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This policy document is currently under review to reflect The Australian National University Enterprise Agreement 2023-2026, which came into effect on 5 December 2023. Until this has been reviewed, the new Enterprise Agreement will take precedence over the provisions outlined in this document.

Procedure: Appointments


To inform staff of the various employment categories and employment conditions at ANU.


  1. All appointments are undertaken in a fair and transparent manner.
  2. Position documentation is required for all appointment processes at the University. Position documentation incorporates:
  • the completed ANU Recruit job card;
  • the position description which clarifies and describes the job; its functions; environment and reporting relationships. Position descriptions must be consistent with the classification descriptors in the current ANU Enterprise Agreement; and
  • selection criteria listed within the position description used to assess and articulate the core capabilities required to successfully fulfil the responsibilities and duties of the position, and assists with determining a candidates' suitability for the role.
  1. Competitive selection processes may be run by an external recruitment agency following approval by the Director - Human Resources. All positions managed by external agencies are advertised on the ANU Jobs website and external advertisements must be under the ANU brand.
  2. All letters of offer for appointments at the University require pre-completion of Background Checking, in accordance with the Background Checking procedure.


  1. Advertisements are managed through ANU Recruit, and the completion of a job card.
  2. Advertisements include a link to selection documentation such as a position description of the position, selection criteria outlining how candidates are assessed for suitability to the role; and other relative information outlining specific requirements for the role.
  3. Applications generally require the completion of a written application from candidates, which addresses the selection criteria for the role. Positions may be advertised without the requirement for submission of addressing selection criteria where an alternative may be suitable, such as a portfolio of work, or where the selection criteria may deter applicants an alternative requirement for the statement addressing the selection criteria may be implemented.
  4. Prior to advertising and filling, vacancies are considered for staff seeking redeployment and such staff must be given priority consideration when filling vacancies within the University. Where a person is assessed as having the skills and experience necessary to effectively perform the duties of the vacant position, that person are transferred to the position as directed by the Director, Human Resources.
  5. Advertisements are placed on the ANU jobs website
  6. Advertisements for professional staff positions and Academic Level A positions may be restricted to current ANU staff only, if desired. This will occur through an internal expression of interest, and would only be appropriate where: internal skills are most appropriate for the role; it is known that suitable applicants are available internally; or where a vacancy is temporary.
  7. All advertisements placed on the external ANU website will automatically be advertised on Senior or strategic academic and professional positions may be advertised on Times Higher Education if approved by the budget unit delegate.
  8. Advertisements may be placed in a variety of other electronic and/or print media, as approved by the budget unit delegate. All advertising material must appear in the ANU standard advertising formats.
  9. The University provides mechanisms for the advertisement of ‘identified positions' in accordance with the Identified Positions procedure to increase the diversity of staff.
  10. Prospective applicants will normally be given no less than seven working days (external advertising) and five working days (internal advertising) to submit an application for a position.

Appointment without advertisement

  1. Appointment without advertisement are made in the following circumstances:
  • fixed term appointments for a total period of up to12 months;
  • transfer within the University at the same academic or professional staff classification;
  • individuals named by a granting body or awarded a Fellowship;
  • Identified positions (see the Identified Positions procedure);
  • Dual career hiring (see the Dual Career Hire Applications and Appointments procedure);
  • casual appointments; and
  • redeployment.
  1. If the circumstances of a position change and the position is to be extended or converted, the position may be required to be advertised.
  2. All appointments without advertisement must give priority to suitably qualified staff members seeking redeployment.
  3. In exceptional cases, the Director, Human Resources may give an exemption to advertising long term or continuing vacancies in circumstances such as:
  • positions where there is a skills shortage;
  • employment by invitation;
  • where a proposal supports the University's goals in relation to the University Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP); and
  • other exceptional circumstances.
  1. Approval must be sought in writing, including full justification, to the Director, Human Resources via ANU Recruit.

