Manual of Policies and Procedures

B/5.3 Promotion for academic staff

Contact Officer

Associate Director, Human Resources (Workplace Relations)

Approval Date

05/03/2014

Approval Authority

Vice-Chancellor and President

Date of Next Review

01/03/2017

5.3.1 Policy statement
5.3.2 Definitions
5.3.3 Eligibility
5.3.4 Timing of promotion rounds
5.3.5 Approving authority
5.3.6 Confidentiality
5.3.7 Role of PPR Supervisor
5.3.8 Criteria for promotion
5.3.9 Promotion process: Level D and E
5.3.10 Promotion process: Level B and C
5.3.11 Promotion while on probation
5.3.12 Use of title for research staff
5.3.13 Resignation prior to completion of promotion process
Related Documents
Modification History

5.3.1 Policy statement

Recognition and reward of the accomplishments of staff is essential to the motivation, attraction and retention of quality staff. QUT is committed to recognising and rewarding such accomplishments which further its vision and goals.

In line with this commitment, QUT provides academic staff with access to a promotion scheme which focuses on demonstrated accomplishment across the areas of teaching, research and scholarship, and service. These areas cover the diversity of academic activities and recognise disciplinary differences.

Staff are guided and assisted in career development and opportunities for promotion through the University's Performance planning and review for academic staff (B/9.2).

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5.3.2 Definitions

For the purposes of this policy:

  • "research staff" means research-only academic staff appointed at Levels B - D
  • "head of school" means the head of a school or equivalent and includes the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) for staff in the Learning and Teaching Unit
  • "executive dean" means the executive dean of a faculty or equivalent and includes the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teching) for staff in the Oodgeroo Unit
  • "faculty" means faculty or equivalent
  • "promotion committee" refers to University Promotion Committee.

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5.3.3 Eligibility

To apply for promotion an academic staff member must:

  • hold an on-going or fixed-term appointment (which may be either full-time or part-time), and
  • have a minimum period of service with QUT of one year at the time of application.

Fixed-term appointees are eligible to be promoted within the term of their contract.

Sessional academic staff members are ineligible for promotion.

Eligible academic and research staff may apply for promotion to the next higher level to their substantive appointment only.

Staff members who are not successful in their application for promotion to Level D or Level E in one year may not apply for promotion in the following year except in the circumstances below:

  • where the staff member's application in the previous year was a first application, or
  • where the Vice-Chancellor and President decides, on the basis of material provided by a staff member, that because of extenuating circumstances the staff member will be significantly disadvantaged by not being able to apply in the next promotion round.

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5.3.4 Timing of promotion rounds

Promotion rounds will be conducted annually for promotion to Levels D and E.

Promotion to Levels B and C will occur through the PPR-AS process. Eligible academic staff members may submit their Promotion Plan and evidence of completion for promotion to Level B or C at a time agreed by the staff member and their supervisor. Under this process, promotion is outcomes-focussed and evidence based against the criteria for promotion, and the promotion date does not need to be linked to either the timing of the staff member's PPR-AS cycle or their incremental progression date.

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5.3.5 Approving authority

Promotion to Levels D and E will be approved by the Vice-Chancellor and President on the recommendation of the University Promotion Committee (B/5.5).

Promotion to Levels B and C will be approved by the executive dean, on the recommendation of the head of school.

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5.3.6 Confidentiality

All material and deliberations relating to promotion applications will be treated in the strictest confidence by all participants of the promotion process.

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5.3.7 Role of PPR Supervisor

All academic staff have a supervisor for the purposes of the Performance Planning and Review for Academic Staff (PPR-AS) process (B/9.2). Supervisors are expected to provide guidance, information and feedback to current and prospective applicants for promotion.

For promotion to Levels D and E, meetings to provide feedback between unsuccessful applicants and the Vice-Chancellor and President will be attended by heads of school or PPR supervisors (B/5.3.8). Based on this feedback, the supervisor will guide the staff member's performance and development through the PPR process.

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5.3.8 Criteria for promotion

The criteria for promotion are:

  • teaching
  • research and scholarship, and
  • service.

The level of attainment and examples of accomplishment required for promotion to each level are provided in the table entitled Criteria for Promotion (QUT staff access only) available at Academic Promotion on the Human Resources website.

Evidence of accomplishment in all three criteria will normally be required except where an applicant is seeking promotion as a Research or Teaching Intensive staff member.

The examples of achievement under each criterion for promotion to each level are cumulative. That is, the examples of achievements relevant to promotion from Level B to Level C also apply to promotion from Level C to Level D and so on. However, some examples have been repeated at higher academic levels for clarity and guidance.

