Induction and Probation Policy
Purpose
1. This Policy is intended to provide:

a structured induction to all new employees; to welcome them to UCL, provide
initial training, explain required standards and set objectives for the probationary
period

a structured probationary period for all new employees to introduce them to the
main duties and responsibilities of their post and to allow the opportunity for both
the individual and the line manager to objectively assess whether or not the
employee is suitable for the role

in the case of staff undertaking teaching, supporting a structured training
programme for the role within the probationary period

a framework for addressing any concerns, offering support and training to
address perceived unsatisfactory performance or conduct at an early stage

a process to end employment fairly and consistently across all staffing groups
during, or at the end of, the probationary period, at a point where it becomes
clear that no further training or support would allow the employee to reach the
required standards.
Scope
2. This policy relates to all new employees of UCL, including those on part-time
(fractional) and fixed-term contracts.
3. All new employees of UCL will undergo a probationary period as outlined in this
policy. In some circumstances however, a reduced probationary period may be
appropriate. Any amendments to probationary requirements, including a reduction of
the probationary period, will be at the discretion of the Head of Department/Head of
Division, following consultation with Human Resources Consultancy Services.
4. If an employee moves to a new role at UCL, after s/he has previously completed a
probationary period, s/he will not have to complete another probationary period but
should receive a thorough induction and be set objectives towards the standard
appraisal, review and development scheme.
5. Following successful completion of a probationary period any concerns,
unsatisfactory performance, misconduct or sickness or other absence will be dealt with
under the relevant UCL policy, e.g. Grievance, Capability, Disciplinary or Managing
Sickness Absence.
Policy
6. UCL operates a fair and rigorous recruitment and selection process which aims to
attract and employ the best. The aim of this Induction and Probation Policy is to ensure
that from an individual’s first day with UCL, the necessary information and support is
provided to enable successful and continuing employment. In order to do this it sets out
obligations and milestones for both manager and employee. A flow chart of the
Induction and Probation process is available at Appendix A.
7. It is the expectation of UCL that the majority of new starters will successfully
complete their probationary period, however in the rare circumstances this is not
possible, the processes to be followed are also outlined in this policy.
Probationary periods
8. The length of an employee’s probationary period is defined by their job role/grade as
follows:
Job Role/Grade
Professional Services Staff, Grades 1-6
Probationary Period
(months)
6
Marie Curie Trainee
6
Professional Services Staff, Grades 7-10
9
Research Staff
9
Academic and Teaching Fellow Staff with
substantial teaching experience (including
Clinical); Proleptic Fellows, Lecturer,
Senior Lecturer, Reader, Professor i
Teaching Fellows without substantial
experience
Proleptic Fellows and Lecturers without
substantial experience
12
24
36
9. For employees with a fixed term contract or funding end date shorter than the length
of the relevant probationary period, the normal probation process will be followed for
the duration of employment. If employment is subsequently extended, the probation
period will be extended up to the standard period.
10. Proleptic Fellows are treated the same as academic staff for probation purposes, as
they will become lecturers at the end of the Fellowship.
Induction
11. It is a requirement that all new employees commence their employment at UCL with
a structured induction. Detailed information can be found on the Staff induction
webpages. As a minimum this will include:







An introduction to the line manager, team, wider department
An introduction to UCL-wide and local policies and procedures
Access to buildings, equipment and systems as appropriate
Mandatory training requirements and information on how to find and book
additional courses
Health and safety information
Information security and computing regulations, including data protection and
freedom of information
Where to find other kinds of support
12. All new employees are also encouraged to attend the ‘Provost’s Welcome to new
staff’ event, which is usually run once per term.
13. A checklist is available at Appendix B to assist managers with the induction
planning process and it is also a useful tool for reference during the formal probationary
meetings.
14. Research Fellows and Lecturers new to teaching will be assigned a Mentor by their
Head of Department and introductions should be arranged as part of the induction
process.
15. As part of the induction for any academic member of staff, the individual should be
briefed on UCL’s academic mission by reading the UCL paper ‘Excellence and the UCL
community: a shared endeavour’ and also UCL’s Academic Manual.
Mandatory Training
16. As a requirement for successful completion of their probationary period, all new
employees of UCL are required to complete a number of mandatory training
programmes as detailed below. The probationer will need to print the screen at the end
of the assessments that confirms they have completed the training.

As part of UCL’s commitment to the principles of Equality and Diversity all new
employees must complete the mandatory UCL e-learning module ‘Diversity in
the workplace’ within six weeks of their start date.

All new employees are also required to complete the online modules of the UCL
Safety Induction course within three months of starting at UCL. As a
prerequisite, attendees must first have completed their department’s local safety
induction.

All new employees are required to complete mandatory training on Information
Security, including data protection and freedom of information.

As part of UCL’s commitment to environmental sustainability and carbon
reduction, all new employees must also complete the mandatory UCL e-learning
module ‘Green Awareness UCL’, before the end of their probationary period.

Any new employee who falls within the UCL Staff Categories eligible to
undertake supervision of research students, and who wishes to be appointed as
a Supervisor at UCL, must attend the mandatory briefing session ‘An
Introduction to Research Student Supervision’, run by the UCL Graduate
School. It is strongly recommended that all PhD Supervisors also attend the
one-day workshop ‘Effective Research Student Supervision at UCL’.

