Human Resources

Probation Scheme: Manager guidance to monitoring performance


Preparing for your new member of staff

The Probation Scheme is a learning programme designed to support new staff settle into their role and welcome them to the University of Kent. The probation period should encompass planned and paced job-related development to enable your new staff member to become proficient in their role quickly and effectively, balanced by the need for them to understand the wider University context.

As part of this there will be mandatory steps that your new member of staff will need to undertake, for example Equality, Diversity & Inclusivity, data protection and safety, health and environment courses, as well as certain policies and procedures (both at University and local level) he/she will need to become familiar with, along with the specifics of the job.

It is, therefore, important that before your new staff member joins the University, you plan some of the key things he/she will need to undertake during their first few weeks, key people to meet and any on-the-job development needed. The easiest way to do this is to draw up a Probation & Induction Programme. A template to help you do this is included in this Probation Scheme documentation.


Preparing for review meetings

As well as having frequent one to ones with your probationer as and when the need arises, you will be required to complete formal review meetings with them during the probation period; within their first week; at the end of week six; at the end of month three and a final review within the first two weeks of their sixth month.

We believe the provision of regular feedback at an early stage is beneficial to both you member of staff and the University, and allows staff a fair opportunity to improve their performance or change behaviour, where required. It is, therefore, important you both prepare for these meetings to ensure you both get the most out of this process.

Some of things you may wish to consider when preparing for Review Meetings are:

  1. Prepare you probationer
  • Remind them of the date of your review meeting.
  • Ensure they have a copy of the relevant paperwork (a copy of the Probation Scheme, Probation & Induction Programme, Probation & Induction Checklist, Probation Form, their job description), as needed.
  1. Prepare the situation
  • Ensure you have enough time to hold a review meeting. This will differ dependent upon role and objectives but you will need to ensure enough time is set aside to have a meaningful and effective conversation.
  • Book a suitable venue, free from interruptions and easily accessible for both of you.
  1. Prepare yourself
  • Revisit the job description to ensure you understand the duties and responsibilities of the role.
  • Review the Probation & Induction Checklist to ascertain whether there are any areas they still need to undertake at a University level.
  • Review the Probation & Induction Programme to see if any meetings or development activities need to be carried forwards.
  • At the second, third and fourth stage Review meetings, ensure you have revisited the Probation Form to review objectives set, their on-going relevance, and to consider progress against these.
  • Consider any informal conversations and one to ones you have had since your last formal review.
  • What role-specific learning and development is still required?
  • Are there any job or departmental changes that you can foresee for the immediate future that should be discussed?
  • Consider if your new team member requires any additional support with regard to any of the Protected Characteristics as defined by the Equality Act 2010, or any other support.
  • Finally, consider anything else that may be relevant for discussion. For example, ensure your probationer understands their personal responsibility to uphold the University’s safety, health and environment regulations.

Registry, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 764000 or contact us

Last Updated: 17/03/2017