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Academic Work Allocation Policy

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) This policy:

  1. sets out the principles to support the equitable, transparent, fair and sustainable distribution of academic work by ensuring the allocation of work is developed in consultation with academic staff to support flexibility and work-life balance;
  2. ensures its application supports the vision and strategic directions of the University, Colleges, and Schools
  3. is designed to be read in conjunction with the ‘Academic Work’ requirements of the Academic Staff and Teachers Enterprise Agreement (the Enterprise Agreement) and University policies and procedures; and
  4. applies to all full-time and part-time fixed-term (12 months or longer) and continuing academic staff.
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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This policy: 

  1. provides a framework for the planning, allocating, and reporting of work allocation for academic staff to support excellence in the three (3) domains of academic work: research and innovation, teaching and learning, and leadership and engagement;
  2. is consistent with, and links to planning and performance processes, the Foundations for Inspiring People, probation, training and development, academic promotion, and the Special Studies Program
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Section 3 - Definitions   

(3) Academic work allocation refers to the total time applied to any of the activities relating to research and innovation, teaching and learning, and leadership and engagement, including the administrative components of each of those work areas.

(4) Academic activities are the work activities associated with the three academic work domains. These are outlined in Schedule 4 of the Academic Staff and Teachers Enterprise Agreement

(5) Academic Work Profile is the over-arching proportional allocation of an academic staff member’s work to the three domains of academic work.

(6) Minimum Levels of Research Performance are set at the School level to include measures of quality and quantity that demonstrate satisfactory research outcomes appropriate to the represented disciplines by academic level. Measures are reported to and reviewed by the University's Academic Work Allocation Panel to ensure equity, transparency, fairness, and sustainability. 

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Section 4 - Responsibilities

(7) The Head of School is responsible for:

  1. work allocation within the School, setting work priorities, and discussing with academic staff the most efficient ways of contributing to the achievement of the University's strategic goals;
  2. consulting with academic staff in respect to the allocation of duties within the relevant academic work allocation profile;
  3. monitoring changes in activities performed and the impact of that on the academic work allocation profile;
  4. setting and reviewing benchmarks for performance standards, including Minimum Levels of Research Performance, guided by discipline-specific international standards of excellence and key performance indicators;
  5. ensuring work allocation supports financial sustainability and effective resource management; 
  6. providing support to academic staff to enable them to fulfill their work allocation and move between different academic work allocation profiles where appropriate; and
  7. ensuring that work allocation is published in the University-wide IT system, maintained, reviewed, and reported as required.

(8) An academic staff member is responsible for:

  1. working efficiently and effectively towards individual, School, College, and University goals;
  2. undertaking an appropriate mix of activities aligned to their work allocation, whilst demonstrating excellence across the three academic domains in accordance with the relevant Academic Work Allocation Profile;
  3. actively participating in performance and planning processes; and
  4. reporting any work variations that change their academic work allocation profile to the Head of School to enable appropriate review and adjustment if required. 

(9) The Work Allocation Panel is responsible for: 

  1. monitoring and reviewing work allocation across the University to ensure adherence to the principles of equity, transparency, fairness and sustainability;
  2. considering and reviewing staff concerns around work allocation; and
  3. considering opportunities for continuous improvement in the allocation of academic work.
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Section 5 - General Principles

(10) This section outlines the over-arching principles that inform the University's approach to the management of academic work allocation.


(11) Work allocation will take into account an appropriate mix of activities to enable the academic staff member to demonstrate excellence across the three academic domains, in accordance with their academic profile. The allocated work carried out by academic staff must meet the goals and objectives of the School, College, and University, as well as the agreed professional development needs of staff. 


(12) Calculation of comparative work allocations must be in accordance with the University methodology as outlined in the Work Allocation Guidelines to ensure transparency and consistency. 

(13) Work will be allocated and developed through consultation between Heads of School (or equivalent) and academic staff in accordance with the University's Work Allocation Model(s).

(14) Work allocations should be flexible across time and recognise that individual academic staff, at any one time, are at various stages of their career, have different professional objectives, and contribute to the University in a variety of ways. 

(15) The allocation of individual work should consider these factors, along with: curriculum; the priorities of the School, College, and University; academic staff and student profiles; development needs; and financial considerations.


(16) Academic work will be allocated on a basis that recognises and adheres to the University's policies related to equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

(17) In the context of academic work allocation, equity does not imply that all academic staff perform the same tasks in the same proportions. Rather, it recognises that academic staff members have different circumstances and allocates work to optimise opportunities to reach equal outcomes; and implies that each academic staff member’s work allocations are determined by the same fair and transparent approach as their peers, applicable to the relevant academic level, experience, full-time equivalence and discipline.


(18) Work allocation should align with the strategic goals of the University and key financial and reputational drivers. 

(19) The work allocations between the three academic domains will be informed by the sufficiency and intention of the available funding.  

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Section 6 - Allocation of Work Principles

(20) This section establishes the principles for the University's approach to the allocation of academic work.

(21) Individual work allocations across the three domains of work varies according to experience, level, discipline, and appointment. 

(22) Academic activities are categorised under the three academic domains of research and innovation, teaching and learning, and leadership and engagement. Within these domains there is a wide range of activities which academic staff may undertake, depending on the nature of their academic appointment. In relation to the Leadership and Engagement domain outlined in the Policy and Model(s) it is important to note that this equates to the Service and Engagement domain as defined in the University's Enterprise Agreement.

(23) While the principles-based approach to work allocation establishes the application of the quantum of effort to each of the domains and provides definitions of the types of activities that align to each domain, the specific tasks (i.e. the courses taught, research projects undertaken, and engagement performed) will be articulated in the academic staff member’s annual work plan. 

