1 Probationary Procedure Author/Reviewer: Assistant Principal (HR & SD) Date Approved: 17 December 2004 Where Approved: Corporation Date of Issue: January 2005 Impact Assessment: 22 May 2008 Date Revised: 25 June 2010 Revised by: Finance & General Purposes Committee Reviewed: February 2015
2 1 Policy statement 1.1 This procedure sets out the processes which will be followed during the probationary period to ensure that new employees are given every opportunity to perform their duties according to the requirements of the post, and meet the standards expected by the college. 1.2 This procedure has been implemented following consultation with UCU and Unison. 1.3 This procedure is for guidance only and does not form part of any employee s contract of employment. The college may also vary any parts of this procedure, including any time limits, as appropriate in any case. 2 General principles 2.1 This procedure covers all new staff employed to work at Nescot including Senior Post holders on either a permanent, fixed-term or temporary contract of over one month s duration. It does not apply to agency workers or self-employed contractors. 2.2 See paragraph 7 for the process to follow for staff who obtain a new post whilst already working at the College. 2.3 All new appointments, irrespective of their contract type will be appointed subject to the satisfactory completion of a probationary period. The probationary period is 12 months for staff and 18 months for managers (managers posts will be as determined on appointment). Where a temporary appointment is for more than one month, the employee is subject to this procedure, so that their performance within such post may be taken into account if they are subsequently appointed to a permanent post, in which case the probationary period will continue to run. If a temporary appointment of less than one month is extended, then this procedure will also apply. 2.4 It is the responsibility of the line manager to ensure that appropriate advice, support, guidance and training is given to a new employee to aid them in their achievement of these targets/standards. The amount given will vary depending on the prior relevant experience of the employee, the qualifications held, and in the case of teachers, whether the employee is an experienced teacher (over two years experience) or new to a teaching role. In the former case, the amount of support given will normally be limited to guidance on Nescot policies and procedures, or on recent educational developments. The line manager should ensure that the employee has been provided with a relevant induction programme, attended relevant mandatory training during the probationary period, been provided with all relevant College policies and procedures, and been made fully aware of the requirements of the job as set out in the job description, and been given appropriate targets against which their performance can be monitored. 2.5 Human Resources will monitor and review the application of this procedure to new staff, by notifying the line manager and the employee of the number and timing of the assessments at the commencement of their appointment. 2.6 Matters of capability, performance or misconduct relating to probationary employees will be dealt with under this policy.
3 3. Disabilities 3.1 Consideration will be given to whether the concerns that have arisen may be related to a disability and, if so, whether there are any reasonable adjustments that could be made to working arrangements, including changing duties or providing additional equipment or training. The college may also consider making adjustments to this procedure in appropriate cases. 3.2 If an employee wishes to discuss this or inform the college of any medical condition they consider relevant, they should contact a senior member of the Human Resources Team. 4 Monitoring and support process 4.1 Prior to taking up employment new employees may, if practicable, be given the opportunity to visit the College to meet colleagues and be provided with relevant information to their post. 4.2 All new teachers will be allocated a Teaching and Learning Coach (TLC) who will contact them within the first two weeks of commencement of employment. A developmental ungraded observation will form part of the Coaching process. 4.3 All new employees will be required to attend a first day induction in Human Resources. 4.4 The line manager will: arrange a departmental induction programme, which may continue over the first few weeks of employment; and meet the employee within their first month of employment to set and agree targets/objectives (with appropriate timescales) in consultation with the employee. 4.5 After taking up appointment the employee should: seek help and guidance from other staff, the designated line manager, Director or member of SMT, as appropriate; visit other areas of the College; attend staff development opportunities; and if a member of teaching staff observe experienced colleagues (including own mentor) teaching; arrange for some of his/her teaching to be observed by a colleague; to receive feedback and advice; be observed and graded in their teaching at least twice, once by their Head of Department and once by an experienced lesson observer (at two and five months being before the probation assessments at three and six months). The outcome of the lesson observation will feed into the targets for the next probationary review. The full provisions of the lesson observation handbook do not apply to employees being observed under the probationary procedure The session to be observed will be agreed in advance between the observer/observee. Two weeks notice of an observation will be given If a manager has concerns about the standard of teaching then they may wish to arrange additional observations before the probation period ends. They must do this in consultation with Quality. Any third observation will be carried out by a member of the College s Senior Management Team or an independent manager. 4.6 Throughout the probationary period a number of individual factors, including prior experience, ability, conduct and aptitude will be considered.
