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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 – Senior Management Contracts for University Executive and Deans


To outline the procedures underpinning the University’s recruitment and appointment of senior management contracts for University Executive and Deans, excluding the Vice-Chancellor.


Achievements relative to opportunity: 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 may 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.

Leadership: Achievements in research, education, administration or service that demonstrate a commitment to guiding and supporting the identification, attainment or review of goals or activities that advance the achievements of other individuals and or groups.


Position descriptions of Senior Management staff

  1. Senior Management staff role position descriptions are developed in consultation with key stakeholders for the position, as identified by the Vice-Chancellor and the University Executive, and:
  1. Align with the strategic directions of the University;
  2. Recognise the value of leadership and diversity;
  3. Specify the capabilities needed to fulfil the responsibilities and duties of the position;
  4. Provide information on the environment and reporting relationships of the role; and
  5. Meet the University’s legislative obligations.

Search for eligible applicants

  1. Requests for advertisement of senior management staff roles are approved by the Vice-Chancellor and implemented by the Human Resources Division using the approved proforma.
  2. In areas where female representation is below the Level E figures as defined by the current Go8 average or Russell Group, whichever is higher, completion of the request for advertisement will include statement of strategies for enhancing diversity of the applicant pool.
  3. The search for eligible applicants will reflect the University’s strategy for Indigenous recruitment:
  1. advertisement of 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
  1. Use of an agency or executive search firm will be by prior approval by the Director, Human Resources.
  2. Appointment without advertisement may be made in the following circumstances:
  • fixed term appointments at or under two calendar years and do not automatically convert to continuing roles;
  • transfer within the University at same or similar level.
  1. In very rare cases, the Director, Human Resources may give an exemption to advertising long term or continuing vacancies in circumstances such as:
  • positions where there is an institutional or national skills shortage;
  • employment by invitation; or
  • where a proposal supports the University's goals in relation to indigenous employment.

Application format

  1. Applications for senior management staff roles will consist of:
  1. a Curriculum vitae; and
  2. an expression of interest; and/or
  3. a portfolio or work; and/or
  4. a statement of claims against the selection criteria.

Constitution and activities of Senior Management staff roles committees

  1. Senior management staff roles appointment committees are constituted by approval of the Vice-Chancellor and are constituted by:
  1. Vice-Chancellor or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Chair);
  2. Deputy Vice-Chancellor(s) or their nominee(s);
  3. College Dean or Dean from another college in case of the recruitment of a Dean;
  4. A person with relevant senior-level expertise and experience that is external to the area recruiting, and may be external to the University;
  5. Vice-Chancellor nominee of a person with relevant expertise and experience from within the area recruiting.
  6. Where Indigenous candidates are part of the candidate pool, every effort should be made to provide an Indigenous representative on the selection committee. Where an indigenous representative is not available, advice should be sought from the Indigenous Employment Advisor in the Human Resources Division, prior to selection taking place.
  1. Senior management staff roles appointment committees:
  1. Are familiar with the University procedures for the appointment of senior management staff roles and participate in training as appropriate;
  2. Have a balanced gender composition;
  3. Respect the confidentiality of documentation and deliberation activities and communication of outcomes;
  4. Declare any conflict of interest, as soon as they become aware of it, and refer to the Chair to implement any mitigation activities, or in the case of the Chair, refer to a Deputy Vice-Chancellor or nominee to implement any mitigation activities;
  5. Provide a holistic appraisal of the applications against the position description or selection criteria, noting achievements relative to opportunity;
  6. Formulate questions and selection activities that align with the skills sought in the position description;
  7. Use technologies to mitigate barriers to participation by applicants;
  8. Interview all shortlisted applicants;
  9. Recommend applicants who are appointable or not appointable to the role and identify a preferred candidate;
  10. Endorse for the consideration of the Vice-Chancellor: 1) a written description of the factors used to determine the outcomes of the search; 2) references for the preferred candidate, which by default are oral and completed on the approved proforma; and 3) In cases where no women have been shortlisted, an explanation of why that was the case.

Determination of appointment to Senior Management staff roles

  1. Senior management staff roles appointment committees endorse, and the Vice-Chancellor approves, appointments to senior management staff roles.
  2. Offers of employment are not made ahead of Vice-Chancellor approval.

Communication of outcomes, offer of employment and merit list

  1. Outcomes of the appointment process are provided orally or in writing only by the Chair of the senior management staff role appointment committee, or appointed executive search firm.
  2. Employment at the University is conditional upon the following criteria:
  1. 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;
  2. The University may sponsor a Temporary Work (457) visa, to allow skilled workers to join the University for up to four years.
  3. 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);
  4. 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;
  5. 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;
  6. employees must not have accepted a redundancy or early retirement package from the University within the last 12 months; and
  7. existing directorships, partnerships and secretaryships must be declared prior to accepting an offer of employment.
  1. A contract of employment must be provided. The contract of employment will set 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; and issued on the approved university templates; and formally accepted in writing by the successful applicant before commencement of work at the University.
  3. All binding terms and conditions of the employment relationship will be documented in the contract of employment and associated letters. No other arrangements, including verbal discussions, will be considered binding upon the University.
  4. The delegate will take the appropriate measures to ensure that all new starters are provided an efficient commencement process including but not limited to:
  1. a contract of employment and position description will be provided prior to the commencement of duties;
  2. staff who are relocating to Canberra will be given additional support during their resettlement and transition for example: immigration and relocation support; collection from airport and information on living in Canberra;
  3. a copy of the code of conduct is provided prior to or upon commencement; and
  4. an appropriate University and College/Division level induction will be provided.
  1. The University offers relocation assistance for new staff which is defined under the relocation assistance guidelines at: Relocation Assistance for New Staff Guideline.
  2. 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.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Appointments – Senior Management Contracts for University Executive and Deans
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_013407
Purpose To outline the procedures underpinning the University’s recruitment and appointment of senior management contracts for University Executive and Deans, excluding the Vice-Chancellor.
Audience Staff
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Staff - Employment of Staff
Effective Date 26 Feb 2020
Next Review Date 30 Jun 2024
Responsible Officer: Chief People Officer
Approved By: Vice-Chancellor
Contact Area People and Culture Division
Authority: The Australian National University Enterprise Agreement 2023-2026
Fair Work Act 2009
Delegations 132, 134, 135, 126,127, 457

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