Any new employee who will be involved in the recruitment and selection of staff
at UCL, including participation on interview panels, must first attend the
Recruitment and Selection HR Policy Briefing.
Professional Teaching Qualifications
17. Teaching is recognised as an essential function at UCL and it is expected that all
academic staff will undertake appropriate professional development and training in
teaching methodology and practice.
18. Probationary Lecturers and Research Fellows who have little or no experience of
teaching in higher education prior to joining UCL but who teach as part of their role, are
expected to participate in UCL Arena Two or complete the 60-credit Professional
Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher and Professional Education (PCTLHPE)
taught by the Institute of Education. Further information is contained at Appendix C.
Professional development opportunities
19. In addition to the mandatory training requirements detailed above, UCL’s
Professional Development Programme provides other training and development
opportunities that may be relevant, dependant on the role. The UCL Centre for the
Advancement of Learning and Teaching offers, through the UCL Arena Scheme, a full
academic development programme to all UCL staff who teach.
Management responsibilities
20. The responsibility for monitoring and managing probationary periods lies with the
Head of Department/Division and with those to whom the day-to-day supervision of
employees is delegated.
21. The line manager will be responsible for explaining the performance standards
required of the new employee and service standards relating to their area of work. This
includes but is not limited to:






expectations of academic, research, teaching and/or professional excellence
and behavioural standards as appropriate;
quality and quantity of output;
skills that must be acquired or developed;
protocols that must be learnt;
deadlines which must be met and how any changes to deadlines will be
communicated; and,
working relationships/networks to be developed with other staff, students,
external contacts, etc.
22. The line manager must make clear how these standards will be monitored
throughout the probationary period and set appropriate objectives. Guidance on setting
objectives can be found at Appendix D.
23. For all new Research Fellows and Lecturers new to teaching, the Head of
Department is responsible for appointing a mentor. Full details are available at
Appendix E. For other staff, UCL offers the opportunity to find a mentor through UMentor. There are also some places available each year for B-MEntor, the mentoring
scheme for Black and Minority Ethnic academics and researchers.
24. To support the development of new Teaching Fellows, Research Fellows and
Lecturers, the manager will arrange observation sessions of their teaching. Observation
should cover a variety of student learning situations and sufficient time should be
allowed soon afterwards to give constructive and confidential feedback. In some
circumstances it may be appropriate for the mentor to undertake this task.
25. If an employee moves to a different role at UCL during their probationary period, the
manager may need to set new objectives that reflect the change in role. If the new role
is very different, or in a different department, the decision may be taken to extend the
probationary period to allow sufficient time for both parties to objectively assess the
employee’s suitability.
Meetings
26. It is expected that line managers will hold regular one-to-one meetings with all new
employees, to provide information, support them in their new role, set standards,
provide feedback on performance and progress and to address any concerns from the
employee. These meetings should be held as frequently as deemed necessary but no
less than once a month. See Guidance on Conducting one to one meetings.
27. In addition to one-to-one meetings, 3 formal probationary meetings are to be held at
the following intervals:
First meeting: At the end of the first month of employment.
Second meeting: At the mid-point of the probationary period (month 3, 4, 6, 12).
Third Meeting (Inexperienced Lecturers only): End of second year
Final meeting: At least 4 weeks before the date on which the probationary period ends
28. Please see Appendix F for details of what should be covered in each of these
meetings.
29. Heads of Department/Division and Departmental Administrators are responsible for
ensuring these meetings are held in a timely manner and will be reminded of the
requirement to complete these formal meetings through the Probation Monitoring
System. It is wise for the employee and manager to agree the date for the next meeting
at the same time as agreeing objectives to be met by that date.
30. A formal probationary meeting may be held sooner if there is clear evidence that the
employee’s performance or conduct is not meeting the required standards, and that
more time will not address this failing. This evidence would need to demonstrate that
appropriate support had been put in place, and the employee was given sufficient
opportunity to improve. If a manager wishes to bring forward a meeting in this way, they
should first consult with Human Resources Consultancy Services.
31. A clear record must be made of each formal meeting and kept by the department.
In addition, a copy of the record from the final meeting must be sent to HR for the
employee’s personal file, to confirm whether the probationary period was successfully
completed, extended or failed. Template forms are included within the guidance on
Formal Probationary Meetings.
End of probationary period
32. At the end of the Final probationary meeting the employee will be notified that:
a) they have successfully completed their probationary period; or,
b) their probationary period is being extended; the reasons why, the length of the
extension, any support/training to be provided and any improvements that are
required; or,
c) they have not satisfactorily completed their probationary period and their
employment will be ended, following the required period of notice.
Successful completion of probationary period
33. Once an employee has successfully completed their probationary period, Human
Resources will send them a letter confirming this.
34. Following successful completion of the probationary period an employee will be
managed through one-to-one meetings, will be set new or continuing objectives, and be
annually appraised.
35. Once an employee has successfully completed their probationary period (or a
minimum of nine months’ service for Academic or Teaching Fellow staff) they will
receive any automatic pay increments to which they are entitled.
Extension of probationary period
36. A probationary period may be extended in the following circumstances:



