Skip to main content

Promotion to Levels C, D and E for Academic Employees Procedure

Procedure overview

1 Purpose

To outline the procedures for promotion to Levels C, D and E through the University's annual academic promotion round.

2 Scope

This procedure applies to all full-time or fractional Employees in Academic positions who hold a continuing or fixed term appointment (of more than 12 months duration) and who are applying for promotion to Levels C, D or E.

Procedures for applicants applying for promotion to Level B are contained within the Promotion to Level B for Academic Employees Procedure.

3 Procedure Overview

This procedure outlines the processes involved in:

  • eligibility
  • criteria for promotion
  • application for promotion
  • assessing promotion applications
  • other promotion matters
  • Appeals.

4 Procedures

Applications for promotion will normally be called in March and at least four weeks before the closing date.

Applications must be submitted to the Executive Officer by the specified closing time and date.

Information relating to application is available in the Guide for Applicants.

4.1 Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for promotion Employees will:

  • have completed 12 months or more service at the University in a fractional or full-time Academic appointment as at the closing date of applications.

Employees who were unsuccessful in their application for promotion in one year may not apply for promotion in the following year, except where:

  • the application in the previous year was a first application for promotion to that level, or
  • the applicant was deemed ineligible in the previous year and the applicant's eligibility requirements have subsequently changed for the current year's application (e.g. Doctoral qualification has been awarded).

However, an Employee who was unsuccessful in their application for promotion in one year may submit an application supported by a separate written case to the University Promotion Committee in the following year, where it can be demonstrated that substantial progress has been made towards addressing improvements identified in feedback received on the previous year's application. The University Promotion Committee will consider the supporting case as part of the application for promotion in accordance with section 4.4 below.

4.1.1 Applications over more than one level

Employees wishing to apply over more than one level must obtain written permission from the Chair of the University Promotion Committee prior to completing the promotion application. The submission must contain details of the exceptional circumstances demonstrating why the Employee should be considered at the higher level.

The University Promotion Committee may also recommend that an applicant be promoted over more than one level. In such cases, additional information including external referee reports may be sought.

4.2 Criteria for promotion

4.2.1 Qualifications or equivalent accreditation or standing

For promotion to Levels C, D and E, applicants should normally have a doctoral qualification in the relevant discipline area, or equivalent accreditation or standing.

4.2.1.1 Equivalent accreditation or standing

Where applicants do not possess the required qualification, cases will be considered for equivalence on the basis of professional accreditation or standing.

  • 'Equivalent accreditation' means that if an examining body, profession or similar institute admits a person to one of its awards or levels of membership, and that award or level of membership is widely considered by universities and the profession to be equivalent to a particular level of University award, then the award or level of membership may be deemed to have equivalent accreditation to the particular University award.
  • 'Equivalent standing' means that applicants must demonstrate equivalence to the required qualification with regard to teaching experience, experience in research and scholarship, experience outside tertiary education in industry, creative achievement, professional contributions and/or to technical achievement.

A candidate seeking to establish equivalent accreditation or standing must prepare a separate written case which substantiates the claimed equivalence. Evidence subsequently provided in the promotion application to support a case for promotion must be of a different nature and impact from the evidence used to substantiate equivalent accreditation or standing in relation to qualifications.

4.2.2 Special consideration

Applicants may also request consideration for special circumstances, including career breaks, gender, family or other factors which may have impacted their qualifications, accreditation or standing.

Additionally, Employees who at the time of applying for promotion, are in the process of submitting the relevant higher degree may be considered for promotion conditional on confirmation of eligibility to graduate in the higher degree following the promotion round, provided that it is within 12 months from the date of notification of the conditional promotion Decision. A case must be submitted in writing to the University Promotion Committee for consideration. If successful, the promotion will be effective from date of receipt of qualification and will not be backdated to 1 January.

