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Category Human Resources
Type Policy
Approved by Vice-Chancellor, 8 April 2019
Date Policy Took Effect 8 April 2019
Last approved revision 
Sponsor Vice-Chancellor
Responsible officer Human Resources Director


To define the delegations for establishing all professional staff positions and appointing to those roles.

Organisational scope

Applies to all University of Otago professional staff positions and appointments.


Professional Staff Establishment
The number of professional staff positions by cost centre approved through budget.
The Discipline Principle
Means that the areas responsible for providing services are the only areas with the authority to appoint staff who carry out duties within their discipline. This means, for example, that Information Technology Services will be the only employer of staff providing IT services (except for those in the Shared Services); Human Resources will employ Human Resources Staff (except for those in the Shared Services); Shared Services will employ staff in the Shared Services Division; External Engagement will employ Marketing and Communications staff; and so on.
Functional Proportion
An assessment of the proportions of a function (e.g. Information Technology, Finance, Administration etc.) that make up a role.


1. General Principles

  1. Each cost centre will establish an overall full-time equivalent ( FTE ) allocation which will be approved through the budget setting process.
  2. The overall FTE allocation will include detail about each position being budgeted. This will be the area's “establishment”.
  3. Staff appointments will be considered against the positions within their establishment in accordance with the delegations below.
  4. Any variation to the Discipline Principle must be approved by Vice Chancellor and have the support of the Head of the relevant discipline.
  5. All positions will include an assessment of the Functional Proportions within a role.
  6. To ensure equity across the University, the creation of job descriptions, the establishment of the functional proportions and the application of the Capability Framework will be governed by Human Resources.

2. Authorities to appoint

  1. The Discipline Principle is an overarching concept that applies to all professional staff appointments and the engagement of any external providers (contractors).
  2. Subject to the restrictions imposed by the Discipline Principle, Division Heads (Chief Operating Officer in the Operations Group and Deans in Health Sciences) have the authority to appoint staff within their overall FTE allocation.
  3. Researchers may appoint staff within their research grants.

Related policies, procedures and forms

Contact for further information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact your Divisional Human Resource Manager or Adviser.

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