There are concerns about an employee’s performance, behaviour or conduct,
where it is believed these can be addressed during the extended period.
The employee has not completed all mandatory training
The employee has had a significant amount of time away from work (e.g. on
maternity, adoption or shared parental leave or sickness absence) and has
therefore been unable to demonstrate competence in certain areas.
Further information about extending a probationary period can be found at Appendix G.
Non-completion of probationary period - ending employment
37. If, during an employee’s probationary period, it is suspected that the employee
provided inaccurate or misleading information during the recruitment process, this will
be discussed with the individual and, if established, employment may be ended.
38. If, at any time during the probationary period, an employee’s performance or
conduct is deemed to be unsatisfactory or they have not completed mandatory training
or a required qualification, employment may be ended. This possibility is provided the
individual has received sufficient support from their line manager, opportunity for
improvement, and the correct procedures have been followed. Further information is
available at Appendix H.
39. An employee whose employment ends due to non-completion of probationary
period has the right of Appeal against this decision. The appeal process is contained
within the guidance on Ending a Probationary Period (Appendix H).
Notice periods during the probationary period
40. During the probationary period, the following notice periods will apply:
Job Role/Grade
Notice from
employee to UCL
2 weeks
Notice from UCL to
employee
2 weeks
Professional Services Staff,
Grades 7-10
4 weeks
4 weeks
All Research Staff (including Marie
Curie Trainees)
4 weeks
4 weeks
Teaching Fellows (including Clinical
TFs)
4 weeks
4 weeks
Academic Staff (including Clinical
staff): Lecturer, Senior Lecturer,
Reader, Professor
12 weeks
12 weeks
Professional Services Staff,
Grades 1-6
Monitoring and Review
41. The HR Policy and Planning Team will keep the operation of this policy under
review.
HR Policy & Planning
May 2015
5. Appendices
A) Flow Chart
B) Induction Checklist
C) Professional teaching qualifications
D) Setting objectives
E) Mentoring
F) Formal probationary meetings & Forms
G) Extending a probationary period
H) Ending a probationary period & Appeals process
i
In exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of a Dean, Vice Provost or the Provost, the
requirement to serve a probationary period may be waived for some senior appointments, where
doing so is felt to be commensurate with the need to attract and retain staff.
Appendix A: Flow Chart
Timescales
Induction &
probationary period
begins
Probationary
review
meetings may
be held at any
time to
discuss
unsatisfactory
performance
or conduct.
Following
support and
any training
required,
employment
may be
terminated at
any time if
necessary.
Objectives set
One-to-one
meetings arranged
First Probationary
Review meeting
Second
Probationary
Review meeting
Appraisal cycle
begins
Probationary period
extended if required
During month 1
End of month 1
Half-way through
Probationary period
(Month
3/4/6/12/(24))
At least 4 weeks
before the end of
the probationary
period
Final Probationary
Review meeting
Employee confirmed
in post
Day 1
Employment ended
End of probationary
period
Once employee is
confirmed in post
Appendix B – Induction Checklist
BEFORE START
Activity
Timescale
HR matters:
Submit contract request on SiP
As soon as
possible
As soon as
possible
As soon as
possible
As soon as
possible
As soon as
possible
Ensure references are requested
Completed Comments
(/X)
Ensure any reasonable adjustments can be
made for individual before their start date
If required, make referral to UCL Occupational
Health Service
If required, send Certificate of Sponsorship
(CoS) application form and supporting
documents to HR ECA Team
If required, ensure Disclosure and Barring
As soon as
Service (DBS) check form completed and sent to possible
HR ECA Team for processing
NB, an individual cannot start work with UCL until any necessary CoS or DBS check has been completed
Equipment:
Workspace/furniture
Computer
Identify a suitable workspace/desk/lab bench as Before start
required
Obtain any necessary personal equipment
Before start
Ensure access to stationary/shared equipment
Before start
Provide a PC/laptop as required
Before start
BEFORE START
Activity
Timescale
Verify computer account and access with ISD
Before start
Ensure access to UCL/local systems as required Before start
Telephone
Provide a telephone/mobile phone as required
Before start
Communication:
Confirm start date, hours and place of work
As soon as
possible
Confirm where to attend on Day 1 and who to
report to
Ensure person has a copy of Job Description
New starter
Existing staff/team
Inform team of new starter name, role and start
date
As soon as
possible
As soon as
possible
As soon as
possible
Induction:
Create induction plan
Before start
Plan activities for person’s first week.
Before start
Appoint a mentor if required
Before start
Completed Comments
(/X)
AFTER START
Activity
Timescale
HR matters:
Confirm person has started by completing 'New
Starter's Reminder System' on the HR website
Ensure Individual has provided P45, or
completed P46
Ensure signed contract has been returned
Day 1
Request emergency contact details and ensure
these have been completed on MyView
Discuss any pre-arranged leave and show how
to make requests through MyView
Explain absence notification procedures/provide
contact details
Refer to the Staff Induction webpage
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/od/induction/index.php
Refer to the HR policies and procedures pages
for key policies
Day 1
Ensure person obtains ID/Access card
Day 1
Access & Security:
Day 1
Day 1
Week 1
Week 1
Week 1
Week 1
Explain local access procedures/times of access Day 1
etc.
Explain local emergency and evacuation
Week 1
procedures
Ensure individual is aware of UCL Information
Week 1
Security Policy and supporting policies
Equipment:
Confirm person has equipment required and
access to systems needed
Day 1
Completed Comments
(/X)
AFTER START
Activity
Sources of support
Provide information about the sources of support Week 1
available at UCL, including; Occupational Health,
Employee Assistance Programme, Dignity at
work Advisors, DEOLOs, Employee support
networks/groups, Campus Trade Unions, Staff
Disability Forum, [email protected],UCL Cultural
Consultation Service, etc.
Communication:
Ensure individual added to appropriate mailing
lists to receive emails, system notifications etc.
Week 1
Probation:
Explain the UCL Induction and Probation Policy
Week 1
Explain expectations and set probationary
objectives
Discuss any areas for development and create
personal development plan if necessary
Set dates for one-to-ones and formal probation
meetings at the required intervals
First Formal Meeting
Month 1
Second Formal Meeting
Month 3/5/6/
12/18 as
appropriate
4 weeks before
end
Final Formal Meeting
Timescale
Month 1
Month 1
End of month 1
Completed Comments
(/X)
AFTER START
Activity
Timescale
Induction:
Local induction
Discuss proposed induction plan and provide
local induction pack if applicable
Introductions to immediate team and other key
colleagues
Introduction to mentor if applicable
Day 1
Discussion of team protocols (core hours,
meetings schedule etc.)
Ensure attendance at local Safety Induction
UCL induction
Mandatory Training
Encourage person to complete online
workstation self-assessment
Requirement to complete UCL e-learning
module 'Diversity in the workplace'
Requirement to complete UCL Safety Induction
Requirement to complete UCL Information
Security training (including data protection and
freedom of information)
Requirement to complete UCL e-learning
module ‘Green Awareness UCL.’
Provost's 'welcome to new staff' event
Other Training
Day 1/Week 1
As soon as
possible
Week 1
As soon as
possible
As soon as
possible
Within first 6
weeks
Within first 3
weeks
Within first 6
weeks
Within first 5
months
As soon as
possible
Discuss requirement to attend Intro to Research Week 1
Student Supervision if applicable
Discuss requirement to undertake Arena Two (or Week 1
alternative course) if applicable
Completed Comments
(/X)
AFTER START
Activity
Timescale
Discuss requirement to attend Fair Recruitment Week 1
briefing if applicable
Discuss access to Organisational Development’s Week 1
professional development online courses
End of probation:
Ensure all mandatory training has been
completed
Complete required probationary paperwork
Notify HR of probation outcome; complete /
extended / not complete.
Ensure new objectives are set to commence
UCL Appraisal cycle
Final formal
meeting
Final formal
meeting
Final formal
meeting
Once confirmed
in post
Completed
(/X)
Comments
Appendix C: Professional Teaching Qualifications
1. Teaching is a highly valued activity at UCL and probationary requirements are designed in
part to ensure that teaching meets the UK Professional Standards Framework as defined by
the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and Higher Education Academy (HEA). In addition,
data about the qualifications held by academic staff are collected and submitted annually to
the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). It is thus expected that all academic staff
will undertake appropriate professional development during their probationary period, with a
view to gaining formal professional recognition in relation to teaching in Higher Education.
2. UCL requires all Lecturers to follow a programme which leads to recognition as a Fellow
of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). This professional recognition may be achieved
through one of the following two routes:
a.
b.
The UCL Arena Two Academic Practice programme, delivered by UCL’s Centre
for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching (CALT) in partnership with
academics from across UCL. This leads to the award of an HEA Fellowship.
The Professional Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher and Professional
Education (PCTLHPE), delivered by the Institute of Education (IoE), which carries
academic credits in education and also leads to the award of an HEA Fellowship.
These courses are offered free of charge to eligible UCL employees on the payroll. Those
eligible do not include Visiting Lecturers, those in honorary posts and workers on ‘as and
when’ contracts.
3. The UCL Arena Academic Practice Pathway is available for all probationary staff who
teach and/or support students’ learning. UCL also fully funds a number of places each year
on the IoE’s PCTLHPE programme, for staff who are willing and able to study for a full
postgraduate certificate in higher and professional education. Staff who consider opting to
follow the IoE programme should contact the Centre for the Advancement of Learning and
Teaching (CALT) at [email protected] to ensure that places are available. CALT will
support staff with their enrolment to either programme.
4. Full details of each of the two programmes will be sent to all relevant probationary staff on
appointment or as soon as possible thereafter, so that an informed choice of routes can be
made. Individually tailored advice can be requested at any time through contacting CALT at
[email protected] . Both programmes have two start dates, one in October and one in
January.
5. Staff on probation who already have substantial experience of teaching in higher
education (a minimum of three years’ experience, full time equivalent) and who have already
engaged in appropriate professional development activity to support that teaching, may be
eligible to claim an HEA Fellowship directly through the UCL Arena Open continuing
professional development (CPD) scheme. Personal advice will be provided: please contact
[email protected] .
6. If appropriate and with the authorisation of their Head of Department, an alternative
course in another HE institution may be undertaken. Eligible programmes will typically lead
to a full postgraduate certificate qualification focusing on higher or professional education
and/or be accredited by the HEA in line with Descriptor 2 of the UK Professional Standards
Framework and so confer upon successful candidates a Fellowship of the Higher Education
Academy.
7. Individuals will be paid by their department at their normal hourly rate of pay for the time
required to attend the mandatory taught course sessions, outside their usual working hours.
8. Teaching Fellows, Research Fellows and Lecturers new to teaching with a load less than
a half-course unit, or the postgraduate equivalent, will be required to successfully complete
the first two sessions of the UCL Arena Two Academic Practice Pathway programme during
their probationary period. However if the individual elects to complete the full Academic
Practice Pathway to gain a Fellowship of the HEA via either route, she/he will be paid for the
number of face-to-face sessions required to complete this award.
9. If a part-time Teaching Fellow, Research Fellow or Lecturer increases their teaching hours
to assume full responsibility for a half-course unit or the postgraduate equivalent at any time
during their probation, they will have to meet the requirements described in 2 above. In such
circumstances the probation period may be extended to allow sufficient time for the
requirements to be met.
10. For additional information, please contact the Centre for the Advancement of Learning
and Teaching at [email protected] .
Appendix D: Setting Objectives
What is an objective?
1. The process of setting and agreeing objectives during the probationary period is important
to ensure that expectations are clear, fair and consistent. The new employee should
understand what is expected of them and the behaviours required, as well as how this will be
measured. Managers should be aware of the employee’s personal circumstances and
training needs, and consider these when setting achievable objectives.
2. It is necessary to differentiate between goals and objectives.