4.2.3 Criteria in areas of professional activity

The University identifies the following three broad areas of professional activity as worthy of contributing to individual excellence:

  1. Teaching and the Scholarship of Learning and Teaching
  2. Research and Original Achievement
  3. Service to the University, Community and Profession.

The criteria are defined as the following:

  • Teaching is a creative activity designed to foster Students' learning, their ability and desire to undertake scholarly work, and their personal development and creativity. Teaching draws upon the professional and disciplinary expertise of staff and is continually revitalised by research, scholarship, consultancy or professional practice. Teaching includes the design, implementation and evaluation of curriculum materials for all modes of delivery.
  • Scholarship of Learning and Teaching refers to scholarly inquiry into Student learning which advances the practice of teaching by making research findings public.

    Teaching and the Scholarship of Learning and Teaching includes face-to-face classroom teaching; the various modes of distance education teaching (including online mode, the preparation of print, voice, visual or electronic materials and contact with Students directly or by telephone, computer link, or video link); the teaching or groups other than award Students (including fellow Employees); postgraduate supervision; curriculum, course and instructional design; education leadership and scholarship associated with learning and teaching.
  • Research refers to activities that result in the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes.

    Research and original achievement encompasses all forms of original intellectual or cultural achievement including: research, exhibitions, performance, unique consultancy and the leadership, scholarship, publication, commercialisation and information/technology transfer associated with these activities.
  • Service relates to the need for Academic staff to contribute in an appropriate and sustained way to the corporate life of the University, the community good and the development of their profession in domains such as; contribution to the formulation and implementation of Academic policy; the initiation (or active maintenance) of linkages between the University and the community, employers of graduates and professional institutions.
4.2.3.1 Weighting of professional activity criteria by applicant

In consultation with their Supervisor, applicants for promotion will nominate the percentage weight they wish to be given in each of the three criteria for consideration by the University Promotion Committee in assessing their application.

Weightings assigned by an applicant must have a minimum of 10% in each category (unless an applicant applies for promotion as a 'research only' or 'teaching specialisation and scholarship' Employee) and must total 100%.

The ranges for each employment category are:

Criterion

Employment Category

'Teaching and Research' Employees

'Research Only' Employees

'Teaching Specialisation and Scholarship' Employees

Teaching and the Scholarship of Learning and Teaching

10-80%

0-80%

10-90%

Research and Original Achievement

10-80%

10-90%

0-80%

Service to the University, Community and Profession

10-40%

10-40%

10-40%

In determining the weightings, applicants must take into consideration areas of strength and achievements in each category.

4.2.4 Supervisor's statement

The University Promotion Committee will be provided with a written statement which contains an evaluation of the applicant's suitability for promotion against the three promotion criteria by the Supervisor. The Supervisor should also comment on any special circumstances or considerations. The Supervisor may consult other Employees whose judgments they believe may be helpful in completing this statement.

4.3 Application details

Applicants are required to submit via email a copy of their application by 5:00pm on the specified closing date.

  • Applications received after the closing date will not be accepted.

Applications must contain the following:

  • a curriculum vitae
  • confirmation of the applicant's qualifications, or a separate written case for equivalent accreditation or standing
  • a self-assessment of performance addressing the three criteria and supported by such evidence as the applicant deems appropriate
  • a statement by their Supervisor based on the three criteria

Where relevant, applications must also include:

  • any case to support an application for promotion over more than one level
  • any case to support an application for promotion in the year following an unsuccessful application in the previous year, where this was not the first application for promotion to that level.

Applicants may request consideration for special circumstances, including career breaks, gender, family or other factors which may have resulted in an alternative profile in one or more of the criteria or limited their career progression.

Up until the day prior to the communicated meeting of the Committee applicants may provide additional information relevant to his/her application. Additional information must be provided in electronic form and must not exceed one page and summarise achievements that have resulted since their application was submitted.

For more detailed information on the format required and recommended content, refer to the Guide for Applicants.

4.4 Process for assessing promotion applications

4.4.1 University Promotion Committee

Applications for promotion will be considered by the University Promotion Committee as defined in the Terms of Reference.

