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Category Human Resources
Type Guideline
Approved by Director, Human Resources, 1 February 2021
Date Guideline Took Effect 1 February 2021
Last approved revision 
Sponsor Director, Human Resources
Responsible officer HR Manager, Promotions and Remuneration

Please note that compliance with University Guidelines is expected in normal circumstances, and any deviation from Guidelines – which should only be in exceptional circumstances – needs to be justifiable.


The purpose of these guidelines is to outline the requirements of employing Tutors and Demonstrators.

Organisational scope

These guidelines apply University-wide.


Tutors/Demonstrators (T&D)
Tutors or demonstrators are normally students who will work under the supervision of an academic staff member. In the course of the academic year, tutors or demonstrators are employed primarily to teach in an assigned number of tutorials or laboratories, and may be required to mark and return assessed work or co-ordinate a group of other tutors or demonstrators. It is expected that most tutors and demonstrators will be appointed at the beginning of the first semester.


1. Terms and conditions of employment

  1. All T&D must be employed using the standard University of Otago Employment Agreement for T&D. All applications and offers must be made using the CASPER online application.
  2. Applicants must be provided with a written description of their duties as a T&D. The Role Description (Refer sec 7 below) may be appended to or have references added that refer to the particular role and area of appointment. These should be consistent with the Role Description.
  3. All T&D agreements must contain a finish date and employees must not under any circumstances be allowed to work beyond the finish date of their written agreement.
  4. T&D appointments will normally be for a semester or academic year. The term of the agreement must be less than 12 months. A T&D cannot be appointed for one or more agreements that continue beyond 12 months without prior approval from Human Resources.
  5. To assist with planning and recruitment, in some instances T&Ds may be encouraged to apply for future T&D roles. It is important to state that this is not a commitment to offer them a T&D role in the future as all offers are made in writing.
  6. Appointees must be legally entitled to work in New Zealand. This must be made clear to all prospective T&D and be included in advertising or additional information.
  7. Each T&D appointment requires a new application.
  8. Should a T&D resign, Payroll Services are to be notified immediately by email or in writing with details of actual hours that have been completed. This ensures their final pay is correct and paid promptly.

2. Pay rates for Tutors & Demonstrators

  1. Rates of Pay

    The T&D Scale contains four levels. Each T&D position will be remunerated at the level that aligns with the requirements for that position. These rates are hourly rates exclusive of holiday pay.
    Level Hourly rate effective 1 January 2024
    01 $25.44
    02 $27.44
    03 $29.44
    04 $33.62
  2. Criteria for Deciding an Appropriate Level for the T&D Position

    The criteria when considering an appropriate level for a T&D position are:
    1. Requirements of the role
    2. Job content and complexity
    3. Minimum required qualification and experience

    The following tables contain guidance on specific criteria for each salary level. These criteria are indicative and the specific criteria may vary across Departments, Schools and Divisions.

    Tutor positions – guidance on salary levels

    01 The appointee is in their first year as a tutor. Will have training as a tutor and closer supervision. Required to do own preparation for tutorials and deliver appropriate level of tutoring, marking and assistance. Reports on tutorials and provides feedback on course material. Has a qualification or part thereof sufficient to tutor at the level of paper(s).
    02 As per Level 1 but has tutoring experience that will be required beyond that expected at that level. Required to do own preparation for tutorials and deliver appropriate level of tutoring, marking and assistance. Reports on tutorials and provides feedback on course material. Has a qualification or part thereof sufficient to tutor at the level of paper(s).
    03 Will be directly involved with and have some responsibility for coordination and training of tutors - both in subject matter and delivery of teaching. Will assist with preparation of material. Will require a higher level of knowledge. Works closely with their supervisor.
    04 Specialist positions. Normally required to hold a post-graduate qualification or to be studying towards one. Role requires considerable experience. This level can be seen as a Level below the expectations required of a Teaching Fellow position.