(24) Examples of activities relating to research and innovation, teaching and learning, and leadership and engagement are outlined in Foundations for Inspiring People.

(25) Work will be allocated through consultation between the academic staff member and their Head of School (or equivalent) in accordance with the Academic Work Allocation Model. 

(26) The specific work allocation will inform planning and performance goals for an individual academic staff member. For example, the expected outcomes from work will normally reflect the level of appointment of academic staff, with greater levels of responsibility, collaboration, and leadership expected of academic level D and level E staff.

(27) The total allocated work will be in proportion to the fraction of appointment. 

(28) An academic staff member may request a review of work allocation in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement by discussing details with their Head of School in the first instance. 

(29) The allocation of work must be done in accordance with the University's Health and Safety Management System Framework.

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Section 7 - Academic Work Allocation Profiles

(30) The University recognises five (5) types of academic work allocation profiles. 

(31) The notional work allocation for each academic work allocation profile across the three academic domains is designed to allow flexibility, rather than prescribing a fixed allocation within each profile. The sum of the total allocation of work across the three academic domains for any academic staff member will equal 100%.

(32) Transition between academic work allocation profiles will be based on the institutional need. The Head of School will also consider personal circumstances, strengths, and professional interests of academic staff members.

Teaching and Research Academic Work Allocation Profile

(33) A Teaching and Research academic work allocation profile is held by an academic staff member whose work profile reflects the ‘Teaching and Research work allocation’ as defined in the Enterprise Agreement

(34) It is expected that most academic staff will have a Teaching and Research academic work allocation profile in the absence of any other inputs or considerations. 

(35) A Teaching and Research work allocation profile requires academic staff members to meet minimum levels of research performance to be recognised as research active.

(36) At a whole-of-institution level, the consolidated academic staff profile of work allocations is expected to align closely with the teaching and research academic work allocation profile.

(37) It is recognised that for clinically qualified and practising academic staff, research, teaching, and engagement are pursued in part through their clinical practice. As with a Teaching and Research work allocation profile, they must meet minimum levels of research performance to be recognised as research active. The leadership and engagement allocation of work is generally achieved through the academic's ongoing clinical service.

Teaching Intensive Academic Work Allocation Profile

(38) An academic staff member with a Teaching Intensive academic work allocation profile will be primarily concerned with activities that provide outstanding educational benefits to students through teaching and learning. 

(39) Planning and performance goals will reflect the academic’s Teaching Intensive work allocation profile.

Research Intensive Academic Work Allocation Profile 

(40) An academic staff member with a Research Intensive academic work allocation profile will be primarily concerned with activities that advance research and innovation, including HDR supervision, and produce outstanding research outcomes in support of University strategy. 

(41) Subject to Head of School approval, a Research Intensive academic work allocation profile should be supported by external funding received by the University through successful high-profile and substantial funding bids. 

(42) Generally, this external funding is required to support proportional teaching relief, set at a rate equivalent to at least a Level B salary including on costs.

(43) Review of Research Intensive academic work allocation profiles will be undertaken on an annual basis. This review will confirm that the required funding is still in place and committed for the next twelve months, and the achievement of agreed milestones are met.

(44) Where funding has been exhausted and/or agreed milestones are not met, academics will return to a Teaching and Research academic work allocation profile.

(45) Planning and performance goals will reflect the academic’s research focus and will be well above the expectations of research performance in a Teaching and Research academic work allocation profile within their School and/or College

Clinical Academics

(46) A Clinical Academic refers to those members of staff who are defined under the Clinical Academics Employed in the NSW Health Service Agreement.

(47) The appointment with NSW Health through this arrangement will contribute to the Leadership and Engagement domain of the Clinical Academic and will generally be 20% of a staff member’s work allocation.

(48) A staff member employed through this arrangement operating as a Clinical Academic will ensure that they adhere to both the requirements as outlined in their terms of employment with the University and the requirements stipulated in the Clinical Academics Employed in the NSW Health Service Agreement.

(49) All Clinical Academic arrangements undertaken are subject to Head of School and/or PVC approval, must be documented with HRServices and adhere to University requirements including but not limited to Outside Work Policy.

Industry and Clinical Educators 

(50) An Industry and Clinical Educator role is designed to support an academic staff member balance their external industry or clinical employment and the delivery of contemporary industry or clinical education in University undergraduate/postgraduate programs.

(51) Industry and Clinical Educators are appointed only on a fixed-term basis for a period of 1 to 5 years. 

(52) An academic staff member appointed to this profile must be able to demonstrate and maintain suitable qualifications and currency within their industry or clinical discipline during their period of employment, but does not have to hold a PhD.

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Section 8 - Reporting and Governance

(53) The University will provide access to an IT system for recording and managing academic work allocation. 

(54) Each School will be responsible for publishing and maintaining academic work allocations within the IT system, with updates required per semester or equivalent in the relevant year. 

(55) Work allocation reporting will be used to inform work allocation discussions and planning, to support reporting of trends on a School, College, and University-wide basis and provide comparison between programs and courses.

(56) The University will convene an Academic Work Allocation Panel to review the College and/or School academic work allocation(s), including minimum levels of research performance, on an as needed basis to ensure fairness, transparency, equity, and financial sustainability.  

(57) The Academic Work Allocation Panel will comprise the following membership: 

  1. Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Excellence) (Chair);
  2. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Vice President;
  3. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation);
  4. Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Strategy and Leadership;
  5. Chief People and Culture Officer;
  6. President Academic Senate.