The University Promotion Committee will consider and assess all applications, including eligibility requirements, qualifications or equivalency requirements, special cases and promotion criteria before recommendations are made to the Vice-Chancellor.

4.4.2 Guidelines for assessment

The University Promotion Committee will review all applications to determine whether qualification or equivalency requirements have been met for the level of promotion sought.

The University Promotion Committee will also assess applicants and rate each one based on the evidence provided in the application and any supporting documentation against the criteria outlined in 4.2.2.

Each applicant will be rated against each of the three promotion criteria according to the following performance descriptors.

Description

Definition

Exceptional

Outstanding performance by national or international standards, placing the applicant in the top echelon of his/her national professional peer group.

Superior

High level of performance denoting the applicant clearly as a leader among his/her peers.

Commendable

Performance at a level markedly above that necessary for routine performance of professional activity at the applicant's present level or equivalent to that necessary for performance at the level sought.

Adequate

Adequate performance at a level necessary for the performance of professional activity at the applicant's present level.

Marginal

Performance at a level giving cause for concern within the peer group.

Poor

Unsatisfactory and/or inadequate.

Each applicant will be given a numerical equivalent score out of 10 according to the following:

Performance Descriptor

Numerical Equivalent

Teaching and the Scholarship of Learning and Teaching (weighting%)

Research and Original Achievement (weighting%)

Service (weighting%)

Exceptional

10

Superior +

9

Superior -

8

Commendable +

7

Commendable -

6

Adequate +

5

Adequate -

4

Marginal +

3

Marginal -

2

Poor

1

No output

0

Total (WPA)*

*WPA here means Weighted Performance Average, being the weighted aggregate of performance across the criteria. Each numerical equivalent score will be multiplied by the percentage weighting given by the applicant to each criteria to form a Weighted Performance Average. Applicants must be awarded a WPA of 7 in order to be promotable.

For the purposes of this procedure the peer group of an applicant is defined as those Academic Employees of Australian universities in the same discipline and at the present level of the applicant.

The performance of applicants in each of the three criteria will be assessed against the position classification standards for:

  1. their current level of appointment, and
  2. the level of appointment sought,

with regard to demonstrated potential to perform at the level sought and actual performance at the current level relative to the applicants' peer groups.

Inherent in this approach is the expectation that, as the level of promotion being sought increases, the nature of the performance shifts from the conduct of an activity to the leadership, supervision and management of the activity.

Following the completion of the assessment, the University Promotion Committee will review the applicant outcomes and formulate the overall ranking.

4.4.3 Interviews

For promotion to Levels C and D interviews will be at the Committee's discretion. For example, applicants may be called for interview where further clarification is required or there is significant variation in ratings.

For promotion to Level E interviews will be conducted, as far as possible, during the time period outlined in the schedule. Firm interview dates and times will be conveyed to applicants as early as possible to ensure availability. All Level E applicants must normally be available for face-to-face interviews unless there are unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances. However, a phone or video interview may be arranged if the Chair of the Committee judges the circumstances make this necessary. The purpose of the interview is to explore selected matters from the application and to give the applicant an opportunity to present more recent information.

Applicants should note that inability to attend scheduled interviews owing to clashes with lecture timetables, for example, does not constitute unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances.

4.4.4 Outcomes and notification

Promotion Decisions will be made by the Vice-Chancellor, on behalf of Council, with due regard to recommendations of the University Promotion Committee, and other recommendations that may arise from the review process.

An unsuccessful applicant will be offered an opportunity for verbal feedback by the Chair of the Committee. An applicant's Supervisor may also be present at the feedback meetings.

Successful applicants will be appointed at Step 1 of the salary classification to which they are promoted.

4.5 Other promotion matters

4.5.1 Resignation prior to the completion of the promotion process

Where an applicant for promotion tenders their resignation from the University prior to the promotion being approved, their application will be regarded as withdrawn.

