Human Resources

Role of the Head of School in academic promotion

Further information

Academic staff promotion procedures


The Head of School has a specific role and responsibility in the academic promotion process.

  1. The role
  2. Report on applicant
  3. Nomination of assessors

The role

The Head of School is expected to:

  • Provide advice to and counsel all staff members about their promotion aspirations, and the timing of their promotion applications.
  • As women are currently under-represented in promotion applications, it is expected that Heads of Schools will encourage applications from women and provide them with the appropriate guidance and encouragement.
  • Discuss the application with the staff member, and if necessary, provide guidance on the preparation of the application;
  • A Performance Development and Appraisal (PDA) will need to be completed within twelve months prior to the applicant lodging a promotion application. Generally, this review would require a minimum rating of ‘meets or exceeds the University’s high expectations’ to proceed with the promotion application.
  • Complete the forms - Application for Academic Promotion (forms 2 and 3):
  • Provide an assessment of the staff member’s case for promotion. The Head of School should consult and seek comments from senior members of staff in the applicant’s discipline, especially the Head of the Discipline Group. Both the application and report of the Head of School are then submitted to the Dean who, after adding additional comments, will forward both the application and all comments to the Academic Promotions Committee.

Where the Head of School is an applicant for promotion the Dean may appoint a senior member of staff to take on the role of Head of School in respect of the application.

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Report on applicant

The Head of School’s report on the candidate to the Academic Promotions Committee should address the criteria for promotion.

The Head of School’s report must be sighted by the applicant, who in turn may write to the Chair of the Academic Promotions Committee if they wish to respond to the Head of School’s comments.

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Nomination of assessors

The Head of School is required to nominate five independent assessors who can provide the Academic Promotions Committee with a balanced, confidential and unbiased assessment of the merits of the application and of the applicant’s standing in the field. Nominated assessors should be eminent in the applicant’s field and have no close professional or personal association with the applicant.

All assessors should be above the level to which the applicant is applying (with the exception of Level E of which assessors should be the same level). At least two international assessors and two Go8 assessors should be nominated. A short statement should be provided to justify the choice of assessors.

The Head of School is requested not to consult the applicant when nominating assessors and applicants should not be informed of recommended assessors. While the Committee will use the Head of School’s list for guidance, it may take advice from elsewhere when selecting the assessors.

The Head of School is requested to determine the availability and willingness of nominated assessors to undertake the required assessment as part of the academic promotion process.

Assessors are nominated on the form Application for Academic Promotion Form 3: (Please forward electronically to executiveofficer-hr@uwa.edu.au)

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