Academic Progression Outcome Response Guide

A guide to responding to the outcome of the annual progression exercise, if you have the feeling your application wasn’t correctly assessed

The outcome of the progression process will be communicated to individual applicants directly from People and Culture or from the Head of School/PVC, initially by email with a follow up letter in the internal mail.

If you have applied and are unsuccessful at this stage, and you have the feeling that this is unfair, there are a number of things you can do.

Contact a UCU representative

UCU representatives deal with personal cases on a regular basis and can advise you on what options are available to you. You can contact us on ucuqublocalissues@gmail.com or  ucu-officers@qub.ac.uk

Obtaining feedback on your application

The letter is likely to give you limited feedback, merely stating what general aspects of your application were not deemed to meet the profiles for progression to the grade in question. You will be advised to seek further feedback from your Head of School and/or Faculty PVC. You should seek such a meeting as soon as possible. Normally, you will only be given oral feedback, so you should take your own notes at these meetings and email the Head of School/Faculty PVC subsequently summarising your understanding of what was said. Doing so can be very useful for further discussion and possible appeals.

Seek a review of the decision

If you still feel dissatisfied and have the feeling you were treated unfairly, you can seek a review. The progression exercise includes a provision for seeking review of the decision of the Progression Committee. This review will be considered by a committee composed of individuals not previously involved in the process. Your request for a review should take the form of a letter explaining the reasons why you feel the initial decision was incorrect, including any evidence to back up your case. This must be submitted to the Director of People and Culture before the appeals deadline. The deadline should be stated in the decision letter you received.

Request for documents

In some cases the written and oral feedback you will get might be of such a limited nature that you should consider submitting a request for additional information that could help you formulate a request for a review. You are advised to make this request as early as possible (and in fact immediately if you are sure you want to appeal the decision). You should write the request to the head of your progression committee who have signed the decision letter and copy the HR Business Partner of your Faculty.

The details which you request in regard to your progression application can include:

Progression to Senior Lecturer:

  • The names of the members of the School Progression Committee that assessed your application;
  • The minutes of the School Progression Committee detailing the decision taken by that committee regarding your application;
  • The Head of School’s report on your application;
  • Any notes taken by members of the committee regarding your application;
  • The PDR Reviewer’s report which informed the decision.

Progression to Reader/Professor can also include:

  • The names of the members of the Faculty Progression Committee that assessed your application;
  • The minutes of the Faculty Progression Committee detailing the decision taken by that committee regarding your application;
  • Any notes taken by members of the committee regarding your application;
  • The PVC’s report on your application.

Progression to Professor can also include:

  • The names of the members of the Central Progression Committee that assessed your application;
  • The minutes of the Central Progression Committee detailing the decision taken by that committee regarding your application;
  • Any notes taken by members of the committee regarding your application;
  • The decision of the Central Progression Committee in your case, contained in the appendix to the letter of the Vice Chancellor to your Head of School, informing your Head of School of the outcome of progression applications from that school.

If you have had breaks of service, reduced contractual hours, or other personal circumstances, you should also ask for the formulae used to decide the appropriate ‘reduction in quantity’ of expected achievement referred to under section 3 of ‘Equality and diversity’ of the general guidance of the progression exercise.