    Demonstrator positions – guidance on salary levels

    01 Will have training as a Demonstrator and require closer supervision. Required to do own preparation for labs and deliver appropriate level of tutoring, marking and assistance. Reports on labs and provides feedback on lab material resources. Has a qualification or part thereof sufficient to demonstrate at the level of paper(s).
    02 As per Level 1 plus will be directly involved with coordination and training of demonstrators - both in subject matter and delivery of. Will assist with preparation of material and the setup of labs. Will require a higher level of knowledge. Works closely with Academic lead.
    03 Demonstrators experienced in the paper being taught and the requirements of the work to be done in the lab. Has sound instruction and coaching skills; oversight of Health & Safety requirements; and undertake limited or on-site supervision in a lab environment. Often working in labs of long duration or with higher technical demands.
    04 Specialist positions. Normally require a post-graduate qualification or specialist training. Role requires considerable experience. Is able to be responsible for the supervision of a large lab when the supervisor is absent. This level can be seen as a Level below the expectations required of a Teaching Fellow or Professional Practice Fellow position.
  3. Appointment level

    Each T&D will be appointed at the level that aligns with the requirements for the position.

    There is no progression up the scale – e.g. appointment at level 02 in one appointment does not entitle placement on level 03 for subsequent appointments.

    Reappointment at a higher level will depend on the requirements of the role and the appointee being able to meet those requirements. Refer 3(b) below.

    A particular T&D position may allow T&Ds to be employed at different levels depending on the Department's requirements. Similarly, not all levels will be available for every T&D position as some responsibilities or tasks may not be required.

    In some instances, both within a Department and across different Departments, a T&D may have T&D roles at different levels due to the different requirements of those roles.

3. Selection of Tutors and Demonstrators

  1. The selection process should be set out in advance. It must include a written description of duties and role criteria. Appointments must be made on merit. Reasonable effort should be made to give employment/research training opportunities to current or intending post-graduate students.
  2. Each applicant should be assessed as to whether they meet the requirements of the position [2.(b)] based on:
    1. Relevant work experience
    2. Relevant role related educational or other qualifications
    3. Relativities across the Department, School and Division
    4. Participation in any job related training offered by the University.
  3. As with any recruitment, staff involved in the process must declare any potential conflicts of interest to their manager or Head. In those instances where relatives or friends are applying, the manager or Head must be must advised in writing. They will determine how the conflict or potential conflict is to be managed. The staff member will normally be excluded from the selection, supervision or pay related approvals of an appointee where a perceived or actual close relationship exists.

    For assistance or clarification consult your Divisional Human Resources person.
  4. Allocation of hours

    The allocation of hours may include an allocation of a specific number of hours for preparation and marking in addition to formal teaching. This will be determined by the Department or School based on a reasonable assessment of the work to be undertaken.
  5. Pay Requirements
    1. T&Ds are paid fortnightly. Each pay fortnight starts on a Monday and finishes on a Sunday. Payment is made on the following Wednesday subject to a time sheet being completed and authorised.
      The payroll deadlines
    2. T&Ds are required to submit a timesheet for the hours worked at the end of each fortnight worked. Hours cannot be accumulated across pay periods into one timesheet.
    3. Where a T&D is paid very high hours for preparation and marking, it may suggest that they are not employed on the correct agreement. Advice should be sought from Human Resources who may ask the Head of Department for clarification.
  6. Holiday Pay

    Due to T&D employment being for less than 12 months their regular fortnightly pay will include an additional 8% of their gross earnings for the fortnight as holiday pay.
  7. Public Holidays

    Payment will only be made for a Public Holiday not worked, where it falls on a day the employee would normally have worked under an established pattern of work. If the employee is required to work on a Public Holiday, the employee will be paid normal pay for time actually worked plus half as much again. In addition, if the day is a day the employee would normally have worked under an established pattern of work, they will receive an alternative paid holiday as provided in the Holidays Act 2003.

4. Supporting Tutors and Demonstrators

All T&Ds must receive an appropriate Induction for each appointment. It will include linking with their supervisors, explanation of responsibilities and Health and Safety training.

