The majority of teaching staff on fixed term contracts are relatively new to either the University or to teaching. At this critical time in their career, staff are particularly vulnerable and the University therefore wishes to make additional efforts to assist them to develop the skills and expertise necessary to obtain an indefinite appointment.
An Interim Review Procedure has therefore been developed which is in two stages:
Firstly, there is a monitoring procedure which should be carried out at least annually during the course of the fixed term contract to regularly assess performance and feed the results of that assessment back to individuals, giving those who are falling below acceptable levels of performance clear guidance as to what is required of them and an opportunity to improve.
Secondly, no later than one year prior to the end of the five year contract, the Executive Dean will recommend which of the following two courses of action should be followed:
a) Where individuals are deemed by the Executive Dean to have achieved an acceptable level of performance, the Executive Dean will request the HR Advisor to convene a reappointment board. This will be chaired by a Pro Vice-Chancellor and will determine whether an indefinite appointment will be offered or whether the individual will be dismissed.
b) For those individuals the Executive Dean believes unable to achieve acceptable levels of performance, the Executive Dean will recommend to the HR Advisor that a contract review meeting should take place. This will be conducted by a Pro Vice Chancellor and will determine whether the individual will be dismissed, or whether a reappointment board should be constituted. If s/he wishes, the individual concerned will have a right to be accompanied and represented at the hearing by a colleague or trade union representative.
If, following confirmation of dismissal, the individual wishes to appeal, s/he should write to the Secretary-Registrar within 10 days of the decision being communicated. The Vice Chancellor or the Senior Pro Vice-Chancellor will consider the appeal, and his decision will be final. If s/he wishes, the individual concerned will have a right to be accompanied and represented at an appeal hearing by a colleague or trade union representative. Any dismissal will normally take effect from the last day of the fixed term contract.
Annual Monitoring Procedure for Teaching Staff on Fixed Term Contracts
This procedure is intended to supplement rather than replace the appraisal process, and it will form a key element of the University’s commitment to good management and staff development.
Like appraisal, it will offer an opportunity to reflect on how abilities and interests are being utilised and will help to identify areas of development which will enable staff to enhance their contribution to the University.
However, unlike appraisal, it is intended to form part of a systematic assessment of performance and it will be used to inform contract reviews, grievances or disciplinary cases in respect of the reviewee.
Consequently, this procedure is intended to apply to all Lecturers, Other Related Staff and University (i.e not Contract) Research Fellows on fixed term contracts in the University.
Such staff are normally appointed to five year fixed term contracts. Where staff are appointed for a shorter period, reviews may need to be held more than once a year to take account of this.
The Executive Dean will ensure that reviews of all relevant staff are carried out on an annual basis, in the spirit of the policy, and that appropriate, agreed, outcomes are followed through.
The Executive Dean will agree and publish an overall timetable for the process and the reviews will be carried out by the relevant Subject Group Convenors or another appropriate senior members of staff as determined by the Executive Dean.
Following agreement with the Executive Dean, Subject Group Convenors will initiate the process in their Group.
Review meetings will also feed into and be informed by School Strategic Plans.
Reviewers and reviewees will agree a suitable date for their review meeting. This should allow at least two week’s notice for adequate preparation by both reviewer and reviewee.
Reviewers should ensure that reviewees have an understanding of the principles, process and the part that they are expected to play in the process.
The reviewee should complete Part A of the Annual Progress Review documentation at least one week before the meeting is scheduled to take place and send a copy to the Subject Group Convenor and the Executive Dean.
Reviewers and reviewees are encouraged as part of the preparation for review meeting, to share at least the main issues that they wish to discuss so that they may both more thoroughly prepare for the meeting. They will also need to have regard to any previous review records.
The review meeting should take place in an appropriate location, free from interruptions and allowing adequate time for discussion.
The review meeting should be conducted in a constructive and positive manner. Reviewers should have received appraisal training before embarking on reviews.
The substance of the conversation and discussion during the review meeting will remain confidential. However, a written record will be produced.
It is the responsibility of the reviewer to ensure that a draft written record is drawn up within ten working days of the meeting using Part B of the Annual Progress Report Documentation. The written record should be agreed between the reviewer and reviewee, and then signed by reviewer and reviewee as agreed. See Section 4 for steps to be taken when the reviewee and reviewer do not agree on the written record.
Where the reviewer is not the Executive Dean, a copy of the record will be forwarded to the Executive Dean. Review meeting records will also be retained by the reviewer and reviewee.
Review meeting records are considered to be sensitive documents and they will therefore only be made available for the purposes of establishing development needs, carrying out contract reviews and providing relevant information in the event of grievances or disciplinary action concerning the reviewee. All records will be retained within a confidential area of the School for a period no longer than 5 years.
Should Problems Arise
If difficulties arise in connection with review meeting at any part of the process, or in interpreting the policy, the Executive Dean will give advice.
Where requested to do so by any involved party, Human Resources Staff will provide advice and guidance.
Where reviewer and reviewee cannot agree on the wording of the review meeting record they should:
a) ‘Sign off’ those points upon which they do agree within 10 days of the review meeting
b) Meet again within a further 10 days to discuss the outstanding items
c) If not then resolved, refer within 10 days to the Executive Dean for advice, clarification and constructive suggestions for progress.
d) Whenever appropriate invite Human Resources Staff to broker further discussion and seek a mutually agreeable outcome
e) If it is still not possible to agree on the wording, it may be possible to agree to disagree and note such on the relevant record
Where none of the above courses of action lead to positive agreement, or where there is a refusal to take part in review meeting, or to undertake the process within the spirit of the policy, then the reviewer or the reviewee has the right to:
a) Refer the matter to the Executive Dean (or where the reviewer is the Executive Dean to a Pro Vice-Chancellor) for action
b) Request advice from Human Resources Staff
Annual Progress Report Form for Teaching Staff on Fixed Term Contracts (Parts A and B)
Last updated at 12:20 pm on 20 January 2006