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Approving Authority:

Resources Committee

Establishment Date:

25 October 1996

Date Last Amendment:

28 July 2011

Nature of Amendment:

*Clauses: 1 (scope inclusive of all academic roles); 3.1 and 9.1 (amended to make reference to position
descriptions); 9.2 (new sub-clause for specialised academic roles); 10.1 (new sub-clause for education-
focused academic roles); 14.1.1 (new standard range of weightings for balanced, focused and research-
only roles); 14.1.2 (transitional arrangements regarding weightings)

Date Last Reviewed:

June 2011

Responsible Officer:

Director, Human Resources


C13.1  [Applications for promotion] will be determined objectively on the basis of academic merit. Evaluation of academic merit in this context involves the deliberative input of academic judgement as a significant element, the primary vehicle for which will be an appropriately constituted committee which is independent of the academic supervision of those applying for promotion. Further, evaluation of academic merit will take account of clause C12 and, in particular, the expectations specified in the Academic Profiles for the level to which promotion is sought, giving due consideration to achievements demonstrated within the areas covered by the Profiles.

C13.2  [Eligibility to apply for promotion] All academic staff, other than casual staff, are eligible to apply for promotion except that for staff employed on a fixed-term basis, the cumulative term of appointment must be at least three (3) years.

C13.3  [Appeals] A member of the academic staff whose application for promotion is unsuccessful has a right to appeal the decision on grounds limited to alleging that the decision substantially miscarried as a result either of serious defect in the decision-making process or evidence that the applicant was discriminated against (being discrimination as defined under the University’s Equal Opportunity policy). Any appeal will be to an Appeal Committee constituted in accordance with clause A33.

C13.4  [Promotions committees] The composition of the promotions committees for applications to levels B to E and the composition of the Promotions and Academic Appointment Review Committee will provide for the President of the Flinders Branch of the NTEU (or nominee) to be a non-voting member.

C13.5  [All other matters] relating to the promotion of academic staff, will be as set out in the applicable University policies as they exist from time to time.  


1. [Scope] This policy provides for the promotion of academic staff to the levels of Lecturer (Level B), Senior Lecturer (Level C) and Associate Professor (Level D) and is designed to recognise and reward sustained excellence assessed on merit as demonstrated by service in the University. This policy is inclusive of academic staff who are in teaching and research, specialised academic and research-only roles.
2. [Eligibility] Academic staff at Levels A, B and C, employed on continuing or convertible appointments (fractional or full-time), may apply for promotion to Levels B, C and D respectively.
  2.1 [Fixed-term appointments] Academic and grant funded staff at Levels A, B and C employed on fixed-term appointments (fractional or full-time) may apply for promotion to Levels B, C and D respectively provided that the cumulative term of the appointment is for at least three years.
    2.1.1 For eligible staff on fixed-term appointments, it should be noted that although the length of service is not a criterion for determining eligibility for promotion, the University adheres to the principle that promotion is based on merit as demonstrated by service in the University.
    2.1.2 Promotion to a higher level will not alter the original term of the staff member's fixed- term appointment.
  2.2 [Academic Status] Holders of full academic status at Levels A, B and C may also apply for promotion to Levels B, C and D respectively in accordance with the University's Academic Status provisions.
  2.3 [Resignation or appointment to other position before application considered] Where a staff member who applies for promotion subsequently resigns her/his appointment prior to the date of the Promotion Committee meeting, the application submitted by that staff member will not be considered. Equally, where a staff member who applies for promotion is subsequently appointed to another position within the University prior to the date of the Promotion Committee and where the new position is, in the view of the Director Human Resources, distinctly different to that upon which the case for promotion is based, the application submitted by that staff member will not be considered. In either circumstance, the Director Human Resources will advise the staff member in writing of this decision.
3 [Criteria for Promotion]

[Academic Profiles] The criteria for promotion will be in terms of:

  • the contributions made by the applicant in the areas of academic activity recognised in the Academic Profiles, in accordance with his/her Position Description as appropriate; and
  • the applicant’s evidence of sustained excellence in these areas, at the academic level to which promotion is being sought, while working at Flinders University.
  3.2 [Poor performance in teaching or research] may provide grounds for not recommending promotion, notwithstanding the strength of the case in other areas.
  3.3 [Qualifications Criteria] In order for applicants to satisfy eligibility requirements that specify a completed higher degree (such as a PhD), the thesis must have been formally submitted for final examination prior to the closing date of applications for promotion. If deemed worthy of promotion in all other respects, such applicants will be eligible for promotion upon production of satisfactory evidence from the awarding institution that the staff member has qualified for the award of the higher degree. In these circumstances, promotion would take effect from the date that the staff member qualified for the award of the higher degree if it is after the common date on which the promotion of other successful applicants takes effect.
4 [Relevant period] The relevant period for promotion to these levels is normally the period since appointment or promotion to the applicant's current position. However, where an applicant has had a contiguous appointment at this University at the same level with the same or similar range of duties, evidence may also be provided for this period.
5 [Promotion Committees] Applications for promotion to Lecturer (Level B), Senior Lecturer (Level C) and Associate Professor (Level D) will be considered and determined, within the framework approved by the relevant approval authority from time to time, by the Promotion Committee for each level. The membership and terms of reference of the Promotions and Academic Appointment Review Committee and the various Promotion Committees are as follows:
  5.1 [Promotions and Academic Appointment Review Committee]
    5.1.1 [Role] The role of the Promotions and Academic Appointment Review Committee is:
  • to make recommendations on matters of policy relating to promotion, probationary appointment to continuing posts and continuing appointment (tenure); and
  • to develop and review policy relating to promotion, probationary appointment to continuing posts and continuing appointment (tenure) for referral to the relevant approval authority.
    5.1.2 [Composition]
  • Vice-Chancellor or nominee (Chairperson)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
  • Deputy-Vice-Chancellor (Research)
  • Deputy Vice - Chancellor (International and Communities)
  • Executive Dean of each Faculty
  • One member of the academic staff of each Faculty
  • Director, Yunggorendi, First Nations Centre for Higher Education and Research
  • Director, Human Resources (or nominee) (non-voting)
  • Manager, Equal Opportunity and Diversity (non-voting)
  • The President of the Flinders Branch of tghe NTEU [or nominee] (non-voting).
  5.2 [Promotion Committees for applications to levels B, C and D]
    5.2.1 [Role] The role of the respective (Level B, Level C and Level D) Promotion Committees is:
  • to determine, in accordance with relevant University policy, promotion from one Level to the next Level; and
  • to advise the Promotions and Academic Appointment Review Committee on policy and procedural matters in relation to promotion to that level
    5.2.2 [Composition]
  • Chairperson
    • Vice-Chancellor or nominee (Level D Promotion Committee) or
    • Chairperson of Promotions and Academic Appointment Review Committee or nominee (Levels C and B Promotion Committees)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor nominated by the Vice-Chancellor
  • Two academic staff members from each Faculty who are not Deans of School
    • at levels D, D Plus and/or E (Level D Promotion Committee)
    • at levels C, D, D Plus and/or E (Level C Promotion Committee)
    • at levels B, C, D, D Plus and/or E (Level B Promotion Committee)
  • The President of the Flinders Branch of the NTEU [or nominee] (non-voting).
  5.3 All Faculty members of the Committees will be appointed for a three year term. Faculty members will be nominated by their Executive Dean and may be renominated. It is preferable for each Faculty to be represented by one member in their first term of office and one member in the second or third term of office, to provide continuity.
  5.4 In selecting members for each of the above Committees, regard will be had to the Council policy on gender balance. If necessary, to achieve equity or gender balance, external members may be added.
  5.5 Academic staff means a staff member defined under A3.1 who holds a University post for at least three years including the period during which they will be a member of the Committee.
6 [Date of Effect] Approved promotions will normally take effect from 1 July of the year in which the decision to promote is made.
7 [Promotion outside round] If the Vice-Chancellor considers it to be in the interests of the University, a staff member at Level C or above may be considered for promotion outside of the normal promotions rounds, in which case separate provisions will apply.