For information on supporting T&Ds, please visit the HEDC website

5. Overseas Students

Information on immigration and working visas

All T&D appointees must have an appropriate work visa in place before being offered a position.

6. Advice and Information

Questions regarding the appointment process please contact your Administrator.

Questions relating to your pay, please contact:

Payroll Services
Tel +64 3 479 6372

Questions regarding procedural or contractual matters should be directed to the appropriate Divisional Human Resources Manager or Adviser.

For questions relating to student work visas, please contact:

Student Visa Co-ordinator
Tel +64 3 479 4569

7. Role Description

The Department may add an appendix or reference to specific duties to this Role Description, to reflect the needs or requirements of each position in a particular Department or discipline. Additions must be consistent with the Role Description.

Role Description – Tutor and Demonstrator

School or Division of XXXX


Tutor & Demonstrators (T&D) are students employed on a casual or part-time basis to provide teaching assistance to undergraduate teaching during the academic year. They provide a key contribution to students' overall learning.

The expectation is that normally a T&D reports to and works under the supervision of an academic staff member. However, in certain situations, such as Demonstrators working in laboratories, they may be supervised by a technician or other Professional Staff member.

Depending on the paper, discipline and format, a T&D will be employed primarily to teach in assigned tutorials and/or laboratories (NB: unless otherwise specified, laboratories or tutorials will be referred to collectively as classes). T&D will assist with the preparation, delivery and coordination of classes.

All T&D are required to undertake specified health and safety and other training and induction for each paper that they employed. Exemptions from this requirement must be gained from the Supervisor in advance.


T&D responsibilities will vary depending on the requirements of the Division, Department and the academic supervisor(s). The role responsibilities may include:

  • Complete preparation for all assigned classes.
  • Attend preparatory sessions and role related meetings as required.
  • Assist with the preparation of materials for tutorials or laboratory sessions.
  • Attend classes on time and appropriately prepared.
  • Provide information and assistance to students in a professional manner.
  • Be aware of and adhere to all applicable Universities policies, and rules including the Ethical Behaviour Policy, the Code of Student Conduct, The Sexual Misconduct Policy, and the Health and Safety Policy.
    These can be viewed on the Human Resources website or provided by your supervisor on request.
  • Declare any potential conflicts of interest including intimate person relationships with students undertaking the paper you are a T&D for.
  • Keep the Academic supervisor or other in situ supervisor (e.g. Laboratory Manager) informed of their work, issues or concerns in a timely manner.
  • Provide a communication channel between students and teaching staff.
  • Mark and return assessed work on time and to the require standard.
  • Co-ordinate other T&Ds and their work.
  • Provide administrative support relevant to the T&D role.
  • Provide specialist expertise and training to other T&Ds.
  • Maintain an appropriate level of academic achievement in their course of study.
  • Other duties as determined by the Supervisor that are consistent with a T&D role.
Role Specification

A T&D will:

  • Normally be a student of the University working towards or have a tertiary or post- graduate degree that is relevant to the area being taught.
  • Have an interest in assisting student learning and teaching and a willingness to expand skills in this area.
  • Demonstrated willingness to expand knowledge of material taught and how it is taught.
  • Possess a high level of communication skills.
  • Be able to organize their work to ensure deadlines are met. Includes balancing their own study and T&D workloads to ensure ongoing academic success.
  • Achieve a very high level of accuracy in their work.
  • Show evidence of an ability to work well with students and staff from differing academic and cultural backgrounds and at all levels of the institution.
Guidelines to level of Appointment

Decision on the level of appointment is determined solely by the University. Each level aligns with a set pay-rate determined by the University.

Key Relationships

Directly responsible to assigned academic leader(s) or Manager Functional relationships with Academic & Professional staff

Contact for further information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact your Divisional HR manager or adviser, or:

the HR Manager,
Promotions & Remuneration
Tel +64 3 479 8092

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