Goals refer to aspirations, purpose and vision. They may be long-term and may
involve others’ actions, which are outside the individual’s direct sphere of influence or
control.

Objectives are potential attainments of the individual that can be realistically
achieved by them by following a certain number of steps. These should be SMART.
3. Objectives should focus on identifiable outcomes – what will achievement of the objective
look like? They may relate to key performance indicators (KPIs) or Service Level
Agreements (SLAs).
Where should the objectives come from?
4. In probation, the principal objectives, including behavioural standards, will normally be
based on the core duties of the Job Description used to define the post for appointment
purposes. Additional objectives, based on changing needs or personal (e.g. research or
developmental) objectives may be agreed with the employee.
5. UCLs’ core behaviours framework may also be referred to in supporting an individual’s
personal and professional development.
6. Consideration of how equality and diversity matters can be promoted within the role
should also be embedded within the objectives.
SMART
7. Probationary objectives should be based on the SMART acronym:
S
M
A
R
T
Specific
Measureable
Achievable
(and agreed)
Relevant
Time specific
What exactly
needs to be
done, with, or
for whom?
Is it
measurable
and can the
employee and
manager
measure it?
Can it be
achieved in the
timeframe set,
with the
resources
available?
Will this
objective lead
to the end
goal, i.e.
confirmation of
a good
recruitment
decision?
When will this
be
accomplished
/completed?
Is there
support
(managerially/
politically) for it
to be done?
8. There is no single correct way to write a SMART objective, but it is helpful to think through
some of the following tips:
Specific:
Be concrete. Use ‘action’ verbs.
Measureable:
May be numeric or descriptive of quantity, quality or cost. How will you
demonstrate that the objective has been met?
Achievable:
The objective should be appropriately limited in scope and within the
employee's control and sphere of influence (it is better to split big
objectives into sub-objectives for clarity, especially if there are different
deadlines, targets or measures).
Relevant:
Measure outputs or results, not activities.
Time specific: Identify target dates, including interim milestones and plans to monitor
progress in line with the formal probationary meeting schedule.
9. The objectives should relate to the employee’s core duties, as the purpose of this exercise
is to be confident that the employee is capable of doing the job they have been recruited to
do. The SMART approach is a method for validating an objective – it is not an objective
itself!
10. Examples of a SMART objective could include:

To check and process purchase orders, supplier invoices, expenses and interdepartmental transfers (IDTs) using MyFinance on a weekly basis. Ensure accuracy
of invoices against orders raised and chase queries in a timely manner to facilitate 30
day supplier payment deadlines.

