Manual of Policies and Procedures

B/9.4 Performance, promotion and probation for academic staff

Policy Owner

Vice-President (People) and Chief People Officer

Approval Date


Approval Authority

Vice-Chancellor and President

Date of Next Review


9.4.1 Purpose
9.4.2 Application
9.4.3 Roles and responsibilities
9.4.4 Principles
9.4.5 Supporting frameworks
9.4.6 Academic staffing committees
9.4.7 Delegations
Related Documents
Modification History


9.4.1 Purpose

The policy on academic staff performance, promotion and probation establishes the principles and processes which the University uses to support performance expectations and achievements, professional development, continual learning and career progression for academic staff.  


9.4.2 Application

This policy applies to all staff employed under the QUT Enterprise Agreement (Academic Staff) at all academic levels.

Ongoing and fixed term academic staff are expected to participate in performance planning and review (PPR) processes. PPR participation is a requirement for ongoing appointments and fixed term contracts more than 12 months, and a recommendation for shorter fixed term contracts (less than 12 months). The PPR process is designed to assist with clear expectations of performance and development from supervisors, which also applies within shorter fixed term contracts.

Performance and development for sessional staff is undertaken at the discretion of the University with an approach appropriate to sessional working arrangements.

Academic probation is not applicable for sessional staff members.

Academic promotion is not available for sessional staff members.  


9.4.3 Roles and responsibilities

Vice-Chancellor and President
  • approves academic promotion to level E
  • approves the Academic Career Framework
  • approves establishment of additional committees at faculty/centre/division levels
  • approves academic promotion to level D
  • approves Faculty Standards of Performance
  • confirms probation to all academic staff positions at levels D and E
Executive deans of faculty/Heads of portfolio
  • approve academic promotion to levels B and C
  • confirm probation to all academic staff positions at levels A to C
  • recommend level D and E promotions to the university academic staffing committee
Vice-President (People) and Chief People Officer
  • approves the related procedures
  • leads in the implementation of the performance, promotion and probation processes
  • provides relevant resources, training and development to ensure academic staff can successfully participate in this process
Heads of school
  • provide guidance and coaching to staff within the school on promotion readiness and preparation
  • recommend level B and C promotions to faculty academic staffing committees
  • identify and delegate appropriately to supervisors for the purpose of performance planning and review
  • identify training and development needs for supervisors and provide coaching and support to supervisors in undertaking this role
  • provide guidance to staff for whom they are the designated supervisor on promotion readiness and preparation
  • actively champion and use the performance planning and review processes to ensure academic staff have clear goals, ongoing feedback and professional development
Academic staff members
  • participate in the career planning and performance planning and review (PPR) processes
  • seek feedback from supervisors and other stakeholders including additional reviewers, peers, external stakeholders and students regarding contributions and performance


9.4.4 Principles

QUT is committed to enabling fulfilling careers for academics and will ensure that University processes support academic achievements and sustained high performance through the following principles:

  • professional development, ongoing feedback and coaching are considered important elements of career development
  • academic staff strive towards excellence within relevant academic domains and focus on developing academic capabilities with the intent to engage in life-long learning
  • career planning and performance planning are a shared responsibility of the staff member and their designated supervisor
  • academic promotion is based on individual attainment of required benchmarks at the next level as demonstrated through evidence, and will not be influenced by budget or length of service
  • academic promotion recommendations will be made by the relevant staffing committee in alignment with the charter and the Academic Career Framework (ACF) as the promotion criteria
  • achievement relative to opportunity will be an important consideration within all QUT performance, promotion and probation decisions and will be applied whenever relevant by decision makers and committees
  • performance planning and review (PPR) is an annual process to support and encourage ambitious goal setting, clarify expectations, review performance, provide feedback and participate in developmental conversations
  • demonstrating active and constructive participation in the performance planning and review (PPR) process is a requirement for academic promotion and probation confirmation. 

Enterprise Agreement COVID-19 Schedule

The University will take into account, including beyond the life of the Enterprise Agreement COVID-19 Schedule, the impact of COVID-19 on the working environment and personal lives, including performance relative to opportunity, of all staff when undertaking any performance evaluation or managing performance of any staff member.

Probation targets will, where necessary, be adjusted to reflect any disruption caused by the impact of COVID-19. This can be initiated by either the staff member or the University. Any changes to targets must be agreed to by the authorising officer.


9.4.5 Supporting frameworks

A framework, standards and procedures are in place to support and implement the various processes:

  • the Academic Career Framework (ACF) supports academic staff to plan and progress careers at QUT. It provides details on the academic domains, benchmarks by academic level and examples of indicators to plan for and evidence career achievements
  • Faculty Standards of Performance provide a specific discipline-based summary of expectations
  • when identified, unsatisfactory performance will be handled in alignment with the Enterprise Agreement (Academic Staff) processes and related procedures
  • Academic Probation procedure (ongoing and fixed-term appointments with a duration of 5 years or more)
  • Academic Promotion procedure
  • Academic Performance Planning and Review procedure.


9.4.6 Academic staffing committees

A committee structure has been established to support decision making and assist in fulfilling the Academic Career Framework (ACF). This committee structure consists of  the University Academic Staffing Committee (UASC) and a faculty academic staffing committee (FASC) for each faculty as required.

The University Academic Staffing Committee (B/9.5) is established to facilitate promotions at senior levels and other staffing matters.

One Faculty Academic Staffing Committee (B/9.6) is established per faulty under the leadership of the Executive Dean. With approval, other areas outside faculties may establish a committee if required.

The Committees operate in accordance with Council Procedure 1 – Committees. 


9.4.7 Delegations

Refer to Register of Authorities and Delegations (VC022, VC068, VC070, VC092, VC093) (QUT staff access only).


Related Documents

MOPP B/9.5 University Academic Staffing Committee charter

MOPP B/9.6 Faculty academic staffing committees charter

Academic Career Framework (QUT staff access only)

Academic Promotions Procedure (QUT staff access only)

Academic Performance Planning and Review Procedure (QUT staff access only)

Academic Probation Procedure (Ongoing and fixed term more than 5 years) (QUT staff access only)


Modification History





24.03.22 B/9.4.3 Director, Human Resources - Centres of Expertise Administrative update following review of promotion process
27.01.22 B/9.4.3, B/9.4.4 Director, Human Resources - Centres of Expertise Revised policy to align with revised HR delegations and to remove references to the EA COVID-19 Schedule
30.04.21 All Director, Governance, Legal and Performance Editorial amendments to align with Repositioning QUT for a post-COVID world organisational change - effective 31.01.21
20.08.20 B/9.4.4 Associate Director, Human Resources (Workplace Relations) Revised to reflect the Enterprise Agreement Variations
23.12.19 All Vice-Chancellor and President New policy – content incorporated from rescinded policies B/5.3 Promotion for academic staff and B/9.2 Performance planning and review for academic staff