8 [Call for applications] Normally in January/February of each year, the Director Human Resources will call for submission of applications for promotion to take effect in July of that year.
  8.1 [Closing dates] Information sessions for staff considering applying for promotion will be held and closing dates for the receipt of applications will be advised as part of that call. Prospective candidates must ensure that their applications reach their respective Executive Dean at least four weeks prior to the closing date set by Human Resources.
  8.2 [Format] Applications for promotion must be submitted in accordance with the format prescribed by the Academic Staff Performance Review Scheme and should be completed in conjunction with the relevant Guide. These documents are available from the University’s website.
  8.3 [Level D] For applications to Associate Professor (Level D) applicants should submit a covering letter (maximum two pages) with the application, for the purpose of summarising and highlighting the most important elements of the case for promotion and the case outlining the staff member's leadership claims need to be made/summarised.
9 [Academic Profiles/Position Descriptions]
  9.1 Academic Profiles, and where relevant Position Descriptions, will be used:
  • as the basis for applications for promotion;
  • as the basis for supervisors and the Promotion Committees to assess the staff member's performance in each area of academic activity; and
  • to achieve consistency in the expectations and evaluations of staff performance in different Schools across the University.
  9.2 For staff in specialised academic roles, the case for promotion will be assessed against the expectations articulated in the Position Description for their particular position and with reference to the Academic Profile for the Level concerned. Applications from staff in education-focused roles and research-focused roles will also be assessed with reference to the Supplementary Guidelines for those roles, as provided for in Schedules A and B respectively, in the Policy on Flexibility in Academic Work.
10 [Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness] Candidates for promotion, other than research-only academics, must submit independent evidence of teaching effectiveness and this evidence should include student evaluation of teaching as well as peer evaluation of teaching and/or supervisor evaluation of teaching. An application for promotion will not be considered in the absence of independent evidence of teaching effectiveness. In line with University policy of evaluation of teaching, the Student Evaluation of Teaching reports covering a number of years and for a number of topics, should normally be submitted. This may be supplemented by other consolidated forms of student evaluation of teaching.
  10.1 [Education-focused roles] Applications from staff in education-focused roles must include evidence of external validation of their outstanding performance in teaching and scholarship of teaching, as indicated in Schedule A of the Policy on Flexibility in Academic Work.
11 [Additional evidence] Applicants should substantiate claims made within the text of the application by providing additional information and facts as appropriate (e.g. in relation to research publications, number of pages contributed in all publications and as well as the number of pages contributed to jointly authored publications, claims of forthcoming publications should include details such as stage of publication; the status of particular publication outlets within the discipline; information on how the order of authors is determined in a particular field, etc, and comparable detail in relation to creative activity where this is relevant to the application). This will assist the Committee in the evaluation of research activity and in the interpretation of multiple author publications and research collaborations, and (where relevant) assist the Committee likewise to evaluate and interpret creative activity. Applicants should also include a detailed Curriculum Vitae as part of the application.
12 [Referee reports and further information]
  12.1 [Referee reports – Level D] For promotion to Associate Professor (Level D), a report from the referee nominated by the applicant will be sought. In addition, for promotion to Associate Professor, one other referee, who will be identified to the applicant, will be nominated by the University. It is important that all candidates have at least one referee of international standing and supervisors should ensure that this is done or an explanation is provided if this is not possible or appropriate.
    12.1.1 Candidates should also provide the name and address of a substitute referee in case the nominated referee is unavailable. Details of a substitute referee should also be provided by the University.
    12.1.2 Care will be taken in selecting referees to ensure that the relevant Promotion Committee will have before it adequate comment on the candidate's performance in all areas of academic endeavour
    12.1.3 Referees' reports are strictly confidential and will only be made available to members of the Promotion Committee.
  12.2 [Additional information requested by Promotion Committee] The relevant Promotion Committee may request applicants to provide additional information and/or may contact third parties to provide further information. In the latter case, the applicant will be advised that this information will be sought.
13 [Comments and recommendation for promotion by supervisor and Executive Dean] The person to whom a candidate is responsible is required to comment on an application for promotion. The supervisor is normally the Dean of the School to which the staff member belongs. Applications should be submitted to the Executive Dean through the supervisor. The supervisor and Executive Dean express the strength of their recommendations in relation to the application on a range of scores between 1 and 5. Comments by the supervisor and the Executive Dean will be returned to the candidate for noting before submission to the relevant Promotion Committee.
  13.1 [Supervisors] should assist applicants in preparing their cases in the most effective and appropriate way, including providing advice in relation to the allocation of weightings across the four areas of activities which best represents the performance of each individual staff member. Comments by the supervisor should address the staff member's contribution in each of the specific areas of activity. Where appropriate, additional contextual information should be provided about the area in which the staff member is currently employed. Candidates may submit applications for promotion irrespective of advice from the supervisor. In cases where a supervisor and her/his direct report seek to apply for promotion to the same classification level in the same promotion round, the supervisor should first disclose this to her/his direct report, who then should be offered the option of identifying an alternative supervisor (for promotion purposes only), provided that this option does not disadvantage the staff member.
  13.2 [Executive Deans] should ensure that:
  • adequate contextual information relating to the School and/or Faculty is provided by supervisors or by applicants, where relevant;
  • supervisors and applicants are aware that applications must be complete at the time of submission, and if for good reasons they are not complete, a statement should be included indicating which items are outstanding and when they will be available;
  • applicants are provided with comprehensive assistance in preparing their applications, and;
  • supervisors' reports added some value to the process by providing specific and verifiable comments in their reports.
14 [Assessment of Applications]

