Appointments Procedure

Recruitment and Selection Procedure

Purpose

The University is committed to recruiting the highest calibre of staff in all categories who best meet the requirements of the post and to contribute to the attainment of its core objectives ensuring fair and equitable selection.

This Procedure will be followed when appointing all staff.

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Key Principles

The University’s commitment to excellence underpins the Recruitment and Selection process and builds upon the requirement to appoint applicants to posts solely on the basis of merit.

The University is committed to providing equality of opportunity for all applicants irrespective of gender, including gender re-assignment; marital or civil partnership status; having or not having dependants; religious belief or political opinion; race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, including Irish Travellers); disability; sexual orientation and age. The University will make, where appropriate, reasonable adjustments in relation to applicants with disabilities.

The University shall ensure that for each Recruitment and Selection exercise there shall be an appropriately balanced Recruitment Panel for shortlisting and selection (the "Panel"), chosen from individuals appropriate to make a selection for that post.

All members of the Panel, employed by the University, will have received training in Recruitment and Selection, including training in Equality, Diversity and Unconscious Bias.

All data submitted by applicants' will be managed in accordance with data protection legislation.

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Defining the Job

There shall be a Job Description and an Employee Specification for each vacancy.

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Advertising and Applicants

Advertised posts are placed in relevant press, journals, online and social media. 

Positions will also appear on the University’s website. 

Whilst the majority of posts will be advertised externally, there are some occasions when external advertising is not appropriate (see guidelines for further information).

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Search Procedure

On occasion there may be a need, in addition to open advertising, to consider engaging in Executive Search, to bring vacancies to the attention of individuals with specialist knowledge, qualifications and experience.

Such Executive Search is only there to identify and attract specialist candidates but they will be subject to the same selection procedures as any person applying to any public advertisement.

Approaches by any candidate to any person on the Panel or otherwise by way of canvassing for any role may mean that their application is disqualified.

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Shortlisting

Shortlisting is the application of the specific criteria set out in the Employee Specification to each application. 

The Panel members will complete a shortlisting form indicating whether or not each applicant meets the specified criteria. 

Applicants who do not meet the essential shortlisting criteria will not be shortlisted.   

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend for interview and referee reports will be sought.  Individuals, not shortlisted, will be notified in writing.

Following shortlisting, the Chair will agree the following in preparation for interview and assessment.

    1. marking frame and weighting
    2. Core question areas.
    3. Topic for presentation or other assessment method.
    4. Arrangements for shortlisted candidates to visit the Faculty/School /Directorate prior to interview, if appropriate. 

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References

Referees will be asked to comment on matters deemed appropriate for the role and may include the candidate’s abilities, characteristics and skills.

For academic posts, references will only be requested for shortlisted candidates and will be made available to the Panel in advance of the interview.  Any issues arising from the references should be the subject of Panel discussion and agreement on appropriate action.

For all other posts, references will only be sought for the successful candidate(s).

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Assessment

The main method of recruiting to posts within the University will be by interview but depending on the role other methods may be used, as below. 

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Additional Forms of Assessment

In many instances additional processes, including testing, presentations, screening interviews, second interviews, assessment centres, and/or any other deemed appropriate for the vacancy.

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Marking

Following each interview, the Panel will assess each candidate against the Specification including the application of any agreed weighting of certain criteria. 

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The Selection Decision

It is essential that all selection decisions are well documented. Standard documentation is available to assist the Panel.

All selection decisions, whether at shortlisting or appointment stages, will be documented and justifiable on the basis of the criteria in the employee specification and the duties in the job description.

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Notification to Candidates

The University will advise the successful candidate that a recommendation for appointment has been made.  This may be subject to other checks or other conditions being met, including satisfactory references, medical questionnaire/report and right to work requirements.

A reserve list, if available, will be used for similar posts and will normally remain valid for a period of 12 months from the date of interview.

Other candidates will be notified that they have not been successful and whether they will be retained on a reserve list, if appropriate.

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Medical Reports

The University reserves the right to require potential members of staff to undergo a medical examination with Occupational Health.  Should this be the case then any offer of appointment will be conditional upon the receipt of a satisfactory medical questionnaire/report. The Human Resources directorate will liaise with the individual concerned to organise any required medical appointment. If there’s any reasonable adjustments required, this will be accommodated.

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Right to Work Requirements

All staff will be required to provide valid right to work documents and any offer of employment will remain conditional upon production of such documents.  Workers from outside the European Economic Area will require immigration status that permits work before they can undertake work in the UK.  The University is licensed as a sponsor under the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) Points Based System (PBS) and can provide certificates of sponsorship to skilled workers who have been recruited in accordance with PBS rules, to allow application for a visa.  Immigration status that allows work can be demonstrated in other ways but in all cases evidence of permission to work in the UK must be provided before work begins.  For further information please refer to the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website which can be found at: http://www.gov.uk/

A failure to produce valid right to work documentation will mean that any offer is withdrawn and where employment has commenced could lead to termination.

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Criminal History Check

It may be considered appropriate to require a criminal history check prior to commencing in certain positions, including but not limited to those that will involve working in regulated activity, as defined in any relevant safeguarding legislation, will require a criminal history check prior to commencing in post.  If an individual is disqualified from working with children and/or vulnerable adults, or where a criminal check show information pertinent to the role offered then the offer will be withdrawn.

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Probationary Periods

Appointments are conditional upon the completion of an appropriate period of probation as follows:

Academic Staff

The normal probation period for members of staff new to the academic profession (Lecturers/Lecturer (Education)) shall be three years.  A facility will exist to extend probation by one further year (two for School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences).

A period of six months will normally be applied to other academic appointments.

Probation periods may be reduced in exceptional circumstances and will be agreed by the Head of School in conjunction with the Probation Committee.

Other staff (including Research Staff)

The period of probation will be six months.  This, at the discretion of the University, may be extended by up to a further six months.

Appointments of less than six months

The period of probation will be the duration of the contract.

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Academic Management Posts

The positions of Pro-Vice-Chancellors shall be advertised externally.  Deans at Faculty level and Heads of School shall normally, in the first instance, be recruited internally.  However, the University reserves the right to externally advertise these posts at its sole discretion.

Posts such as Directors of Research, Directors of Education are normally appointed internally within the School/Faculty. 

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Redeployment

The University’s general policy is that appointments should be made as a result of advertising a post.  It also recognises that from time to time it may be necessary to redeploy existing staff into vacancies or newly created posts in order to avoid implementing redundancy procedures, or to comply with the any statutory duty or for the purposes of diversity and inclusion.  In such circumstances, relevant staff are placed on a redeployment register so that alternative employment may be sought and are eligible to apply for appropriate vacancies which are placed on the University’s redeployment portal prior to normal advertising.  However, the University may, at its discretion, decide to advertise any vacancy externally and in accordance with this Procedure despite the existence of a redeployment register.

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Ineligible Applicants

The University has in place a policy dealing with former employees who have been dismissed from their post, not confirmed in post, those who medically retire or who have availed of an opportunity for premature retirement and for students of the University who have been expelled, instructed to withdraw or suspended, and may be considered to be an ineligible applicant.

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Criminal Convictions

The University also requires all applicants for posts to make a confidential disclosure of any previous criminal convictions.  Information about criminal convictions will be taken into account only when the conviction is considered materially relevant to the role.  Further information can be found at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/RecruitmentOfExOffenders

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Appointments Procedure

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