To design and deliver quarterly training courses on the European Computer Driving
License (ECDL), commencing in 6 months’ time. The course should comprise of 7
modules and must be accredited and approved by the British Computer Society.

To write and submit a proposal for a grant bid on X topic, aligned to the Faculty’s
strategic plans for delivery against UCL’s Grand Challenge on Global Health by 30
September.
11. Objectives should be kept under review. Where circumstances change (e.g. revised
departmental priorities) you should revisit the objective to see if it is still relevant and
achievable within the timescales. If it is not, it should be updated, removed or replaced, as
appropriate.
Appendix E: Mentoring
Appointing the Mentor
1. All new Research Fellows and Lecturers new to teaching will be given a mentor appointed
by the Head of Department. Other staff may request a mentor through the U-Mentor and BMEntor schemes (see sections 21 and 22 below). The following Appendix primarily
summarises the academic mentoring scheme.
2. Mentors need to be appointed before, or soon after the new employee starts, so that
introductions can be made during the induction process and the mentor/mentee relationship
can quickly become established.
Who can be a Mentor?
3. The role of a mentor is that of confidant and critical friend, someone who can provide
encouragement and assist in the development of the probationer’s professional expertise.
The mentor should be someone from outside the individual’s immediate work team, with
whom they can share dilemmas, concerns and issues.
4. A mentor/mentee partnership is more likely to be successful if the partners have similar
academic values and research/teaching interests. For this reason it is usually helpful if
Heads of Department consult both the individual and any prospective mentor before
reaching a decision on any pairing.
5. Experience has shown that the key factor for successful mentoring is the commitment of
the mentor to enhance the professional development of the Research Fellow/Lecturer.
6. Anyone can be a mentor if they:




work at UCL;
are willing to engage and fulfil the responsibility of a mentor and maintain their own
continuous professional development (CPD);
strive for excellence in teaching and are aware of recent developments in learning
and teaching;
are prepared to spend some time observing teaching sessions given by the
Research Fellow/Lecturer and to give formative feedback.
7. However the most successful mentors are often:


a member of staff relatively close in experience to the new employee, who will recall
‘what it’s like to be new at UCL’
or a more senior and experienced member of staff with whom the Probationary
Lecturer or Research Fellow shares academic interests and who can become a good
role model.
8. The Head of Department will make the final decision over the choice of mentor and will
want to be sure that those who agree to become mentors understand and value the role and
are prepared to undertake it.
The Mentor/Mentee relationship
9. Mentoring is an informal, confidential and supportive process: the mentor does not have a
management role in relation to the probationer and should not therefore be a Head of
Department or appraiser.
10. The mentor/probationer relationship is intended to be a partnership that informs and
strengthens the probationer’s academic activities through joint evaluation and discussion.
The success of the relationship depends upon the commitment brought to it by both
partners. The ideal partnership establishes a trust and mutual respect that encourages a free
exchange of views and experiences, to the benefit of both parties.
11. The ways in which the mentor/mentee relationship will function will vary according to the
individuals concerned and the kind of working relationship they build together. At the
beginning of the process the mentor and mentee should discuss how and when
discussions/meetings will be arranged, as a pattern of regular meetings may be useful.
However both parties may agree to an ad hoc arrangement, to allow the mentee to initiate
meetings whenever necessary, so any queries or concerns they have in connection with
their work or departmental routines and procedures can be discussed as soon as they arise.
12. Mentors are not expected to know all the answers. They should aim to be a source of
support to the mentee, an access point for information about the department and UCL and a
channel for contact with others. In this way they can provide a means of entry to a useful
network of contacts and support for a new member of staff.
Support for the Teaching Role
13. Mentors have a responsibility for helping probationers to develop their teaching expertise
in the discipline. This is an ongoing role throughout the probationary period and one that can
significantly influence the teaching aspirations and standards of a newly appointed
colleague.
14. One of the mentor’s key responsibilities is to observe probationers teach in various
student learning situations and give constructive and confidential feedback. The probationer
will need to advise the mentor of appropriate opportunities for this purpose and to discuss
how such observation can be managed as naturally and unobtrusively as possible.
Support for the Research Role
15. Where staff are engaged in their own individual research, the ideal situation is for the
mentor to be sufficiently conversant with the field of study to advise on research as well as
teaching. However, in some situations the Head of Department may need to appoint
another member of the department specifically to take responsibility for advising a
probationer on research
16. The most frequently voiced requests for advice and support for the research role concern
setting up a research project and help with grant applications. Less experienced researchers
may need help with writing papers, making presentations, setting and achieving research
targets and getting their work published. It should also be noted that the Organisational
Development team normally provides courses dealing with most of these matters.
Support for Managing workload
17. Prioritising and planning work within the time available can be challenging for those
whose experience of managing the conflicting demands of teaching, research and
administration may be limited. In addition, some new employees will be keen to become
fully involved in the department and may accrue departmental responsibilities very quickly.
However the mentor can usually provide some helpful advice on managing workload, where
necessary.
Expected outcomes
18. The expected outcomes of a successful mentoring relationship for both parties are:
19. The new Lecturer or Research Fellow (Mentee)





