All university staff employees newly hired or rehired at Virginia Tech serve a 12-month probationary period, as per Commonwealth of Virginia Policy 1.45: Probationary Period. This probationary year provides the employee and the employer an opportunity to assess whether the employee and the job are a good match. Probationary employees should receive training, coaching, mentoring, and feedback from their supervisors frequently.
Formal, written probationary reviews are required at six months and 12 months of employment. Managers are encouraged to consult with Employee Relations and/or their Department of Human Resources consultant if a probationary employee is not meeting expectations.
At six months, a formal, written probationary review is required to be completed by using form P125, Probationary Progress Review. This form should then be sent to Human Resources for inclusion in the employee’s personnel file. If the employee’s performance is rated “unacceptable or developing performance” at six months, there should be a specific employee development plan in place, and the supervisor should provide more frequent feedback to the employee.
Prior to the end of the twelve month probationary period, another formal, written evaluation is required to be completed using form P125, Probationary Progress Review. This form should also be sent to the Department of Human Resources for inclusion in the personnel file. If the employee is rated “strong or developing performance”, s/he becomes a non-probationary employee.
In some cases, it is possible to extend an employee’s probation beyond the initial 12 month period. Requests to extend probation must be made to Employee Relations on form P146, Request to Extend Probation.
Commonwealth of Virginia Policy 1.45: Probationary Period permits extensions of the probationary period (not to exceed a total probationary period of 18 months) for the following reasons:
- Performance reasons beyond the employee’s control: If probation is extended for performance, the employee must receive training that was unavailable during the first 12 months of employment.
- Leave: Probationary periods must be extended when probationary employees are on any leave with or without pay for more than 14 work days. Eligible leave includes Workers’ Compensation, Family Medical Leave, Military leave, or Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) short-term disability (STD) leave or long-term disability (LTD). Also included are periods of short-term disability where the employee is working in an active employment status with restrictions/modifications. Extensions include the first 14 days of absence, as well as those days in excess of 14, up to the return to work date.
- Change in supervision: If the employee’s supervision changes during the first 12 months of the probationary period, the new supervisor may request an extension of the employee’s probationary period.
Probationary periods may not be extended for poor attendance, poor attitude, or poor performance that is not a result of a lack of training.
At any time during the 12-month probationary period the probationary employee may be terminated. Managers are encouraged to consult with Employee Relations and/or their Department of Human Resources consultant if a probationary employee is not meeting expectations.