Academic staff promotions policy


To retain and motivate academic staff by offering timely opportunity for promotion.


This policy covers continuing or fixed term academic staff who have had 12 months continuous service at RMIT and who meet the prescribed eligibility requirements. Continuous service may be full time or part time service. The period of service is calculated as 12 months continuous service prior to 1 June of the year of the application, unless applying for promotion from level A to level B.

Applicants may apply for promotion only to the level immediately above their substantive classification.


Vocational Education teachers, Teaching only positions and Professional staff cannot be promoted to an academic position through this process/

Except with the approval of the relevant PVC/ President (or nominee), academic staff are not permitted to re-apply for promotion in the year immediately following an unsuccessful application.


The objectives of this policy are:

  • To ensure an effective and efficient process which is fair, equitable, professional and timely enabling RMIT to attract retain and motivate academic staff.
  • To enable academics to make an application for promotion by providing clear information responding to the criteria against which promotion applications are considered.

Policy provisions

1. Principles

RMIT values a fair and transparent academic staff promotion process that is based on merit and equity.

All materials and deliberations relating to academic promotion applications will be treated in the strictest confidence by all participants in the promotions process.

Panel members shall not discuss applications, recommendations and deliberations outside of panel meetings.

Academic Promotion Panels will strive for gender balance and diversity in their composition.

2. Schedule

The Academic Staff Promotion will run annually. The promotion round schedule will be structured to enable the announcement of promotions effective as of 1 January of the following year.

Eligible staff at level A may apply for promotion at any time during the academic year. Where the promotion is endorsed in the first six months of the year, the promotion will take effect from 1 July of that year; where it is endorsed in the second six months of the year, it will take effect from 1 January in the following year.

3. Framework for Promotion

3.1. Promotion of Academic Staff from level Associate Lecturer to Lecturer (or equivalent research positions)

The process for staff at Associate Lecturer level eligible for promotion to Lecturer is detailed in the Promotion of academic staff from Associate Lecturer to Lecturer (and equivalent research positions) procedure.

3.2 Skill base and formal qualification

All applicants for promotion must, at a minimum, meet the University-wide skill base and formal qualification requirements specified for the level to which they are applying for promotion

3.3 Promotion Criteria

The criteria for promotion are provided in the Academic promotion criteria instruction.

Eligible applicants’ suitability for promotion to Senior Lecturer (or Research equivalent) and above will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Teaching
  • Leadership
  • Research and Scholarship

Research-only staff may apply for promotion solely against the Research and Scholarship and Leadership criteria, with endorsement by the relevant HoS/Dean/HoC and approval by the relevant Pro Vice Chancellor/President (or nominee). Under these circumstances, a copy of the official position description must accompany the application.

3.4 Application

Promotion Panels, considering applications to Senior Lecturer (or Research equivalent) and above, will assess the merit of each applicant based on the following:

  • applicant's written application, demonstrating standards of performance in the areas of Teaching, Leadership, and Research and Scholarship
  • applicant’s record of academic achievement
  • requested support material
  • a report from the relevant HoS/Dean/HoC
  • the applicant's response to the HoS/Dean/HoC report (optional)
  • referee and external assessor reports (reports provided to panel ‘in confidence’)

Following the assessment, Promotion Panels will make recommendations through the University Academic Promotion Committee (UAPC) and will be approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education.

4. Title

Successful applicants will be titled according to RMIT Position title instruction.

5. Promotion decision

Applicants to Senior Lecturer and above are advised of the outcome of their application in a letter. PVCs/President (or nominee) and HoS/Deans/HoC will be notified of outcomes within their areas.

6. Feedback to applicants

The Chair of the panel (or nominee) ensures that all unsuccessful applicants who participated in the process receive feedback and, if appropriate, counselling on the outcome of their application within a prescribed timeframe. A written report summarising the panel’s views will be provided to unsuccessful applicants to assist in obtaining promotion in the future.

7. Equal opportunity, access to promotion opportunities

  • There will be regular analysis of promotion policy, processes and systems with regard to equal opportunity commitments including review of diversity of participation at application, shortlisting and promotion stage. Such analysis will identify areas for improvement.
  • Promotion panels will be trained in equal employment principles
  • Opportunities for academic promotion will be available to staff that are on parental and carer leave (paid and unpaid), long service leave, other long-term leave arrangements or career breaks.

8. Appeals

An applicant can appeal in writing to the University Academic Promotions Appeals Committee (UAPAC) on the grounds of eligibility and procedure only. Refer to the Academic promotion appeal procedure.

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