Probation periods

Most new Western Sydney University staff (whether engaged on a fixed-term contract of more than one year or on a continuing basis) are appointed on a probationary basis. Probation is the period during which a decision about your continuing employment can be made.

During your probationary period, the University offers appropriate support, development opportunities and feedback to assist you to move to continuing employment.

Academic Staff

If you are an academic staff member with a probationary period, or are a supervisor of such a staff member, you are strongly advised to read the probation clauses of the Academic Staff Agreement 2022-2025 (opens in a new window) which outlines the process for academic probationary appointments. Senior, casual and employees appointed as part of the Academic Decasualisation program are exempt from these provisions.

Below are some frequently asked questions to summarise some of the information.

How long is a probationary period?

Probation will normally be for an initial period of not less than two years, however a shorter period may be fixed having regard to the nature of the position and the employee's performance in the role.

What is the initial process for confirmation of appointment?

The process begins with you participating in a planning discussion with your supervisor to clarify and agree with your duties, expectations and goals associated with your appointment and to identify your support and development needs. This should occur within the first eight weeks of your commencement date.

What happens if I'm not achieving the expected outcomes?

Throughout your probationary period, your supervisor will meet with you quarterly discussing any impediments to the continuation of your employment when impediments become apparent. You will receive guidance and support for any areas where your performance requires improvement. Your supervisor will keep a written record of each meeting and provide a copy of this record to you.

Who decides whether my appointment is confirmed?

The Dean approves your confirmation of appointment having considered the recommendations of your supervisor.

Can the probationary period be extended if I have not met the requirements by the due date?

Probation may be extended for a further period of up to 12 months due to performance concerns.

May I appeal if unsuccessful?

You will have five working days from receipt of the advice to make a written request to the Dean for a review of the decision.

Professional Staff

The Professional Staff Agreement 2022-2025  (opens in a new window) outlines the provision for probationary periods, which are usually up to six months. Senior employees are exempt from these provisions.

As a professional staff employee with a probationary period, or a supervisor of such staff, you are strongly encouraged to read this clause and also to be aware of its relationship to the Performance Management requirements.

Below are some frequently asked questions to summarise some of the information.

What is the process for confirmation of appointment?

Initially, you undergo a process similar to that of Performance Management, in terms of establishing expectations and goals in relation to your position description and then having a review conducted by the supervisor. This process is facilitated within MyCareer Online.

When do I have reviews?

During the probationary period, your supervisor will meet with the you at least once a month to provide feedback on your progress and identify any concerns about the Employee's performance.  You will have an opportunity to discuss with your supervisor any problems that have been identified and develop appropriate guidance and support for improving areas where necessary.

After I have obtained the guidance and support, what happens next?

Prior to the end of your probationary period, your supervisor will conduct a further review and write a review report, which will include a recommendation, and a copy will be provided to you.

If I don't meet the requirements, can the probationary period be extended?

In certain circumstances, your probationary period may be extended by a further three months. In no case, will a probationary period last longer than nine months.

Am I allowed to comment on the recommendation?

If the recommendation is to terminate your employment, you will have the opportunity to respond before the relevant approving authority makes a final decision. You will have five working days from receipt of the advice to show cause as to why termination should not occur.