An applicant for promotion is not expected to demonstrate achievement in all of the examples provided for the level of promotion being sought. Furthermore, these examples do not represent an exhaustive list of achievement for each level and the nature of achievement may vary based on disciplinary norms.

Applicants for promotion will be assessed on the evidence they provide in respect of the criteria for the relevant level. The expectations are outlined in the table Criteria for Promotion (QUT staff access only) available on the Human Resources website.

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5.3.9 Promotion process: to Levels D and E

(a) Qualifications and equivalent accreditation or standing

To be considered for promotion to a higher level, an applicant for promotion to Level D or Level E will normally have a doctoral qualification in the relevant discipline area.

Applicants who do not possess such qualifications will be required to make a case for equivalent accreditation or standing. Guidelines for Judging Equivalent Accreditation or Standing (QUT staff access only) are available on the Human Resources website.

The Promotion Committee will determine whether qualification requirements are met in accordance with the Promotion Committee Procedures (QUT staff access only).

(b) Weighting by applicant

Applicants will nominate the percentage weight they wish to be given to each of the three criteria for consideration by the Promotion Committee for Levels D and E in assessing their application.

Weightings assigned by an applicant will be within the ranges set for each level (unless an applicant applies for promotion as a research or teaching intensive staff member) and must total 100%. These ranges reflect the University's expectations of a staff member's profile and accomplishments for each academic level.

The range for each criterion is:

Teaching

20 - 60%

Research and Scholarship

20 - 60%

Service

20 - 50%

Research or Teaching Intensive Applicants

Applications for promotion from staff who do not contribute in all three criteria will be allowed for staff members in research or teaching intensive roles. Under this arrangement, an applicant will weight one criterion (either teaching or research and scholarship) above the specified maximum. Such an applicant will be regarded as a research or teaching intensive staff member and be expected to have a weighting of up to 80% in either teaching or research and scholarship and a minimum weighting of 20% in one other criterion or a minimum weighting of 20% across the two remaining criteria.

A research or teaching intensive applicant may wish to consult with the executive dean prior to submitting an application to the Promotion Committee.

(c) University Promotion Committee procedures

The Promotion Committee will assess applications in accordance with the Promotion Committee Procedures (QUT staff access only) on the Human Resources website.

(d) Evidence

The Promotion Committee will make its determination solely on the documentary evidence listed below and, where applicable, any further information provided by the applicant during an interview. Promotion Committee members shall not introduce any new information into the process unless the Committee is seeking to verify claims made by the applicant.

The following documentary evidence is used by the Promotion Committee:

  • Application

It is essential that applicants consult the Information for Applicants (QUT staff access only) booklet for additional information in relation to the preparation and submission of applications for promotion.

  • Executive dean's report

The Promotion Committee will be provided with a written report, prepared by the executive dean, which contains an evaluation of the applicant's suitability for promotion, framed against the promotion criteria. A copy of this report will be forwarded to the applicant when it is provided to the Promotion Committee.

The report will be prepared in consultation with the staff member's PPR-AS supervisor and the relevant institute director/s where applicable. The report will also be informed by advice received from the senior academic staff of the school / faculty.

Where the executive dean is a member of the Promotion Committee, the staff member may request that the report be prepared by a senior academic within the faculty appointed by the executive dean.

The report should include an assessment and rating (out of 10) of the applicant's accomplishments in each of the criteria for promotion. A single score (out of 10) is then calculated by applying the weightings nominated by the applicant to the ratings for each of the criteria. In determining the rating for each criterion, the head of school / executive dean may refer to the rating scale applied by the Promotion Committee (refer to the Promotion Committee Procedures) (QUT staff access only).

  • Applicant updates, which may be submitted prior to shortlisting and/or interview and may include a response to the executive dean report
  • University level reports as appropriate, eg: research and consultancy reports (from the Research Achievement Database) and the Academic Analytical Profile

  • Referees' reports, as determined relevant by the Committee

The Secretary of the Promotion Committee may seek reports from referees nominated by the applicant as determined by the Committee at either the shortlisting or interview stage (refer to the Promotion Committee Procedures or Information for Applicants booklet (QUT staff access only)).

(e) Notification and feedback

The Secretary, University Promotion Committee, will inform the applicant verbally, then in writing, of the outcome of their application. An unsuccessful applicant will be invited to meet with the Vice-Chancellor and President and their head of school or PPR supervisor if nominated by the head of school to receive feedback on their application. Written notification will include the Promotion Committee's ratings for each criterion and the total weighted score.