4.5.2 Role of the applicant's Supervisor

The role of the Supervisor is to assist applicants in determining readiness for promotion by providing feedback across the three criteria and any special consideration or circumstances. The Supervisor will be responsible for providing a written Supervisor's Statement to be submitted with the application providing commentary on the applicant's performance against each of the criteria.

For the purposes of assisting the applicant's development, the Supervisor may also be present at the feedback meetings.

4.5.3 Confidentiality

Other than material required for feedback to an applicant or required for consideration of Appeals, all materials and deliberations relating to promotion applications will be treated in the strictest confidence by all participants in, and observers of, the promotion process. Members of the University Promotion Committee and observers will not discuss applications, recommendations or deliberations outside of committee meetings.

4.5.4 Departure from regulations

Any departure from regulations may only be made with the approval of the Vice-Chancellor.

4.6 Appeals

An applicant may Appeal only on the grounds of process. The Appeal process is subject to the same expectations of confidentiality as the promotion round itself.

The Appeal must be in writing and forwarded to the Director (Human Resources) within four weeks of notification of the outcome of the application for promotion.

The Director (Human Resources) will refer the Appeal to the University Promotion Appeals Committee as defined in the Terms of Reference.

The recommendations of the University Promotion Appeals Committee will go to the Vice-Chancellor for Decision.

In the event that the Vice-Chancellor's Decision is to promote the appellant, that promotion will take effect from the date at which it would have occurred if the University Promotion Committee had decided to recommend promotion.

5 References

Nil.

6 Delegated responsibilities

Approver

Level of Delegation

Vice-Chancellor

Approval of promotion outcomes

7 Schedules

This procedure must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

8 Procedure Information

Subordinate Schedules

Accountable Officer

Executive Director (Finance and People Capability)

Policy Type

University Procedure

Approved Date

23/11/2016

Effective Date

23/11/2016

Review Date

1/1/2019

Relevant Legislation

University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014-2017

Related Policies

Performance, Development and Recognition Policy

Related Procedures

Performance Planning and Review Procedure

Position Descriptions and Position Classification Standards Procedure

Promotion to Level B for Academic Employees Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Enrich performance management program

Guide for Applicants - Levels C to E

Guide for Applicants - Level A to B

Human Resources Website

Terms of Reference - University Promotion Committee

Terms of Reference - University Promotion Appeals Committee

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Appeal

A formal, written request made by a Student or Employee to a higher authority to have a Decision overturned....moreA formal, written request made by a Student or Employee to a higher authority to have a Decision overturned.

Decision

A determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University....moreA determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University.

Employee

A person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University....moreA person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University.

Research Activities

Refers to activities that result in the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes....moreRefers to activities that result in the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes.

Scholarship of Learning and Teaching

Scholarly inquiry into Student learning which advances the practice of teaching by making research findings public....moreScholarly inquiry into Student learning which advances the practice of teaching by making research findings public.

Student

A person who has been Admitted or Enrolled at the University, but has not yet graduated from their Academic Program....moreA person who has been Admitted or Enrolled at the University, but has not yet graduated from their Academic Program.

University

The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....moreThe term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland.

Definitions that relate to this procedure only

Academic

For the purposes of this policy, Academic Employee is defined in accordance with Clause 4.2.3 of the University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014-2017.

Supervisor

Any person responsible for leading the activities of others. In the context of this procedure, a Supervisor includes Employees at any classification level or title who have responsibilities for leading, managing or supervising work teams and/or individual Employees.

Keywords

Promotion, Appeals

Record No

15/38PL

Failure to comply with this Policy or Policy Instrument may be considered as misconduct and the provisions of the relevant Policy or Procedure applied.

* This file is available in Portable Document Format (PDF) which requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. A free copy of Acrobat Reader may be obtained from Adobe. Users who are unable to access information in PDF should email policy@usq.edu.au to obtain this information in an alternative format.