[Weighting scheme] A weighting scheme which will quantify the candidate's contribution in each of the areas of academic endeavour will be used in assessing applications for promotions. For each application, each member of the Promotion Committees will assign a score for each criterion according to the following scale:

For an area of academic activity:
Score Case for promotion
1 Very weak
2 Weak
3 Marginal
4 Strong
5 Very strong

[Standard range of weightings] Subject to subclause 14.1.2, the weighting factors which will apply to the four areas of academic endeavour for each category of academic role as defined by the Flexibility in Academic Work Policy will be within the following ranges:

Area of academic activity Weight
  Teaching and
Research-Focused Research Only
Research and
Creative Activity
No less than 3,
no more than 5
No less than 1,
no more than 2
No less than 6,
no more than 7
Not less than 7
Teaching No less than 3,
no more than 5
No less than 6,
no more than 7
No less than 1,
no more than 2
No more than 2*
(including Service
to the University)
No less than 1,
no more than 2
No less than 1,
no more than 2
No less than 1,
no more than 2
No more than 2*
(including Service
to the Community)
No less than 1,
no more than 2
No less than 1,
no more than 2
No less than 1,
no more than 2
No more than 2*
TOTAL 10 10 10 10

* one area may be zero

    14.1.2 [Variation to weightings – transitional arrangement] [Academic teaching and research staff] With the introduction of specialised academic roles, the provision for staff in “teaching and research” academic roles to vary their weightings for either teaching or research below the minimum levels of 3 will be discontinued. A transitional arrangement will however apply up to and including the 2012 promotions round. Under this transitional arrangement, in circumstances where the primary duties of the staff member are such that a more significant variation to one or both of these areas may be warranted, a candidate may present a case for weightings across the four areas that vary from the standard requirements. In any case, a weighting factor of not less than 1 must be used for each of the four criteria. Staff who seek a variation of weightings outside of the standard range under this transitional provision are required to provide, with their application, an alternative set of weightings within the standard range, which may be used if the relevant Promotion Committee does not approve the requested variation. [Support of Dean of School/supervisor] All cases seeking a variation of weightings must have the written support of the Dean of the School and in cases where this is not the academic supervisor, the written support of both the Dean of the School and the academic supervisor, and should include the reasons for the variation and a copy of the Position Description or other documentation describing the candidate's current duties and role in relation to the University. The case for variation of weightings should be submitted with the application for promotion. [Approval] Any variation to weightings will be referred by Human Resources to the Chair of the relevant Promotion Committee for initial consideration. If the Chair considers that the grounds provided are insufficient to warrant a variation, then the Dean of the School and in cases where this is not the academic supervisor, both the Head of the School and the academic supervisor, will be requested to provide greater elaboration on the nature and grounds of the case. Where such additional documentation has been requested, this information will also be provided to the Committee. In all cases, approval for a variation will be the responsibility of the relevant Promotion Committee.
    14.1.3 Significant variations from the standard weightings should not normally be made where a temporary change to primary duties and responsibilities is a factor. In such circumstances, the candidate should provide information on the nature of the change/s under "Special Circumstances".
  14.2 [Equal Opportunity Principles] One of the broad principles of equal opportunity is 'equity' - taking action to redress disadvantage caused by unequal access to education and/or employment. Equity does not mean treating everyone the same. In assessing cases for promotion, some candidates may have to be assessed differently in order for them to achieve equal opportunity in promotion, for example, women who have had career interruptions for family or health reasons may need to have their research output measured in terms of equivalent full-time academic employment. In assessing cases for promotion, the Promotion Committee's decision will be based on merit when:
