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Three Year Probation Scheme Guidelines

1 Duration

The probation period for lecturers and professional tutors (Grades 6 and 7) on ‘Teaching & Research’ and ‘Teaching & Scholarship’ career pathways is three years (thirty-six working months). If an individual can provide evidence of the completion, in full or in part, of a comparable probation process, consideration will be given to whether or not all or part of the probation period will be waived.


Successful completion of the first 40 credits (Modules 1, 2 and 3) of Cardiff University’s Postgraduate Certificate in University Teaching and Learning (PCUTL) is a requirement of the three year probation process. This requirement may be waived in whole for individuals who can provide documentary evidence of the award of a comparable qualification, or adjusted for individuals who can demonstrate significant teaching experience.

3 Probation meetings

An initial meeting should take place with the probationer at the commencement of the probation period. It is important that the objectives and key requirements of the post are set at this time in order to clarify what is expected from the individual and the School/Directorate. The job description and person specification should be used as a basis for setting the objectives.

Reviews of the probationer’s performance against the agreed objectives will take place at 12 and 24 months, recording amendments and agreements of new objectives where appropriate. As the process is managed locally, HR will not prompt Schools/Directorates to arrange these meetings.

Following thirty working months, the probationer will be asked by HR to prepare a Final Probation Report of progress against the objectives, including a Teaching Profile. Guidance for the Teaching Profile is available under 'Related Resources' on the right hand side of this page.

4 Documentation

Documentation in support of the probation reviews is available under 'Related Resources' on the right hand side of this page.

For staff on Teaching & Scholarship contracts it is not necessary to complete the sections on the probation reports that relate to research objectives.

On completion of each stage, the relevant probation report must be agreed and signed by the probation reviewer, the probationer, and the Head of School/Directorate, and returned to the Training and Development section of HR.

5 Staff Development Needs

Staff development needs should be identified in respect of the skills required for the post and should be noted on the Individual Training and Development Plan and forwarded as outlined.
Details of staff development opportunities offered by the HR Training and Development section are available online at:

6 Appraisal

Following successful completion of probation, the objectives set at the last probation review meeting should form the basis of the first annual appraisal meeting. Documentation in support of the University appraisal scheme can be found on the HR website at:

Academic Staff Roles: Teaching and Scholarship and Teaching and Research Pathways

This document sets out the expectations of academic staff employed at Cardiff University on either the Teaching and Scholarship or the Teaching and Research career pathways.  It is intended to provide individual members of staff with guidance on the development of their career, assists Schools in the development of common expectations across the School and in the fair and transparent allocation of workloads.