Newly hired SPA employees serve a six-month probationary period, which may be extended to nine months if documented performance concerns exist. (Law enforcement officers serve a twelve-month probationary period.) The probationary period provides time for a new employee to adjust and work closely with his or her supervisor to learn and fully understand the job responsibilities and expectations. This period also allows the supervisor to provide the employee with necessary support, guidance, and feedback.
Note: When a permanent employee (other than a law enforcement officer) is being promoted, transferred, demoted or reassigned, a probationary period may not be imposed on the employee.
Items to consider during an employee's probationary term:
- Communicating with Supervisor/Department
- Performance Evaluations
- Change from Probationary to Permanent
- Extending the Probationary Period
- Guiding Policies and Other Resources
Communicating with Supervisor/Department
Maintaining an open line of communication between a supervisor and an employee is essential to create and maintain a successful work relationship. The university encourages all new employees to ask questions, familiarize themselves with expectations and determine if the position is right for them.
An employee should first contact his or her supervisor to answer questions, to address concerns as well as to review job responsibilities, expectations and departmental and university policies and procedures.
Supervisors must establish work plans with probationary employees within the first 30 working days of employment.
Supervisors and employees are encouraged to work closely during the probationary period, to discuss the employee's progress and to address and/or correct any performance or conduct concerns.
Probationary employees do not participate in an annual performance management cycle during their probationary period and are given a rating of 7 during the annual performance evaluations. Once an employee has reached either six months of employment (twelve months for law enforcement officers) or at the time the employee is being considered for permanent status, the employee must receive a closeout performance appraisal and rating. After giving a closeout appraisal to an employee, the supervisor must include this employee with the rest of the organization on the annual performance management cycle.
Change from Probationary to Permanent
An employee is eligible for permanent appointment when the following conditions have been met:
(1) The employee has been employed as a probationary employee at least six months (twelve months for law enforcement officers); and
(2) The supervisor is assured of satisfactory work performance and has verified the employee's credentials.
Note: After nine months of probationary employment (twelve months for law enforcement officers), the department must grant permanent status to a probationary employee or dismiss the individual from employment. (The probationary period for law enforcement officers may be extended only in accordance with the provisions of NC General Statute 17.)
Probationary employees are not subject to the successive disciplinary steps established for permanent employees.
Instances when the probationary period could be extended:
(1) If the supervisor would like to address performance concerns before offering permanent employment. (In this case, the supervisor should document the concerns, which allows the supervisor to continue evaluating the employee's performance or conduct then determine if the employee can meet expectations.)
(2) If there has not been enough opportunity for the supervisor to evaluate the employee's performance.
The supervisor must notify Employee Relations, 515-6575, before the probationary period expires and before taking any action for a request to change the employee's status from probationary to permanent.
Note: After nine months of probationary employment (twelve months for law enforcement officers), the department must grant permanent status to a probationary employee, or dismiss the individual from employment.
Probationary employees are eligible to transfer to other departments only after they have received their supervisor's approval. Transfers within the same department may occur at any time. For information regarding transfers as a probationary employee, see Transfer and Promotion after Probationary Period, or contact the Employment Department or 515-2135.
Probationary employees whose performance or personal conduct is considered unsatisfactory and unlikely to meet acceptable standards may be dismissed from employment at any time during the probationary period. A probationary employee dismissed under such conditions may appeal only if the employee alleges unlawful employment discrimination.
The supervisor must notify Employee Relations, 515-6575, before the probationary period expires and before taking any action for a request to separate the employee.