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Probationary Periods

Policy Information

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Effective Date: 
September 1, 1988
Last Revised Date: 
September, 2009
Policy Number: 
CSM 112.0
Responsible Unit: 
Human Resources

Purpose and Summary

A person hired for any Regular Classified Staff position expected to continue for at least six (6) months at .50 FTE or greater shall serve a probationary period.

The probationary period allows the supervisor time to assess the employee’s qualifications, performance, and general suitability to successfully meet position requirements and standards. It likewise provides the employee with the opportunity to experience the University, the department, and the position and to determine whether the position meets their expectations.


This policy applies to any employee in a Regular Classified Staff position expected to continue for at least six (6) months at .50 FTE or more. It includes employees who change to Regular Classified Staff from another employment category and employes who are promoted or transferred through a competitive recruitment process.


“At will employee” means that the University and the employee have the right to terminate the employment relationship at any time for any reason that does not violate public policy.


To successfully complete the probationary period, the employee must attend work as scheduled during the six (6) month period. Any absences or non-work periods, whether paid or unpaid, foreseen or unforeseen, may not count toward completion of the probationary period at the sole discretion of the supervisor. The supervisor will notify the employee in writing of any changes to their probationary period end date.

Prior to the termination of a probationary Regular Classified Staff employee for a serious violation of the University Classified Staff Rules of Conduct; Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) or University policy, rules, and regulations; and/or departmental rules, the responsible administrator shall contact Human Resources.

Upon successful completion of the probationary period, a Regular Classified Staff employee shall be continued in University employment contingent on availability of funds, satisfactory performance of duties, a continued need for the employee’s services and/or position, and compliance with all ABOR and University policies, rules, and regulations.

Initial Probationary Period

A newly hired or rehired Regular Classified Staff employee will serve an initial probationary period of six (6) months. Initial probationary periods of greater than six (6) months may be established for certain classifications with the prior approval of the Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. The employee will be provided written notice of a longer probationary period.

A University employee who changes to Regular Classified Staff from another employment category, including but not limited to Appointed Personnel or Ancillary Classified Staff, will serve a six (6) month initial probationary period starting on the effective date of the move to a Regular Classified Staff position.

Prior to the employee’s successful completion of the six (6) month initial probationary period, a Regular Classified Staff employee is considered an “at will employee” and the University and the employee have the right to terminate the employment relationship at any time for any reason that does not violate public policy. In such event, advance notice to the other party, when feasible, is a courtesy, but is not required.

Promotion/Transfer Probationary Period

A Regular Classified Staff employee who is promoted or transferred through a competitive recruitment process will serve a six (6) month probationary period in the new position from the date of the promotion/transfer.

In the event the employee does not meet job requirements and/or performance standards during the promotion/transfer probationary period, the supervisor will issue a performance improvement memorandum as early in the probationary period as possible that contains the following:

  1. Specific nature of the problem(s), including specific examples.
  2. Corrective action(s) required, including the specific and reasonable standards related to the problems.
  3. Notice that failure to remedy the performance problems will result in termination of employment on or before the end of the promotion/transfer probationary period.

If sustained satisfactory performance is not achieved following the performance improvement memorandum, the supervisor may terminate the employment relationship during the promotion/transfer probationary period as a probationary termination and inform the employee via a Promotion/Transfer Probationary Termination Notice. The supervisor may consult with HR Consulting Services prior to issuing the Promotion/Transfer Probationary Termination Notice.

A copy of the Promotion/Transfer Probationary Termination Notice shall be sent to Human Resources Employee Records. The employee’s departmental business office will generate an online University termination report on the effective date of the termination of the employment relationship.

Time in Position Requirement

An employee must satisfactorily complete the applicable (6) month probationary period as a time in position requirement prior to seeking employment in another University department.

Exceptions to this time in position requirement on seeking other University employment may be made for the convenience of the University as determined by the Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer (or designee) upon written request by the requesting department head. Time served in the former position does not apply to a new position. If, at the time of the promotion/transfer, the employee

  • is in the initial probation period, the employee will serve a full initial probation period in the new position; or
  • is in a promotion/transfer probation period, the employee will serve a full promotion/transfer probation in the new position

Frequently Asked Questions*

An employee's title is changed to account for new work that they are performing in the same department. Does the employee have to serve another probationary period?

For an internal change in title, there is no probationary period. If the change in classification resulted from a competitive recruitment process, then the employee must serve a six (6) month promotion/transfer probationary period.

Can classified staff use sick time during the initial or transfer probationary period?

Yes, employees may use sick time during their probationary period. Once sick time has been applied and used, the employee is not required to reimburse the department or the University if terminated during the probationary period.

Do appointed professionals serve an initial probationary period?

No, only regular classified staff have a probationary period. The Notice of Appointment or Reappointment is the University's official employment contract with appointed personnel. The employee's appointment or renewal is for the period designated in this contract.

Related Information*

Please contact Human Resources Consulting to obtain the  Promotion/Transfer Probationary Termination Notice.

ABOR Policy 6-405

Revision History*

12/01/2023: Updated responsible unit email address.

09/28/2023: Updated to reflect gender neutral pronouns.

09/2009: Revised.

NOTE: This Policy incorporates the former Classified Staff Human Resources Policy Manual Policy 123.0 Time in Position Requirement.

* Please note that sections titled Frequently Asked Questions, Sources, Related Information, and Revision History are provided solely for the convenience of users and are not part of the official University policy.

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