Selection committees

  1. All advertised positions require a selection committee.
  2. Selection committees are comprised of between three and six members.
  3. All selection committees require all members of the committee to be at least one classification higher than the vacant role.
  4. All selection committees must ensure their composition has an even gender and at least committee member who is external to the hiring Division or College. Committee members will declare any real or perceived conflict of interest and adhere to the confidentiality of the selection process. These declarations will occur in writing, and will include the Local HR team.
  5. Selection committee membership is determined by the appropriate delegate. The delegate for level E positions is the Vice-Chancellor and Provost.
  6. In recruiting for a senior or significant functional position (i.e. HR, Research Management, IT, Marketing, Student Administration or Finance) selection committees will require a representative from the relevant Service Division. Similarly, selection committees recruiting a senior position within a Service Division will require representation by a General Manager (or representative) from another College or Division.
  7. The Selection Committee does not hold the delegation to make the appointment, the Committee recommends to the appropriate delegate. The committee's recommendation must be provided to the delegate using the Selection Committee Report and approval sought prior to an appointment offer being made.

Selection techniques

  1. The University recognises the diversity of the positions advertised and provides flexibility in selection techniques. The following selection tools would normally be used as follows.


  1. Shortlisting is the process of selecting from all of the applications received those who indicate they have the potential to meet the selection criteria and are suitable for further selection. It is a way of narrowing the field of applicants that are assessed further. Individuals are assessed in terms of their stated individual qualifications, knowledge and experience for the position and not in terms of stereotyped assumptions.
  2. The University does not permit discrimination against potential staff due to breaks in service or career progression or due to the need to meet family responsibilities. Assessing achievements relative to opportunity involves giving consideration to the particular circumstances and experiences of the staff member. This supports appropriate evaluation of achievements in relation to productivity, the ability to participate in certain types of activities, and the consistency of activities or output over the period of consideration. The circumstances and experiences which a candidate may disclose during their application form include:
  • family responsibilities (eg. child rearing, elder care), illness of a partner/dependent);
  • a temporary or permanent disability;
  • periods of part time work;
  • relevant cultural expectations or circumstances; and
  • absences due to ill-health of injury.

  1. During shortlisting, the selection committee must review the candidate application form for disclosures in relation to prior disciplinary information. Any disclosed disciplinary action is discussed with the College General Manager, Service Division Director or Portfolio Head, prior to shortlisting the candidate for interview.


  1. Interviews are conducted face-to-face, over the telephone or via a video link-up. Candidates must be asked if any adjustments are required for the interview to ensure a barrier-free process. Candidates are not required to disclose that they have a disability.

Stakeholder and Liaison processes

  1. A Stakeholder process is recommended required for key leadership positions such as College Heads, Service Division Directors and Academic Directors. A Stakeholder process is often used to canvass views from an area on those short listed for interview and then report back to the selection committee.
  2. A Liaison Committee may be used for Academic positions, and is formed within the College or School. This would normally consist of a minimum of two members of staff from the area. The liaison committee nominates a Chair from among its members. All members of the liaison committee are expected to participate in consultation with the College or School and to make themselves available throughout the process.
  3. Liaison Committees limit strong candidate pools, as best recruitment practices ensure the confidentiality of all candidates. As such, approval to use a Liaison Committee for an Academic vacancy is granted by the Dean.
  4. Permission must be obtained from the candidate prior to commencing the liaison process as the candidacy of short listed applicants are revealed to the College, Division or School. A candidate cannot be required to participate in the liaison process. Liaison committees are usually used when short listed candidates are invited to present a seminar presentation to the staff within the College or School. The role of the liaison committee may vary from area to area however a liaison committee will normally be expected to:
  • liaise with the Chair of the selection committee on the organisation of the seminar presentations. The liaison committee is responsible for organising the seminar rooms, ensuring that the requested equipment is available, and staff and student attendance at the seminars, i.e. circulation of seminar details to encourage attendance;
  • assign "mentors" to assist outside applicants with finding their way around campus, introducing applicants to area staff and students, tours of the area, organising social functions (if any);
  • canvas the views of the staff and students of the area after the seminar presentations; and
  • prepare a report to the selection committee including how the views of the area were canvassed and a summary of findings in relation to each candidate ranking applicants in order of preference.
  1. All members of the liaison committee are invited to attend the meeting of the selection committee. This meeting takes place after the applicants have been interviewed by the selection committee. The liaison committee may only make recommendations to the selection committee. It is entirely up to the selection committee to make determinations.

