 month review stage of the probation.

The principles the Academic Probation Sub-Committee would work to in these circumstances are:

  • The impact of the pandemic will be taken into consideration in assessing progress against objectives.  All relevant criteria still need to be met, but the level of expectation of fully meeting all objectives within each criterion may be adjusted.
  • There is not provision in the Academic Probation Procedure to extend the probation, but the Committee would consider recommending continuation of probation subject to an objective being achieved if the circumstances were appropriate.

Academic Probation and Personal Titles

In the case where an individual who has not yet successfully completed academic probation is promoted via the Personal Titles Procedure, it is expected that the academic probation objectives will also have been completed and that academic probation is therefore completed. To confirm this, the relevant Head of School is asked to provide a short summary report to the Chair of the Academic Probationary Review Sub-Committee to confirm that they have reviewed the probationary objectives of the promoted colleague. If any of the academic probation objectives are not yet completed and will continue to be required, these should be reviewed as part of the Performance Development Review (PDR) process; this should be confirmed in the summary report with a note of the reasons.