is clear about her/his role in the team in the Department and at UCL especially
knowing how to manage time and activities for which they are responsible (research
and teaching including curriculum and assessment design and review, delivery of
courses and marking as appropriate)
has been stimulated and challenged in her/his own thinking and approaches to their
teaching, research and personal contribution to the Department
has understood how to make the most of opportunities to develop their research
within the context of the discipline / Department at UCL
has benefited from several Peer Observation of Teaching sessions and received
constructive feedback on her/his approach to their teaching
has received support with their work towards the completion of the Arena Two or
PCTLHPE (or equivalent course) if appropriate.
20. The Mentor
 has clear evidence of an enabling responsibility within the Department, showing the
ability to develop and motivate colleagues
 has developed new staff development skills (through facilitating research in a less
experienced member of staff, coaching them towards a greater understanding of
learning and teaching and helping them to identify opportunities for knowledge
transfer to the wider community)
 had contributed to the leadership of the Department through the integration of new
staff within a successful research and teaching team
 has added to the evidence of their own professional development, thus contributing
to their own career planning
Other routes to mentoring
21. UCL also offers all employees who would like one, the opportunity to find a mentor
through U-Mentor. Further details are available here.
22. There are also some places available each year for B-MEntor, the cross-institutional
mentoring scheme for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) academics and researchers. For
further details and how to apply, please click here.
Appendix F: Formal Probationary Meetings & Forms
1. It is expected that Line Managers will hold regular one-to-one meetings with all new
employees, to provide information, support them in their new role, set standards, provide
feedback on performance and progress and to address any concerns from the employee.
These meetings should be held as frequently as deemed necessary but no less than once a
month. Problems should not be left to a formal probationary meeting but raised in a one-toone meeting as they arise.
2. During the probationary period, 3 formal meetings will also be held at the following
intervals:
First meeting:
Second meeting:
Third Meeting
Final meeting:
ends
At the end of the first month of employment.
At the mid-point of the probationary period (month 3, 4, 6, 12).
(Inexperienced Lecturers only): End of second year
At least 4 weeks before the date on which the probationary period
3. A formal meeting may be held sooner if the employee’s performance or conduct is falling
substantially short of the required standard. If this is proposed, it would be necessary to
show that the employee had been provided with appropriate support and could not
reasonably be expected to improve by the scheduled date of the formal meeting. Advice on
this decision should be sought by the manager from UCL HR Consultancy Services.
4. After each formal meeting a review form must be completed and the probationer will be
invited to add their own comments and to sign the form. A copy of the completed form will
be provided to the probationer for their own records.
The purpose of these formal meetings is as follows.
First meeting
5. Within the first month of employment, the employee will have received an initial
introduction to UCL, their department, team and role.
6. This meeting should be used to check everything is going well and whether the Induction
Checklist has been completed.
7. Any training or development requirements identified by the manager or employee should
be discussed and if necessary an action plan agreed.
8. The manager should check that the employee is aware of all compulsory training and that
arrangements are made for the completion of this.
9. If not already in place, objectives for the probationary period must be set and noted.
Second meeting
10. This is an opportunity to review the employee’s progress to-date and to discuss:





Progress made through the induction programme.
The standards, objectives or behaviours required for the post.
Any training/development opportunities undertaken, or still required.
Any issues or concerns.
Whether the employee is on track to meet their objectives and successfully
complete their probation.
11. If a manager is concerned that an employee is failing to meet a required standard in any
way, they must raise these concerns at this meeting so the issue can be discussed. If a
concern is not resolved, and is still considered significant, the manager must put it in writing
after the end of the meeting.
12. If a standard or objective is not being met, the manager should ensure expectations are
clearly restated, allow training and support to be put in place and afford sufficient time to
improve. One-to-one meetings should be used within this timescale to assess improvement.
Final meeting
13. This will normally be held at least 4 weeks before the end of the probationary period.
14. The employee’s progress during the probationary period will be discussed and the
employee will be informed that:
a) They have successfully completed their probationary period, or
b) Their probationary period is being extended; the reasons why, the length of the
extension, any support/training to be provided and any improvements that are
required, or
c) They have not satisfactorily completed their probationary period and their
employment will be ended, following the required period of notice.
15. As one outcome may be non-completion of probation, employees will be entitled to be
accompanied to the final meeting by a workplace colleague or trade union representative if
they wish.
16. On successful completion of probationary period, the manager will complete the end of
probation form and forward to Human Resources (ECA team) so that the employee’s record
can be updated and a letter sent to the individual, and copied to the manager, confirming
them in post.
17. When a probationary period is being extended, the detail as discussed in the meeting will
be confirmed in writing to the individual by the line manager, including the new probationary
end date, within 10 working days.
18. The HR ECA Team must also be notified to extend the end-date for probation.
Forms
Record of First Formal Meeting
Record of Second Formal Meeting
Record of Final Formal Meeting
Appendix G: Extension of probationary period
1. A probationary period may be extended in the following circumstances:




The manager has concerns about an employee’s performance, behaviour or
conduct but there is a strong expectation that, with more time and support,
problems that have been identified can be overcome
The employee has not completed all mandatory training
The employee has had a significant amount of time away from work (for example,
on sick leave or maternity etc. leave) and has therefore been unable to demonstrate
competence in certain areas.
Following an appeal against dismissal on the grounds of unsatisfactory completion
of probationary period, the sanction of dismissal is reduced to give the employee
further time to achieve the required level of performance.
2. The decision to extend an employee’s probationary period may only be taken providing
the following have been met:

Throughout the probationary process, the new employee must be given the support
and any training required to become an effective member of staff.

If, at any time during the probationary period, an employee’s performance, conduct
or attendance is deemed to be unsatisfactory, or they are not on track to complete
any mandatory training or a required qualification, a prompt meeting must be held
with them to discuss this.

It is expected that further regular meetings will be held to monitor progress towards
realistic targets and if necessary individuals are offered training, coaching and/or
supervision to address problem areas.