4 4.7 Staff with the twelve month probationary period will undertake three assessments with their line manager at the following intervals from the commencement of their employment: Three months Six months Ten months Managers with the 18 month probationary period will have four assessments at: Three months Six months Ten months Fifteen months 4.8 If necessary, additional meetings may be arranged. The probationary period could be extended if the employee does not meet the standards required to perform the duties and responsibilities of the post but only if it is believed they may do so with a short extension of the probationary period. If there are significant periods of time during the probationary period when the employee s performance cannot be assessed, eg due to sickness absence of one complete week or more, significant holiday periods, or because the employee is employed on a term-time only contract, there will be an automatic extension of the probationary period by the amount of time absent/college holiday period, in order to ensure that full monitoring of performance throughout the probationary period can take place. The period of extension will be agreed by the line manager and Human Resources. If the employee is working in more than one area or department, then all relevant line managers will participate in, and contribute to his/her probationary assessments. 5 Assessments 5.1 At each assessment meeting the line manager will consider with the employee their performance against the targets set, and whether or not they are meeting the level of performance required by the college. 5.2 If it is decided that performance is unsatisfactory, the employee will be given guidance on: the areas in which the employee has not met the required performance standards; the targets for improvement; any measures, such as additional training or supervision, which will be taken with a view to improving performance; and a period for review (if different from the planned probationary assessment meetings). 5.3 Factual notes should be made on anything that is discussed, and agreed using Form HR070, and the line manager will send a copy to Human Resources (and to their mentor if applicable) within one week of the meeting. Human Resources will place the form on the employee s personal file, and liaise with the line manager and staff development team to ensure that any identified training needs as appropriate are provided within the required timescale.
5 6 Termination of Employment 6.1 At any time during or at the end of the probationary period, the employee s employment may be terminated by one week s notice following the procedure outlined in 6.2. or terminated by them on giving one month s written notice. 6.2 Probation review meetings The line manager will meet with the individual during the probation review meetings and ensure any issues are discussed and recorded at the earliest opportunity, and that the individual is clearly warned that a failure to improve performance may result in the eventual termination of their contract of employment on the grounds of failing to satisfactorily complete their probationary period If the line manager considers that the individual will not be capable of meeting the standards set for successful performance of that post during or at the end of the probationary period then the individual needs to be clearly informed of this at the probation review meeting A meeting will then be arranged with a more senior manager at least at Director level where the line manager will set out the reasons why they have come to this conclusion, The probationer may be accompanied at this meeting by a work colleague or trade union representative. A senior member of Human Resources will also be likely to attend any such meeting to take notes and advise on procedure At the meeting the probationer will be given the opportunity to comment on the proposal to dismiss them. The more senior manager will send a written response to the probationer. If the recommendation to dismiss is confirmed by the more senior manager, consideration will be given as to whether notice will be worked or paid in lieu A probationer shall have the right to appeal against a dismissal or notice of dismissal by writing to the Director of Human Resources within 5 working days of receiving that decision stating, as fully as possible, the grounds on which the appeal is being sought Human Resources will arrange a meeting to hear the appeal by a more senior manager likely to be a member of the Senior Management Team. The probationer may be accompanied by Trade Union representative or work colleague. A senior member of Human Resources will also be likely to attend any such meeting to take notes and advise on procedure. The manager who made the decision to dismiss will present the case for the dismissal of the probationer The probationer will be given the opportunity to explain why he/she is appealing against the dismissal decision and comment on any evidence presented during the appeal The senior manager will send a written response to the probationer, there will be no further right of appeal If the appeal is upheld then the employee's notice of dismissal will be withdrawn. 6.3 At any time within the probationary period, an employee who has been advised that he/she is likely to fail their probationary period, may ask to resign at any point up to the dismissal date specified by the college in order to avoid dismissal, and this will normally be accepted.
6 7. Staff who obtain a new post whilst already working at the College 7.1 Managers will be expected to follow this policy with regard to the monitoring and support of members of staff through assessments at review meetings and the setting of targets. The review meetings should be held as described in paragraph 4.7. However if there are any performance issues these would be dealt with under the College s Capability Procedure and any misconduct issues would be dealt with under the College s Disciplinary Procedure 7.2 Lesson observations will be part of the probation process to monitor performance, if applicable to the new job role.