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Reports on progress are required from Academic Heads at regular intervals.

Setting the objectives (first confirmation report)

The first Confirmation report sets the objectives that will be used to report on the staff member’s progress in each subsequent confirmation report.
Confirmation provides an opportunity to establish their academic career at the University. In addition to the Heads and PVCs, there is a range of support available from HEDC, Human Resources (HR), mentors and colleagues. The staff member is encouraged to complete the “Staff Members' Comments” section of the confirmation reports to share their views.

Completing the first confirmation report

  1. Within a month of the staff member commencing their confirmation path appointment, Human Resources will email the staff member and the Academic Head with a template for the first confirmation report.
  2. The Academic Head and staff member meet to discuss the objective. After the discussion both sign the report.
    The staff member provides their CV in the standard Otago format (DOCX)
  3. The signed report and all other documents required (e.g. CV) are emailed, either by the Head or Client Services Administrator to the PVC’s office (or in Health Sciences, the Dean’s office and then the PVC if required). They review the report and either endorse and if appropriate comment on the report, or send it back to the Head if not complete.
  4. The PVC’s office or Dean’s office email the completed report and documents to Human Resources using confirm@otago.ac.nz
  5. Human Resources review the report and prepare a summary for the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic DVC(A). If necessary, they may seek clarification from the Head or PVC.
  6. HR submits the report to the DVC(A) for review and approval of the Objectives.
  7. Human Resources will return the report (with the approved objectives) to the staff member and the Academic Head.
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Confirmation progress reports (second to fourth)

Once the review meeting is completed, the steps for processing the report are the same as for the first Confirmation report. See above.

Completing the second or subsequent confirmation report

  1. Two months before a report is due, Human Resources will email the staff member and the Academic Head with a template for the second (or subsequent) confirmation report.
  2. The process is the same as for the First report above except that the staff member
    1. Reviews their progress before the meeting;
    2. Updates their Otago format CV;
    3. Updates their Otago Teaching Profile – keeping the Self-evaluation of Teaching Statement under 2 pages;
    4. Collates their teaching evidence;
    5. Collates any other supporting evidence that the Head or DVC(A) requires (e.g. research plan, course attendance etc).
  3. The Academic Head and staff member meet to discuss the staff member’s progress, including notes from the PVC or DVC(A) in the previous report(s). They will record progress on the objectives, and identify any support needed. The Head and staff member both sign the report once the staff member is given the opportunity for comment.
  4. Refer steps 3 to 7 for the First Confirmation Report.

Early Confirmation Reports

A staff member who meets the set objectives can be confirmed at the 3rd or, 4th report. The steps are the same as for the Second to Fourth report except for the following;

  1. After meeting with the staff member, the Head makes a recommendation to Confirm.
  2. A Head can apply for early confirmation for a staff member who after completing their 3rd or 4th report they believe has met the objectives.
  3. If the PVC (or Dean in Health Sciences) agrees, the report will be sent to the DVC(A) who will assess whether the objectives have been met .
  4. The DVC(A) will review the report and, if they agree that the staff member can be considered for confirmation, they will send the report to Staffing Advisory Committee (SAC). If the DVC(A) decides that they have not yet met the objectives, they will continue the normal report process. HR will notify the staff member if their report will proceed to Staffing Advisory Committee.
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Confirmation progress reports (final)

Completing the final confirmation report

  1. The Head of Department and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (or Dean in Health Sciences) makes a recommendation about whether the appointment should be confirmed. If it is the Final (5th) report and they do not support Confirmation they will make a recommendation whether to defer.
  2. If the HOD has advised the staff member has met the set objectives in their final report and the PVC, (Dean in Health Sciences) agrees. The report will be sent to Staffing Advisory Committee (SAC) for a decision to confirm or not.
  3. The staff member will be written to and advised of the SAC decision. If a staff member is deferred or declined confirmation then the Head or PVC, and a HR manager will meet with the staff member to discuss the decision.
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When are confirmation reports required?

The following table summarises when reports are required after the appointment of staff members to Confirmation Path appointments:

Reminder by HR Report Due
First report 1 month after appointment 3 months after appointment
Second report 16 months after appointment 18 months after appointment
Third report 28 months after appointment 30 months after appointment
Fourth report 40 months after appointment 42 months after appointment
Final report 52 months after appointment 54 months after appointment

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FAQs

The following table lists a few aspects of the policy that we receive enquiries about, and the appropriate section of the confirmation path policy for more information.

Deferral of confirmation

Consideration of confirmation may be deferred for up to 12 months beyond the agreed confirmation period.

This decision is made if the University believes that an extension of time will provide the staff member with a reasonable opportunity to meet the confirmation performance expectations.

The Staffing Advisory Committee makes the decision about deferral.

Section 16 of the confirmation path policy
Early confirmation

Normally, confirmation path is a five-year period. Early confirmation will be approved only where the agreed objectives and standards have been fully met and at least 3 reports have been submitted and approved.

The Staffing Advisory Committee makes the decision about early confirmation.

Section 14 of the confirmation path policy
Interim reports

The University may ask for interim reviews and reports.

Heads of Department must provide clear feedback to staff members about their performance and whether progress is satisfactory.

Section 13 of the confirmation path policy
Minimum hours Staff members appointed to a confirmation path position must normally be employed for at least 0.4 FTE. Section 4 of the confirmation path policy
Prior service Prior service with the University of Otago or any other university is not normally recognised as part of the confirmation path appointment. Section 3.2 of the confirmation path policy
Suspension of confirmation period The confirmation period may be suspended if staff members have an extended break of more than three months because of:
  • parental leave
  • sick leave
  • leave without pay
  • a reduction of FTE to below 0.4
  • COVID-19 suspension for period of 4 months
Section 5 of the confirmation path policy

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