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Queen's University

Probation Period


Upon being hired by the University, all new general staff shall be on probation. The purpose of the probationary period is to give the University time to adequately assess a new employee's performance and suitability to the job and to allow the employee an opportunity to adjust to his/her new position.

The length of this period is normally 3 months for positions in grades 1 - 9. For positions in grades 10 and above, the length of probation should normally be 6 months but may be as long as 12 months, depending on the nature of the position and the qualifications of the incumbent.


The length of the probationary period will be stated in the Offer of Employment. During the probationary period, both the supervisor and employee must devote special attention and effort to ensure that the responsibilities of the position are being learned, and that the employee is progressing at a satisfactory rate. The probationary period should include at least one performance review meeting between the department head/director or designate and the employee to discuss and document the employee's progress.

In the event that problems or concerns arise during this period, every effort must be made to discuss and resolve them promptly. The department head/director or designate must meet with the employee as soon as possible to ensure that the employee clearly understands the areas of concern. The employee must then be provided with an adequate period of time (the length of time will vary with the complexity of the job) to change his/her behaviour to acceptable standards.

It is the responsibility of the department head/director or designate to document any problems and whether or not they were resolved and to ensure that the employee is provided with a copy of the documentation. In these circumstances, the department may wish to consult with the Human Resources Department for advice and guidance.

Under certain circumstances, the probationary period may be extended by the department head/director. This must be done in consultation with Human Resources. There must be valid reasons for the extension, and its length must be clearly communicated to the employee. The reasons and corrective action should be placed in the employee's personnel file in Human Resources.

During the probationary period, the employee shall have all the rights and privileges accorded by this manual. Reasonable effort will be made to assist new employees meet performance expectations. However, in some cases, the employee may be deemed unsuitable, and therefore may be terminated during the probationary period.

Human Resources must be consulted in any case where an employee's performance is unsatisfactory and termination is being considered.

Queen's Human Resources
Fleming Hall, Stewart-Pollock Wing
Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6.
T: 613.533.2070 | F: 613.533.6196