Probationary Period

I. Policy Summary

Employees appointed to career positions serve a probationary period during which time their work performance and general suitability for University employment shall be evaluated in writing.

Employees who are rehired after a break in service shall serve a new probationary period whether or not they previously completed a probationary period.

Employees rehired within the period of recall after layoff do not serve a probationary period.

An employee who has satisfactorily completed their probationary period shall be informed in writing of the attainment of regular employee status.

Length of Probationary Period

Employees appointed to career positions normally serve a probationary period of 6 continuous months at 50% time or more.

Some titles such as Police Officers and Public Safety Dispatchers may serve a 12 month probationary period.

Employees originally appointed to limited appointments, who are appointed, transferred, promoted or converted to a career position, may have some or all time in the limited appointment credited toward the probationary period, in accordance with specific conditions described in policy or collective bargaining agreement provisions. To determine how to calculate the length of the probationary period, reference the Probationary Period Chart by Personnel Program/Collective Bargaining Unit.

Probationary End Date

The probationary period normally ends on the actual date of completion of 6 months at 50% time or more. The probationary end date will vary when some or all time served in a limited appointment is credited toward the probationary period.

Evaluation During Probation

Employees shall be evaluated in writing at least once during probation.

Extensions of Probationary Period

Under most personnel programs/bargaining agreements, probationary periods may be extended for up to 3 months for appropriate circumstances:

  • change of supervisor
  • change of job duties
  • transfer to a different job during the probationary period
  • the employee has not been exposed to the full range of job duties

Generally, employees must receive written notice seven (7) calendar days in advance of an extension, including the reason for and duration of the extension.

Extension of a probationary period is not applicable for employees represented by NX.

Completion of Probation

Written notice is provided to employees upon satisfactory completion of probation.

Release During Probation

Employees may be released at any time during probation at the sole discretion of the University for reasons including but not limited to, unsatisfactory performance or conduct, unsatisfactory progress, general unsuitability for the position, etc. Employees must be notified in writing of the release.

II. Related Policies, Contract Articles and References

  1. Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) - employees not covered by representation

    • PPSM 2-Definition of Terms

    • PPSM 21-Appointment

    • PPSM 22-Probationary Period

    • PPSM 23-Performance Management

    • PPSM 61-Release during the Probationary Period

  2. Contract Articles - employees covered by representation

III. Authority

The supervisor has the authority to determine satisfactory completion of probation, to extend probation, or to release during probation following consultation with the Unit Head and their Employee & Labor Relations Analyst (ELRA) as appropriate.

IV. Criteria

  • An employee shall be evaluated in writing at least once during their probationary period.

  • Extensions of up to three months are warranted under the appropriate circumstances.

  • Release of a probationary employee may be at the sole discretion of the supervisor.

V. Process Overview

Personnel Policy and collective bargaining agreements require at least one performance appraisal be completed during the probationary period, at approximately the mid-point (after the first of the fourth month). Supervisors are instructed by the Employee & Labor Relations Analyst (ELRA) to complete and deliver a performance appraisal to the employee during the fourth month of employment. The original, signed copy is to be sent to Staff Human Resources, and will be maintained in the employee’s personnel file.

Note: Employees hired into critical positions must have a background investigation completed prior to becoming a regular status employee (i.e., prior to completion of probationary period).

  1. The ELRA informs the employee during the on-boarding process of the requirement to serve a probationary period and that they will be evaluated at least once during the probationary period.

  2. The ELRA enters probationary period mid-point date and end-date onto the Supervisor’s CruzTime calendar.

  3. The ELRA provides the supervisor with the Supervisor Checklist which notes the probationary period end date.

  4. The ELRA follows up with the supervisor to ensure the performance appraisal is delivered to the employee, at the mid-point of employment.

  5. The Supervisor completes a written mid-point probationary period performance appraisal indicating that the employee will pass probation as scheduled, and forwards the original signed copy to SHR.

  6. The ELRA sends a letter to the employee, and cc’s the supervisor, once the probationary period has ended and the employee has successfully passed probation.

  7. If the Supervisor indicates on the performance appraisal that the employee’s performance is not satisfactory, the supervisor will consult with the ELRA for guidance on release during probation, prior to the completion of their probationary period.

  8. If the Supervisor indicates on the performance appraisal that the employee’s probationary period will be extended, the supervisor will consult with the ELRA for guidance whether extension is appropriate prior to the completion of their probationary period.

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VI. Forms/Resources



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Revised September 2008: A.31