Information for Applicants
This kit provides information to assist you if you are a full or part time (continuing) Academic staff member whose confirmation is due to be considered.
Confirmations procedures for full-time and part-time (continuing) Academic staff are described in Confirmation - continuing academic appointments.
Different confirmation procedures apply for Academic staff employed on fixed-term contracts and for Professional staff. These procedures are explained in Confirmation – professional staff and fixed-term academic staff.
Advice on any matter relating to the policy or completion of the Confirmation Report is available from your Human Resources Consultant in HR local.
Overview of Steps Required for Completion of Confirmation Report
This section provides an overview of the steps required to submit a Confirmation report.
- The Human Resources Department will notify you and your Head of Department in writing that confirmation is due and that a report is to be prepared. This notification will specify when the confirmation is due and the deadline for when reports must be received by Human Resources.
- You and the Head of Department and/or Dean may agree to defer the confirmation. If you and Head of Department and/or Dean agree to the deferral of the initial consideration of confirmation there will be no formal consideration of the case by the Panel. An alternative date will be set to consider your case which will be no later than one year from the initial date. If it has been agreed to defer the confirmation, you and the Head of Department must provide this in writing, stating the reasons for the deferral and forward this to the HR Department. The Head should also send a copy to the Dean for information.
- If the confirmation is not deferred, you must provide an updated Curriculum Vitae and your own Confirmation Report and give this to the Head of Department (guidelines for the content of the CV are set out in the next section).
- The Head of Department prepares a separate Confirmation Report after discussing any issues of relevance with you and consulting other senior colleagues.
- The Head of Department must show you the Confirmation Report and any comments made by other senior academics.
You are then required to sign and date the report to confirm that you have had the opportunity to see the report;
or you may elect to write a response to anything contained in the Confirmation Report and include this with your full confirmation documentation. This complete documentation will be provided to the Faculty Probation Panel. You can only reply once to the report from the Head of Department and senior colleagues. On completion of this response, you must provide a copy of this to the Head of Department, who will forward the complete documentation to the HR Department.
- The Head will also forward a copy of the complete documentation to the Dean for information.
- A time will be set for the Faculty Promotion Panel to consider your confirmation. You will be notified of the time your case is to be considered as you may elect to appear before the Panel should you wish to do so. Most applicants choose not to appear before the panel.
- Human Resources will notify you in writing of the result of your confirmation case.
Preparing a Curriculum Vitae and Confirmation Report for the Purposes of Confirmation
This section provides a guide to preparing a curriculum vitae and confirmation report for the purposes of confirmation.
When a Confirmation Report is due, the staff member due for confirmation must prepare an updated Curriculum Vitae and Confirmation Report to give to the Head of Department.
The report is your argued case for confirmation. It is important that you set out why you should be confirmed as a continuing academic staff member in the University. You need to address the probation requirements set in your initial letter of offer, as well as how you meet the requirements expected of an academic staff member at your rank covering teaching, research and service to the University. Your Position Description and the Classification of academic staff positions will provide you with information that needs to be addressed.
If you hold an appointment at Level A or B, you also need to demonstrate your potential to advance in an academic career.
The confirmation documentation must be type written on A4 paper; and
typed in font size 11 or larger.
The CV should include:
- Academic qualifications, listed in chronological order, commencing with most recent and including details of the institutions that awarded them.
- Details of current and previous academic appointments and any other relevant positions.
- Teaching, Research and Service to the University including details of candidature for higher degrees, details of grants, number and level of students supervised.
- With regard to teaching, the Academic Board has adopted a set of Nine Principles Guiding Teaching and Learning which describe the standards and expectations the University has in relation to teaching and learning and are a blueprint for the kinds of experiences the University aims to provide to students and teachers across all disciplines and the diverse groups of the academic community.
- You should include in your report how you have incorporated the Nine Principles into your teaching responsibilities. An overview of the Nine Principles can be found at http://www.unimelb.edu.au/student/teaching.html
- Details of Conferences and Seminar participation should be provided including information on whether you have been invited as a guest speaker, etc.
If you have industry collaboration and consultancies arising from your research, publications etc you should ensure that you have listed this in this section.
Publications should be set out as detailed in Appendix A below. You should indicate the level of your involvement with the publication (% terms) and relationship to other contributors. Copies of publications must be readily available should any member of the Panel wish to view them but should not be included with your Curriculum Vitae.