Reference and background checking

  1. The University requires completion of pre-employment background checking prior to a formal offer of employment being issued, in accordance with the Background Checking Procedure
  2. Referee reports are a requirement of all recruitment processes at the University. While referee's reports may be sought orally or in writing, the University strongly recommends oral references. Referee's reports can help to differentiate between applicants with strong claims for the position. They are undertaken to ensure that claims made by an applicant in their written application and at interview are substantiated. They also improve knowledge of an individual's work performance, competence, overall ability and potential.
  3. Once a recruitment process is complete, candidates deemed suitable for the role may remain on a merit list for a period of up to 12 months. This merit list may be accessed for future appointments without further advertisement during this period.

Supporting the University's goals in relation to the Reconciliation Action Plan

  1. In order to support the University's goals in relation to the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), the following specific activities enable the University to better attract and equitably select Indigenous candidates:
  1. The University advertises vacant positions through media sources selected specifically to capture the Indigenous community, including Indigenous Jobs Australia, via indigenous email networks, and from time to time, in newspapers such as the Koori Mail and the Indigenous Times; and
  2. Where Indigenous candidates are part of the candidate pool, every effort is made to provide an Indigenous representative on the selection committee. Where an indigenous representative is not available, advice is sought from the Indigenous Employment Advisor in the Human Resources Division, prior to selection taking place: and
  3. Advertising identified positions in accordance with the University's Identified Positions procedure.

The selection committee report

  1. At the completion of the recruitment process, the selection committee report is completed and signed by the selection committee and then approved by the delegate.
  2. Offers of employment are made prior to delegate approval.

The offer of employment

  1. The University engages a person as an employee in accordance with The Australian National University Enterprise Agreement, under one of the following types of employment:
  • continuing employment;
  • part-time employment;
  • senior management appointments;
  • Graduate Recruitment and Development Program;
  • continuing (contingent funded) employment;
  • fixed term employment; and
  • casual general staff employment and sessional academic employment.

Senior management employment

  1. Senior management appointment means employment in a specified senior management position that are governed by a performance-based employment contract. Senior management contracts are excluded from certain conditions contained in the ANU Enterprise Agreement. The list of specified positions and the conditions for senior management appointments are contained in clause 11 of the ANU Enterprise Agreement.

Continuing (contingent funded) employment

  1. Continuing (Contingent Funded) Employment is an appointment type catering for staff members who are supported by ‘contingent funds' and who are likely to source further contingent funding to support their employment in the future.
  2. ‘Contingent funding" is limited term funding provided from external sources, but not funding that is part of an operating grant from government or funding comprised of payments of fees made by or on behalf of students.
  3. A staff member may be appointed directly to a continuing (contingent funded) appointment where the appointment period is anticipated to be 12 months or more.
  4. Appointment to Continuing (Contingent Funded) employment is made following a recruitment and selection process or in accordance with the Appointment Without Advertisement provisions in clauses 14 to 17 above.
  5. Continuing (Contingent Funded) employment may include periods where the appointment is funded by internal or recurrent funds providing that:
  • the use of internal funding is for a limited period (as defined by the College Head); and
  • there is a reasonable expectation that further contingent funding will become available.
  1. Typically, this situation would occur where a grant holder's current grant has ceased and they are actively seeking further grant funding. Internal funds may be used to support the grant holder for a limited and defined period while they are applying for grants.
  2. Employment at the University is conditional upon the following criteria being met:
  • all employees must be eligible to work in Australia. Verification of citizenship, residency or visa status is required upon or prior to commencement by providing original or certified copies of the following documents: birth certificate, passport or valid working visa;
  • all employees are required to verify identity and qualifications prior to or upon commencement by providing original or certified copies of the following documents: photographic proof of identity (eg. passport or drivers licence), marriage certificate or evidence of change of name, and tertiary qualifications (where applicable);
  • an employee may be required to undertake a medical examination, where during the course of their employment with the University the Director, Human Resources forms the opinion that there are reasonable concerns that an employee is not fit to undertake normal duties;
  • an appointment may be subject to a security (criminal) check to be undertaken by the University. In the event a check is required, the successful applicant must agree to disclose to the University such details as required for this check to be undertaken. Should the results of the security (criminal) check be unsatisfactory to the University, the terms of the appointment may be withdrawn in whole or in part. If the University becomes aware that the applicant failed to make a complete disclosure, the University may terminate this appointment on the grounds of misleading and deceptive behaviour;
  • employees must not have accepted a redundancy or early retirement package from the University within the last 12 months; and
  • existing directorships, partnerships and secretaryships are declared prior to accepting an offer of employment.