Feedback to unsuccessful applicants will be as immediate as practicable after the application has been declared unsuccessful and in time to enable an unsuccessful applicant to appeal on the grounds of process.

(f) Effective date of promotion

The effective date of promotion for successful applicants is 1 August of the year in which the promotion round commences.

(g) Appeals

An applicant may appeal only on the grounds of process.

An appeal on the grounds of process may be lodged with the Executive Director, Human Resources within two months of the date of written advice to the applicant on the outcome of an application. The appellant will outline their reasons for the appeal.

The Executive Director, Human Resources will convene a panel comprising:

  • the Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar or nominee, and
  • a nominee of the NTEU.

The panel will review the process that was followed by the University Promotion Committee in respect of the applicant who has appealed.

Where the panel concludes that there has been no breach of process, the panel will advise the appellant accordingly. There will be no further right of appeal. Where the panel concludes that there has been a breach of process, then all relevant documentation will be referred to the Chair of the University Promotion Committee with a recommendation to address the breach of process.

(h) Withdrawal of application

A staff member may notify the Secretary of the University Promotion Committee of their intent to withdraw their application for promotion to Level D or Level E. If notice of such intent is received prior to shortlisting of applications by the Committee, the application will not be considered or included as a valid application for that promotion round. If notice of intention to withdraw an application for promotion is received after shortlisting of applications by the Committee, the application will be considered to be a valid application and the outcome of shortlisting recorded.

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5.3.10 Promotion process: Levels B and C

(a) Promotion Plan

A promotion plan for a staff member seeking promotion from Level A to Level B, or from Level B to Level C will be developed through the PPR-AS process. Following initial discussion, and after consultation with the executive dean, the PPR-AS supervisor will provide the staff member with an indication of the necessary achievements and evidence, performance standards and a timeline for promotion. The promotion plan will normally cover a period of one to three years.

The staff member may request the nomination of an alternative supervisor for the purpose of developing the promotion plan. Any alternative supervisor must be approved by the executive dean.

In determining the required achievements, the PPR-AS supervisor should be cognisant of the staff member's current teaching/research/service profile and their preferred future profile. The staff member will then develop a promotion plan to be endorsed by the head of school and then forwarded to the executive dean for consideration and consultation as appropriate, prior to approval. The staff member will receive written confirmation of the approved promotion plan from the executive dean.

The Promotion Plan (QUT staff access only) will be completed in addition to the PPR-AS Activity Statement, which is prepared as part of the annual PPR-AS cycle.

The Promotion Plan will be aligned with the Criteria for Promotion to Level B or Level C, as appropriate. The Promotion Plan should take into account:

  • professional and disciplinary norms
  • differences in the opportunity provided or available for career development, and
  • the importance of quality not just quantity of accomplishment.

In the case of part-time staff, quantity of output should be considered on a pro-rata basis. However, the same quality of accomplishment as full-time staff will be expected.

The Promotion Plan, and any changes to the plan that may arise from periodical review/s, will be agreed and endorsed in writing by the staff member's PPR-AS supervisor, head of school and executive dean.

(b) Qualifications and equivalent accreditation and standing

To be considered for promotion to Level B, academic staff will normally have a masters or doctoral qualification in the relevant discipline area. For promotion to Level C, a doctoral qualification in the relevant discipline area will normally be required. Applicants who do not possess such qualifications will be required to make a case to the executive dean for equivalent accreditation or standing.

The staff member and supervisor should establish the requisite qualifications or equivalent standing as part of the Promotion Plan (QUT staff access only).

(c) Indigenous staff members

Indigenous staff members may request that the supervisor, head of school and executive dean seek advice on Indigenous knowledges prior to developing the Promotion Plan or at the time of assessing an application. The initial point of contact for such advice is the Indigenous Employment Coordinator (Human Resources Department) who will assist with sourcing an Indigenous academic to provide the required advice.

(d) Referral to executive dean

Where the staff member and supervisor do not concur on the content of the Promotion Plan or its completion, the staff member may refer the matter to the executive dean. The staff member will be invited to meet with the relevant executive dean and head of school or the PPR supervisor to discuss the Promotion Plan.

(e) Review of Promotion Plan

If circumstances arise which would impact on the attainment of the objectives agreed to in the promotion plan, or the timeline in which they would be achieved, the staff member may seek their PPR-AS supervisor, head of school and executive dean's approval to amend or withdraw the plan.

(f) Promotion approval documents

For promotion to be approved, the following documents must be provided to the supervisor and executive dean:

  • a copy of the staff member's Promotion Plan, as developed through the PPR-AS process, and
  • evidence that achievements identified in the Promotion Plan have been met
  • a current CV.

