Appendix A: Probationary review guidelines

As outlined in Policy 18 - Staff Employment - Appendix A: Hiring at Waterloo - Probation Periods, a probationary period is part of the initial employment contract at Waterloo. Staff who transfer or are promoted within Waterloo are not subject to another probationary period. However, the practice is to follow a process similar to the probationary review process after the Librarian/Archivist is in the new position for one year in order to provide broader feedback from colleagues.

The normal probationary period for an incumbent is one year during which time their performance is regularly evaluated and conveyed by their manager (frequency to be determined by the manager and the incumbent). Near the end of the probationary period, a probationary review committee (committee) is appointed to review the performance of an incumbent during their probationary period to determine whether to grant them internal status. 

In reviewing performance, the committee considers whether the librarian/archivist has fulfilled their responsibilities professionally and competently, and whether they have established and maintained constructive working relationships with their colleagues and users of the Library. 

The committee serves in an advisory capacity to the librarian’s/archivist’s manager. The proceedings of the meetings and all comments made regarding the incumbent must remain completely confidential. No minutes are kept.


1. A committee is appointed by the university librarian before the end of the probationary period, consisting of the following: 

  • University librarian (chair)
  • Associate university librarian, administration and strategic initiatives
  • Appropriate associate university librarian
  • departmental manager(s)
  • three staff members who have been associated with the incumbent in the performance of their duties

The librarian/archivist, departmental manager(s) and university librarian each select one of the three other committee members. The candidate identifies their choice, along with the names of other colleagues for consideration, that may include librarians/archivists, non-professional staff, and faculty members from the University of Waterloo.

The manager and university librarian may or may not select a peer from this list, but their selection must be someone who have been associated with the candidate in their job-related or professional activities in order to speak to the relevant advancement criteria and provide suitable evaluative feedback.

Anyone asked to serve on a probationary review committee may decline.

2. The manager to whom the incumbent reports presents to the committee an evaluation of the incumbent’s performance

3. Committee members then have an opportunity to support or question the evaluation based on their knowledge of the incumbent’s work

4. It is the responsibility of the incumbent’s manager, in consultation with the latter’s supervisor, to decide whether to:

  • grant the incumbent internal status,

  • extend the incumbent’s probationary period to allow more time to evaluate their performance, or to

  • terminate the incumbent’s employment.

5. If a librarian’s/an archivist’s probationary period is extended, their performance will continue to be reviewed regularly. Prior to the end of the extension period, the committee is reconvened, and its members are asked to recommend whether to:

  • grant the incumbent internal status, or

  • terminate the incumbent’s employment

6. The librarian’s/archivist’s manager advises the committee of their decision, informs the incumbent, and confirms it in writing. 

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