Detailed definitions of the publication categories are set out in the Publications Database Instruction (Ver 2) and all codes and further information are available from your Departmental Publications Co-ordinator.
Student Evaluation Results
Applicants must also provide a synopsis of their student evaluation results (normally over the past three years if available) with brief comments on strategies or changes implemented as a result of the feedback.
Appendix A: Guidelines for Describing Published Work
It is essential that publications be listed in accordance with the method used in the University of Melbourne Research Report (see below).
- be listed in chronological sequence;
- show the name of the author(s) for each publication;
- in the case of joint authorship, have a brief statement at the end of the list specifying the senior author and show the relative responsibilities of each author and the relationship to other authors - e.g.supervisor etc;
- contain full pagination (first and last page) or it will be assumed that the contribution is one page or less.
Conference abstracts and articles, etc submitted for publication should be clearly indicated.
Any publications in refereed journals should be asterisked.
Publications to be listed as follows. The name of the author/s should be given for each publication.
e.g. ROBERTS, A.C. - Advance in Transport, Shortwoods, Adelaide: vii + 298 pp.(1974)
Chapters in Books
e.g. SMITH, B.A. - Settlement near Mildura, in Early Australian History (2nd ed.), ed. B.P.Jones, Longways, Sydney:pp. 24-28 (1984)
e.g. BROWN, A.D. - Art of the Clarence River Aboriginals. Aust.J.Hist. 24: pp. 91-117
The following definitions must be used in completing applications.
- The work is available somewhere in the world.
- Books - A finished manuscript is with the publishers and all financial problems associated with the cost of publication have been overcome.
- Finished manuscript means that all major requests made by the publisher for alterations to the original manuscript have been met and the revised manuscript will be edited and published.
- Journals - The article has been accepted and all alterations requested by the editor are complete. There must be an indication that the article has been formally accepted for publication.
- For Journals and Books - A manuscript has been submitted but no final decision has been made by the editor or the publisher.
Information for Heads of Department
This kit provides information to assist Heads of Department when preparing Confirmation Reports for Full and Part time (Continuing) Academic staff members whose confirmation is due to be considered.
Confirmations procedures for full-time and part-time (continuing) Academic Staff are described in policy 105, section 3: Confirmation - continuing academic appointments.
Different confirmation procedures apply for Academic Staff employed on fixed-term contracts and for Professional Staff. These procedures are explained in Confirmation– professional staff and fixed-term academic staff.
Advice on any matter relating to the policy or completion of the Confirmation Report is available from your Human Resources Consultant in Human Resources.
Overview of Steps Required for Completion of Confirmation Report
This section provides an overview of the steps required to submit a Confirmation report.
- The Human Resources Department will notify you and the staff member in writing that confirmation is due and that a report is to be prepared. This notification will specify when the confirmation is due and the deadline for when reports must be received by Human Resources.
- You and/or the Dean (if the staff member reports to the Dean) may agree with the staff member to defer the confirmation. If both the staff member and you and/or the Dean agree to the deferral of the initial consideration of confirmation there will be no formal consideration of the case by the Panel. An alternative date will be set which will be no later than one year from the initial date. If it has been agreed to defer the confirmation, you must ensure that Human Resources is provided with written advice signed by both you and the staff member clearly stating that you both wish the staff member?s confirmation to be deferred.
- If the confirmation is not deferred, the staff member will provide you with an updated Curriculum Vitae and a Confirmation Report.
- You must prepare a Departmental Confirmation Report after discussing any issues of relevance with the staff member and consulting other senior staff (guidelines concerning the content for the confirmation report are set out below). You are providing advice to the Faculty Probation Panel about the suitability for the staff member as a continuing member of the academic staff. You must advise whether the staff member is to be confirmed, have an extension (of up to one year) or be denied confirmation.
- After completing the Confirmation Report, you must show the staff member the Confirmation Report and any comments made by other senior academics.
- You should ask the staff member to sign and date the report to confirm that they have had the opportunity to see the report; or
- If the staff member elects to write a response to anything contained in the Confirmation Report they must include this with the Report and provide this to you. This will be added to the complete documentation and forwarded to the HR Department by the due date.
- You should retain a copy of the complete Confirmation Report and ensure that it is kept in a safe and secure place.
- On receipt of the Confirmation Report, the Human Resources Department will contact you to arrange a time for you to present the case to the Faculty Probation Panel.