  • assessment of contribution to teaching and of research output is related to the time available to the applicant;
  • publications in reputable journals which may not be peer reviewed, but are most appropriate for dissemination of information in some disciplines, are not undervalued;
  • the different profiles of applicants are taken into account and productivity is weighted in relation to opportunity rather than age, disability, race, gender, pregnancy, marital status, etc;
  • any special circumstances that have been identified by the applicant are taken into account; and
  • assessment is made on the basis of the application only, measured against the appropriate academic profile.
  14.3 [Scoring] Scores assigned by the whole Promotion Committee to each candidate for each criterion are averaged, eg where Applicant X is given a total of 36 for research by 10 members, the average = 3.60. For each applicant, mean scores for each criterion will be multiplied by the corresponding weighting factor for that criterion as specified by the applicant. The weighted mean scores for each applicant for each criterion are added to give the final score. This score is agreed to as the final score. Final scores of candidates will only be available to members of the relevant Promotion Committee.
  14.4 [Quota] Should a quota be applied, only those candidates who fill the quota will be deemed promotable. In such a situation, the weighted mean score will be used to rank candidates. If a quota is to be applied, advance notice will be given.
15 [Advice to Applicants] The Director, Human Resources will notify all candidates of the outcome of their application for promotion. For unsuccessful candidates, the advice will include information about the Appeals process and an invitation to meet with the Chair of the Promotion Committee to discuss the relative strengths and weaknesses of their application.
16 [Appeals]
  16.1 [Lodging an appeal] A member of the academic staff whose application for promotion is not successful may lodge with the Vice-Chancellor an intention to appeal or seek review within seven days of the notification of the decision of the Promotion Committee. If the staff member wishes to proceed with an appeal, the appeal must be lodged with the Vice-Chancellor within four weeks of the notification of the original decision of the appropriate committee. This deadline may be extended with the approval of the Vice- Chancellor if the request for extension is made within the four (4) week period noted above.
  16.2 [Grounds of appeal] The grounds of appeal are limited to alleging that the decision substantially miscarried as a result either of serious defect in the decision-making process or evidence that the applicant was discriminated against (being discrimination as defined under the University’s Equal Opportunity policy).
  16.3 [Appeal process] Subject to clause 16.1, an appeal will be considered by an Appeal Committee constituted as follows.
    16.3.1 Any appeal will be to an Appeal Committee constituted in accordance with clause A33.

Having considered the appeal, the Appeal Committee may decide

  • to refer the matter back to the Promotion Committee for further consideration; or
  • to affirm the recommendation of the Promotion Committee; or
  • to find that an independent ad hoc committee be set up to consider the case afresh and make a final decision, and request that the Vice-Chancellor set up such a committee.

  •     16.3.3 [No Further Action] Where a staff member exercises her/his right of appeal then in relation to any issue or matter which was or was capable of being considered by the Committee under its terms of reference, no further action can be taken by the staff member under any other review, appeal or disputes available within the University.
        16.3.4 [Representation] A staff member may request assistance or representationin accordance with Clause A6 of the Enterprise Agreement 2010-2013.


    Related Documents:

  • Role of Non-Voting Members on Promotions Committees
  • Review, Appeals and Grievance Committees
  • Academic Profiles
  • Academic Staff Performance Review
  • Application Form for Promotion (Form C)
  • Guide to Form C
  • Academic Status