Concerns must have been discussed with the employee and appropriate support
put in place, prior to the point at which they are informed their probationary period is
being extended.
3. Only one extension to the probationary period will be permitted and this will be for no
longer than 6 months. The six months may commence from the date the employee returns
to work, where it relates to a long-term absence (e.g. if they were on up to 12 months’
maternity leave).
4. When a probationary period is extended, the employee must receive written notification of
this from their line manager. Managers should contact HR Consultancy Services if they
want to discuss the notification before it is sent. The notification will advise the employee of
the improvements required, standards to be met and/or training which must be completed,
along with the timescale. It will also advise that failure to meet these will result in the noncompletion of probationary period and therefore termination of employment.
Appendix H: Ending a probationary period and the Appeal process
1. Throughout the probationary process, the new employee must be given the support and
training required to become an effective member of staff.
2. If, at any time during the probationary period, an employee’s performance, conduct or
attendance is deemed to be unsatisfactory, or they are not on track to complete any
mandatory training or a required qualification, a prompt meeting must be held with them to
discuss this.
3. It is expected that further regular meetings will be held to monitor progress towards
realistic targets and if necessary individuals are offered training, coaching and/or supervision
to address problem areas.
4. It is expected that proactive management in this way will enable the necessary
improvements to be made within the required timeframe. However, where it becomes clear
that no further training or support would allow the employee to reach the required standards,
employment may be ended.
5. Employment may also be ended where the employee has failed to complete any
mandatory training, despite support being given to enable them to do so.
6. If, during the course of an employee’s probationary period, it is suspected or established
that the individual provided inaccurate or misleading information during the recruitment
process, this may be considered a sufficient reason to end their employment.
7. Before any decision is taken, the employee will be invited to a hearing to discuss their
continuing employment. The employee will be entitled to be accompanied by a workplace
colleague or trade union representative if they wish and will be given full opportunity to state
their case. HR Consultancy must be notified and may attend the hearing to give advice and
ensure due process is followed.
8. For Academic Staff, where the Academic manager is considering termination, the hearing
will be conducted by an ad hoc panel of the Academic Promotions Committee, made up of a
Dean/Vice Dean (who is the Chair) plus two members of the Committee, normally one
professorial and one non-professorial. All review forms should be made available to the
panel which will then be expected to meet the probationer and the Head of Department prior
to making a decision on the case.
9. When the decision is taken to end employment, the required period of notice will be given.
If the manager decides it unnecessary for the employee to work through some or all of the
notice period, pay in lieu may be offered instead.
Notice periods
10. During the probationary period, the following notice periods will apply:
Job Role/Grade
Notice from
employee to UCL
Notice from UCL to
employee
Professional Services Staff,
Grades 1-6
2 weeks
2 weeks
Professional Services Staff,
Grades 7-10
4 weeks
4 weeks
Researchers (including Marie
Curie Trainees)
4 weeks
4 weeks
Teaching Fellows (including
Clinical TFs)
4 weeks
4 weeks
Academic Staff (including Clinical
academics): Lecturer, Senior
Lecturer, Reader, Professor
12 weeks
12 weeks
11. If an incident during the probationary period is so serious that it is considered to
potentially be gross misconduct, this may lead to summary dismissal without notice. In such
circumstances advice must be sought from HR Consultancy and a hearing convened.
12. In the event of alleged performance or conduct concerns regarding an Academic Staff
member undertaking their third year of probationary service, these will be dealt with under
Statute 18.
Appeals
13. An employee has the right to appeal against dismissal on the grounds that they have not
completed their probationary period satisfactorily, including for one or more of the following
reasons:
•
•
•
The procedure - a failure to follow procedure had a material effect on the decision
The decision - the evidence did not support the conclusion reached
The penalty - was too severe given the circumstances of the case
14. An employee wishing to appeal should submit notice in writing, to their Dean or Head of
Professional Service Division and copied to the Director, HR Consultancy Services.
15. The employee must be specific about the grounds of appeal as these will form the
agenda for the hearing.
16. An appeal must be submitted within 5 working days of the employee’s receipt of the
formal letter confirming that they are to be dismissed for failing to complete satisfactorily their
probationary period. The decision to dismiss the employee will be unchanged unless and
until it is modified as a result of the appeal.
17. Arrangements will be made for appeals to be heard as soon as reasonably practicable.
18. The employee will be notified as soon as possible of the time, date and place of the
appeal hearing with a minimum of 10 working days’ notice. The employee will be advised
that they may be accompanied by a workplace colleague or Trade Union representative.
19. Appeals will be heard by a senior manager who has not previously been involved.
20. In the case of Academic Staff, an appeal panel will be convened, consisting of one of
UCL’s Deans as chair, a Head of Department (preferably in a kindred subject), plus one of
the non-professorial representatives on the UCL Academic Promotions Committee.
21. A member of the HR Consultancy Services Team may provide professional HR advice to
the hearing and HR will provide a separate person to be note taker.
22. The possible outcomes of the Appeal are:



The appeal is not upheld and the decision to dismiss the employee stands.
The Appeal Panel considered dismissal to be inappropriate, and the employee’s
probationary period extended (see Appendix G).
The appeal is upheld and the decision to dismiss the employee will be cancelled. If
this occurs, the employee shall be paid in full for the period from the date of dismissal
(if there has been any gap between the effective date of termination and the date of
the appeal hearing). Under such circumstances, continuity of service will be
maintained.
23. The result of the appeal will normally be notified to the employee orally within one
working day and in writing within 10 working days of the hearing.
24. The decision of the Appeal hearing is final.
25. Appeals against dismissals in line with Statute 18, part IV, should follow procedures laid
out in Statute 18, part V.
Record of First Formal Meeting
Confidential
Name of probationer
Department
Name of manager
Head of Department (if relevant)
Employee start date
This form should be completed following the first formal meeting, held at the end of the first
month of employment and discussed with the probationer before both parties sign it.
The probationer must be given a copy for her/his own records.
Line Manager comments
Standards
discussed?
Induction (refer to checklist)
Yes / No
Mentor allocated (if applicable)
Name:
Is probationer aware of their mandatory training requirements (delete as
appropriate) and how to book themselves onto courses?
Yes / No