- The Confirmation Panel may have questions to ask you about the case, and principles of natural justice prevail. You should not introduce any additional information that has not been shown to the staff member, or introduce material which contradicts that included in the written documentation, however you will be required to answer questions put by the Panel.
- You will not be a voting member of the Panel.
- The staff member will be notified of the time that their case is being considered as they may elect to appear before the Panel should they wish to do so. If the recommendation is not to confirm, the applicant will be encouraged to attend and may bring along a friend or colleague for support.
- You may be requested to provide additional information for the Panel. If this is requested, the staff member must be given the opportunity to respond.
Preparing the Recommendation and Report: Instructions for Heads of Department
The Confirmation Report is prepared by you as Head of Department. This section provides a guide to preparing a Confirmation report.
Confirmation reports must be:
- type written on A4 paper,
- typed in font size 11 or larger, and
- each page must be numbered.
It is important that you, in consultation with the staff member, ensure that all the information that relates to the case for confirmation is included. There is no standard format for the report, but CV and publications and the final documentation should be set in the following sequence:
- Part A Recommendation and Report from Head of Department and Senior Colleagues
- Part B Reply by Applicant to Head and Senior Colleagues Report (if applicable)
- Part C Staff member’s case for confirmation
- Part D Curriculum Vitae
- Part E Details of Publications
Content of report
It is your responsibility as Head of Department to ensure that you have commented on all of the criteria that will be taken into account in considering the case for confirmation. You should document your case clearly and concisely and ensure that you have provided all relevant information to enable the panel to make an evaluation based on the written information you provide.
The confirmation report should contain the following:
Your report should include an argued case for confirmation, extension of the confirmation period or non-confirmation of the staff member.
If you are considering recommending non-confirmation you should contact your Human Resources Consultant immediately, prior to writing the report.
An assessment of performance
You should provide an assessment of whether the staff member meets the performance expected at the level of his or her appointment. You must address the probation criteria set in the contract of employment, as well as how the staff member meets the requirements expected of an academic staff member at their current rank. The Position Description and the Classification of academic staff positions set out the requirements expected.
Performance against specific probation criteria
The Confirmation Report should address each of the probation criteria listed in the contract of employment to the staff member and comment on the staff member's performance in relation to those criteria and an assessment of progress in meeting objectives and requirements agreed during the probation period. If circumstances have changed within the department so that any specific probation criteria are no longer applicable you should explain these circumstances.
You should provide advice to the Faculty Probation Panel on the opportunities and guidance that has been provided to the staff member to enable him or her to be confirmed. This might include assistance from the Centre for the Study of Higher Education, participation in formal or informal mentoring schemes or details about the staff member's responsiveness to previous feedback during discussions about the probation criteria or through the Performance Development Framework.
The Academic Board has adopted a set of Nine Principles Guiding Teaching and Learning which describe the standards and expectations the University has in relation to teaching and learning and are a blueprint for the kinds of experiences the University aims to provide to students and teachers across all disciplines and the diverse groups of the academic community.
The staff member must include in their report details how they have incorporated the Nine Principles into their teaching. You must comment on this in your report and provide advice to the Probation and Confirmation Panel. An overview of the Nine Principles can be found at http://www.unimelb.edu.au/student/teaching.html
In addition you should also comment on:
- Mastery of the subject matter
- Whether he or she keeps up to date
- Care in setting and marking assignments and examinations, adequacy of feedback to students in relation to assignments, and any specific factors you would like to raise because of the peculiar nature of the discipline.
- Specific comments on results of student evaluations - applicants must include in their application a synopsis of their results (normally over the period of probation) with brief comments on strategies or changes implemented as a result of the feedback. Applicants must also provide to HR, a copy of the full student evaluation details.
You should comment on:
- Research competence of the staff member
- The quality and quantity of the individual publications
- The standing of the journals in which they appear (whether they appear in refereed journals, are they deemed to be first class journals)
- The norms for the particular discipline
- You are expected to validate the information contained in the applicant's CV and report.
(c) Service to the University
You should comment on the staff member's service to the Department and Faculty or service across the University. This could include a significant administrative role or service or through acting as a mentor to junior staff, serving on University Committees or acting in advisory roles to the benefit of the University.
Views expressed by other senior academics within the department
Views expressed by senior academics within the department may be referred to in the body of the report or attached in a separate report.
Potential to progress
Level A & B academics are expected to demonstrate the potential to advance in an academic career. You should specifically comment on the staff member's potential to advance when preparing a confirmation report for a staff member who is appointed at Level A or Level B.