Human Resources

HR Excellence in Research

DCU Research Career Framework

Probation Review

All research staff will commence 12 months probation from the date of their appointment to the university.  This 12-month probationary period is viewed as an extension of the selection process. Assessment of the individual's suitability for the post to which they have been appointed is ongoing during the probationary period. The 12-month probation period may not be extended. 

The ultimate objective of the probationary assessment is to decide on the suitability or otherwise of a probationer for the post to which he/she was appointed. The probationary process should also:

  1. help the Principal Investigator and the staff member identify the strengths and areas of development of the staff member in post

  2. identify areas of competence (under the Research Career Framework), performance and behaviour that would benefit from learning and development

  3. provide the necessary support (for example learning and development) to the staff member to successfully complete the probationary process

Initial Meeting
It is recommended that within a week of the staff member commencing employment with the university they have an initial meeting with the Principal Investigator to identify both their objectives and learning and development needs for the first three months.  Part 1 of the Probation Assessment Form (currently under review) will be completed during this meeting and needs only to be returned to Human Resources with the form from the first of the two probationary meetings.

Assessment Procedures
Two assessment meetings will take place during this initial 12 months period, the first at three months and second at eight months.  The Principal Investigator completes both probation assessment meetings with the staff member.  Part 2 of the Probation Assessment Form will be completed during or following the Probationary meeting and will be signed by the Principal Investigator and staff member. The staff member may comment in writing on any area of the assessment and/or of the completed form.  The form will then be forwarded to the Director of Human Resources who may wish to comment or to seek clarification or amplification on any point of the assessment.  The form will then be placed on the individual's file. 

Confirmation in Post
Where performance has been deemed satisfactory the staff member will be confirmed in post and will then take part in the performance management & development scheme (PMDS).  Where an adverse assessments is received, every effort will be made by the University to positively facilitate the employee to satisfactorily complete the probation period. However, continuous adverse assessments are received, and where learning and development are not likely to overcome a difficulty, the matter will be fully considered by the Principal Investigator, Head of Centre and the Director of Human Resources before a decision is made about the staff members' continued employment with the University. 

Access the Probation Employee Toolkit