UCL e-learning module ‘Diversity in the workplace’
UCL Safety Induction
UCL Information Security Induction
UCL e-learning module ‘Green Awareness UCL
An introduction to Research Student Supervision (if applicable)
UCL Arena Two or Professional Certificate in Teaching and Learning in
Higher and Professional Education (PCTLHPE) (if applicable)
Recruitment and Selection HR Policy Briefing (if applicable)
Please note appointment will not be confirmed unless all mandatory training
has been completed
Behavioural standards required for the role (specify below)
Yes / No
Relationship with manager(s), colleagues and students (where applicable)
Yes / No
Attendance, punctuality and overall conduct
Yes / No
Objectives for the probationary period (specify below)
Yes / No
Any training/development requirements identified
Any areas in which improved performance is required
Support/training that will be provided to support the probationer in improving their
performance:
Manager’s overall assessment:
Progress satisfactory / Progress not satisfactory
(delete as appropriate)
Probationer’s comments:
Manager’s signature
Date
Probationer’s signature
Date
Head of Department’s signature
(where applicable)
Date
Please provide a copy of this completed form to the probationer and keep the original in the
department.
Record of Second Formal Meeting
Confidential
Name of probationer
Department
Name of manager
Head of Department (if relevant)
Employee start date
This form should be completed following the second formal meeting, held at the mid-point of
the probationary period (month 3/4/6/12/18 as appropriate) and discussed with the
probationer before both parties sign it.
Where performance is unsatisfactory please indicate the areas for improvement, as
discussed, and any training/development needs.
The probationer must be given a copy for her/his own records.
Line Manager comments
Induction (refer to checklist)
Standards
on-track for
successful
probation?
Yes / No
Mandatory training (delete as appropriate):







UCL e-learning module ‘Diversity in the workplace’
UCL Safety Induction
UCL Information Security Induction
UCL e-learning module ‘Green Awareness UCL
An introduction to Research Student Supervision (if applicable)
UCL Arena Two or Professional Certificate in Teaching and Learning in
Higher and Professional Education (PCTLHPE) (if applicable)
Recruitment and Selection HR Policy Briefing (if applicable)
Yes / No
Yes / No
Yes / No
Yes / No
Yes / No
Yes / No
Yes / No
Please note appointment will not be confirmed unless all mandatory training
has been completed
Behavioural standards required for the role (specify below)
Yes / No
Relationship with manager(s), colleagues and students (where applicable)
Yes / No
Attendance, punctuality and overall conduct
Yes / No
Is the probationer on-track to meet their objectives?
Yes / No
Any training/development opportunities undertaken
Any training/development still required
Any areas in which improved performance is required
Support/training that will be provided to support the probationer in improving their
performance:
Manager’s overall assessment:
Progress satisfactory / Progress not satisfactory
(delete as appropriate)
Probationer’s comments:
Manager’s signature
Date
Probationer’s signature
Date
Head of Department’s signature
(where applicable)
Date
Please provide a copy of this completed form to the probationer and keep the original in the
department.
Record of Final Formal Meeting
Confidential
Name of probationer
Department
Name of manager
Head of Department (if relevant)
Employee start date
This form should be completed following the final formal meeting, held no later than 4 weeks
before the end of the probationary period and discussed with the probationer before both
parties sign it.
Where performance has been unsatisfactory and the outcome is likely to be non-completion
of probation, the individual must be advised that they are entitled to bring a workplace
colleague or trade union representative with them to the meeting. The manager may choose
to contact their HR Consultant in advance of this meeting for further advice and guidance.
The probationer must be given a copy for her/his own records.
Line Manager comments
Induction (refer to checklist)
Required
standards
achieved?
Yes / No
Mandatory training (delete as appropriate):







UCL e-learning module ‘Diversity in the workplace’
UCL Safety Induction
UCL Information Security Induction
UCL e-learning module ‘Green Awareness UCL
An introduction to Research Student Supervision (if applicable)
UCL Arena Two or Professional Certificate in Teaching and Learning in
Higher and Professional Education (PCTLHPE) (if applicable)
Recruitment and Selection HR Policy Briefing (if applicable)
Yes / No
Yes / No
Yes / No
Yes / No
Yes / No
Yes / No
Yes / No
Please note appointment will not be confirmed unless all mandatory
training has been completed.
Behavioural standards required for the role (specify below)
Yes / No
Relationship with manager(s), colleagues and students (where applicable)
Yes / No
Attendance, punctuality and overall conduct
Yes / No
Has the probationer met their objectives?
Yes / No
Any training/development opportunities undertaken
Manager’s overall assessment (tick one box only):
1. Probation completed satisfactorily
2. Probation period to be extended
3. Probation not completed and employment ended
□
□
□
1. Probation completed satisfactorily
Please pass this form to the probationer so they may add any comments and then ensure it
is signed by all parties.
A copy of the completed form must be provided to the probationer and to HR ECA team, so
a formal probation completion letter can be sent out.
2. Probation period to be extended
Probation is to be extended by ______ months, until _________________________
Reasons for the extension
Areas in which improved performance is required:
Support/training that will be provided to support the probationer in improving their
performance:
Please pass this form to the probationer so they may add any comments and then ensure it
is signed by all parties. A copy of the completed form must be provided to the probationer
within 10 working days and to HR ECA team, so the probationary end date can be updated.
3. Probation not completed and employment ended
A minimum of 4 weeks’ notice has been given and probation will end on __________
An employee, whose employment ends due to non-completion of probationary period, has
the right of appeal against this decision. They must be informed of the appeals process
which can be found within Appendix H.
Please pass this form to the probationer so they may add any comments and then ensure it
is signed by all parties.
A copy of the completed form must be provided to the probationer and to HR ECA team and
a leaver form completed on SiP.
Probationer’s comments:
Manager’s signature
Date
Probationer’s signature
Date
Head of Department’s signature
(where applicable)
Date
Please provide a copy of this completed form to the probationer and to HR ECA team and
keep the original in the department.
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Induction and Probation Policy