Contracts of employment

  1. A contract of employment must be provided for all staff. The contract of employment sets out the terms and conditions that relate to the offer of employment. Only an authorised delegate of the University may issue a contract of employment.
  2. To be valid, a contract of employment must be:
  • signed and approved by the relevant delegate;
  • issued on the approved university templates; and
  • formally accepted in writing by the successful applicant before commencement of work at the University.
  1. All binding terms and conditions of the employment relationship are documented in the contract of employment and associated letters. No other arrangements, including verbal discussions, are considered binding upon the University.
  2. The contract of employment contains the following information:
  • for a staff member other than a casual employee: the date of commencement of the employment arrangement; the classification level and salary of the staff member on commencement of the employment; the hours or the fraction of full time hours to be worked; the supervisor of the position; and where the employment includes a probationary period, the length and terms of the probation;
  • for a fixed term staff member, the reason for the use of fixed term employment, in accordance with clause 13 of the ANU Enterprise Agreement;
  • for a casual staff member: the duties required; the anticipated ordinary hours of work noting there is no firm advance commitment to continuing and indefinite work according to an agreed pattern of work for the employee; the classification level and/or rate of pay for each duty required inclusive of the casual loading; a statement that any additional duties required during the term are paid for at the rate of pay appropriate to the classification level of the additional duties; the supervisor of the position; a statement that the employee may have a right to apply for their appointment to be converted to a non-casual appointment in accordance with the casual staff conversion provision of the ANU Enterprise Agreement; and conversion to continuing employment will be managed in accordance with the National Employment Standards (NES);
  • other main conditions of employment including the nature of the employment (employment type), the identity of the employer, and the legal and/or administrative sources from which those conditions arise; and
  • a position description outlining the requirements of the role is issued to a staff member with each non-casual employment contract.

Commencement of employment

  1. The delegate takes the appropriate measures to ensure that all new starters are provided an efficient induction and commencement process including but not limited to:
  • a contract of employment and position description is provided prior to the commencement of duties;
  • staff who are relocating to Canberra are given additional support during their resettlement and transition and should discuss this with their Local HR team
  • a copy of the code of conduct is provided prior to or upon commencement; and
  • an appropriate University and College/Division level induction is provided.
  1. The University provides induction information and checklists to support the induction process.

Relocation assistance for new staff

  1. The University offers relocation assistance for new staff, where approved by the budget unit delegate, which is made up of travel costs and a removal allowance:
  • the travel costs are made up of the air (or other form of) travel from the place of recruitment to Canberra for the employee and dependents (as appropriate). Travel costs are paid at the rate of economy class fares; and
  • the removal allowance is a dollar figure (allowance) determined to support the cost of moving household and personal effects from the place of recruitment to Canberra for the employee.
  1. The level of relocation assistance provided is determined at the point of employment offer and is stated in the employment contract.
  2. Relocation assistance is generally provided in the form of reimbursement, within agreed allowance limits, following the presentation of receipts.
  3. Where a staff member resigns before completing three years' service or the agreed term of a fixed term appointment of less than three years, a pro rata refund of the cost of travel and removal expenses made upon appointment may be required.
  4. Staff members returning to the ANU under the Career Development Leave Program (CPLP) who received relocation allowances, may be required to make a pro rata repayment if they resign from the ANU within a period equivalent to the length of their development leave, up to a maximum of three years.
  5. Guidance on relocation support is provided in the Relocation Assistance for New Staff Guideline.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Appointments
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_000663
Purpose To inform staff of the various employment categories and employment conditions at ANU.
Audience Prospective Staff, Staff
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Staff - Employment of Staff
Effective Date 6 Jun 2022
Next Review Date 30 Jun 2024
Responsible Officer: Chief People Officer
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Human Resources Division
Authority: The Australian National University Enterprise Agreement 2023-2026
Delegations 0

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.