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End of confirmation path

Confirmation path was a five-year probationary and development period for new permanent appointees as Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor and Professor. In March 2024, following consultation with affected staff, the University took the decision to end the Confirmation Path process and confirm the appointments of staff currently on the Confirmation path.

Operating the Confirmation path policy and process focused significant resources on one group of new staff, while creating a high administrative workload. It is no longer the best approach to manage academic staff development.

The strength of Confirmation path has been the support, time and guidance given to new lecturer path appointees. The University recognises that academic staff need support for career development, and guidance about the expectations of performance at each level. This is true for each of the three pathways – Research, Teaching/Professional Practice, and Lecturer to Professor. It applies to new as well as longer-serving staff as they progress in their academic careers.

Work is under way on a project to retain the best aspects of Confirmation path: the academic orientation and developmental focus, and the clear and consistent expectations for staff across the University. Further information will be available under Academic Performance Development within this website in due course.

How are staff affected?

If you were on a Confirmation path appointment, you should have received an emailed letter from Human Resources on 13 March 2024.

Now that your appointment is confirmed, the Confirmation path annual reporting process is replaced by the existing annual or biennial performance appraisal process that applies to your appointment level. Your Head should meet with you to clarify your current objectives that will apply to your next appraisal.

Although the Confirmation path probationary process is no longer applicable, staff and Heads may find it useful to refer to the content of the generic objectives that were used for Confirmation path. For this reason, we have retained the objectives at the links below.

Confirmation objectives 2020-2023

For staff whose appointments have been confirmed in March 2024, the following documents are no longer required. The Confirmation Objectives 2020-2023 are retained here as a starting point that may assist with goal-setting. The Confirmation objectives (2020-2023) represent a minimum standard of achievement over five years.

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