The staff member may elect to include the names of up to four referees with these documents.

(g) Promotion approval

The executive dean will review the promotion plan and associated documents to determine whether the promotion will be approved and inform the applicant verbally, then in writing, of the outcome.

Where an application is not successful, the staff member may meet with the executive dean and their PPR-AS supervisor to receive feedback.

(h) Effective date of promotion

The effective date of promotion for successful applicants to Level B or Level C is the date of approval, or as otherwise determined, by the executive dean.

(i) Appeals

An applicant may appeal only on the grounds of process.

An appeal on the grounds of process may be lodged with the Executive Director, Human Resources within two months of the date of written advice to the applicant on the outcome of an application. The appellant will outline their reasons for the appeal.

The Executive Director, Human Resources will convene a panel comprising:

  • the Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar or nominee, and
  • a nominee of the NTEU.

The panel will review the process that was followed by the PPR-AS supervisor, head of school and executive dean in respect of the applicant who has appealed. The panel will report its findings and, where relevant, make recommendation/s to the Provost via the Executive Director, Human Resources.

The Provost will make a decision on the matter, and report that decision in writing to the staff member, the executive dean and the head of school. Where the Provost concludes that there has been no breach of process, the Provost will advise the staff member accordingly. The decision of the Provost will be final and there will be no further right of appeal. Where the Provost concludes there has been a breach of process, all relevant documentation will be forwarded to the executive dean with a recommendation to address the breach of process.

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5.3.11 Promotion while on probation

Where a successful applicant is serving a probationary period, the remaining period of probation will be waived and the appointment confirmed at the academic level of the promotion. If any special conditions attached to the applicant's probation are not met at the time the promotion is approved, then these conditions will continue to apply through PPR-AS. For example, a requirement that the staff member continues to make progress towards a higher degree or teaching qualification (eg the Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice) may be included as an agreed goal in the PPR-AS Activity Statement.

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5.3.12 Use of title for research staff

Successful applicants for promotion as research staff will be given the following rank (and title where applicable):

Level

Rank

B*

Research Fellow / Senior Research Associate*

C

Senior Research Fellow

D

Principal Research Fellow (with title of Associate Professor)

E*

Senior Principal Research Fellow / Professorial Fellow* (with title of Professor)

* appropriate rank determined by the executive dean

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5.3.13 Resignation prior to completion of the promotion process

Where an applicant for promotion tenders their resignation from the University prior to a promotion being approved, their application will be regarded as withdrawn.

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Related Documents

MOPP B/9.2 Performance planning and review for academic staff

MOPP B/5.5 University Promotion Committee

Promotion for Academic and Research Staff (QUT staff access only)

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Modification History

Date

Sections

Source

Details

05.03.14 All Vice-Chancellor Policy revised and consolidated (B/5.3 Promotion for academic staff (Levels C, D and E) and B/5.4 Promotion for academic staff (Level A and Level B)) to reflect the PPR-based process for promotion to Level C

07.12.11

B/5.3.2

Vice-Chancellor

Policy revised to reflect change of title - Manager, Oodgeroo Unit to Director, Oodgeroo Unit (effective 01.01.2012)

15.12.07

B/5.3.2

Vice-Chancellor

Removed reference to QUT Carseldine and Executive Director, Northern Campuses (position disestablished from 31.12.07)

03.12.07

All

Vice-Chancellor

Revised policy (endorsed by Vice-Chancellor's Advisory Committee 21.11.07)

27.07.07

All

Human Resources Director

Policy renumbered to B/5.3 (formerly B/10.1)

16.04.07

All

Vice-Chancellor

Revised policy (endorsed by Vice-Chancellor's Advisory Committee 04.04.07)

28.03.06

All

Vice-Chancellor

Revised policy

17.11.05

B/10.1.7, B/10.1.11

Vice-Chancellor

Revised policy and "criteria for promotion" table to comply with Higher Education Workplace Relations Requirements (HEWRR)

02.06.04

B/10.1.4, B/10.1.10, B/10.1.11

Council

Revised constitution of promotion committees to include an Indigenous staff member when an application from an Indigenous staff member is being considered; revised rating process for assessing applicants and amended appeals timeframe (endorsed by Planning and Resources Committee 19.05.04); effective from 2004 promotions round.

11.12.01

B/10.1.7

Vice-Chancellor

Amended "criteria for promotion" table

24.10.01

All

Council

Approved new policy (replaces personal appointment to professor or associate professor and personal appointment to senior lecturer or lecturer)

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