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Classified Probationary & Trial Service Period

540.060 CLASSIFIED PROBATIONARY & TRIAL SERVICE PERIOD POLICY

To the extent that this policy addresses terms or provisions covered under collective bargaining agreements for represented employees, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement will control for those represented classified employees.

Probationary and trial service periods provide an initial learning and orientation period for employees appointed to new positions. Probationary and trial service periods provide the college an opportunity to determine if the employee will be granted permanent status or retained in a position by observing and evaluating an employee´s skills, abilities, subject knowledge and potential.

This policy, together with its accompanying procedure, is intended to provide guidance to Wenatchee Valley College in determining and notifying an employee of their probationary or trial service period in accordance with the requirements of WAC 357-19-090, and to work in conjunction with associated Chapter 357 WACs and college policies and procedures.

Approved by the president’s cabinet: 8/2/11
Adopted by the board of trustees: 10/19/11
Last reviewed: 9/6/19
Policy contact: Human Resources

Related policies and procedures
1540.060 Classified Probationary & Trial Service Period Procedure

1540.060 CLASSIFIED PROBATIONARY AND TRIAL SERVICE PERIOD PROCEDURE

To the extent that this policy addresses terms or provisions covered under collective bargaining agreements for represented employees, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement will control for those represented classified employees.

A. PURPOSE

The interest of Wenatchee Valley College and the students it serves is best promoted when we provide the optimum circumstance for the initial learning and orientation of employees appointed to new positions. Probationary and trial service periods provide the college an opportunity to observe and evaluate an employee’s skills, abilities, working subject knowledge and future potential during the critical first months of employment or appointment to a new position. Flexibility in the length of probationary and trial service periods allows the ability to accommodate various circumstances and provide an employee additional training or mentoring in order to meet the performance expectations of the position.

B. DEFINITIONS

Probationary Period: The initial period of employment following certification and appointment to, or reemployment in, the classified service.

Trial Service Period: The initial period of employment following a promotional appointment to a position in a new class, a transfer, voluntary demotion, or .elevation when required by the college under the provisions of WAC 357-19-030, or an appointment within two years of separation due to layoff to a position with a higher salary range maximum than the position the employee was laid off from.

Reversion: Voluntary or involuntary movement of an employee during the trial service period resulting in placement in a position or on the employer's internal layoff list.

C. RESPONSIBILITIES

It is the responsibility of each supervisor to ensure appropriate orientation and training is given to an employee appointed to a new position who is serving a probationary or trial service period.

It is the responsibility of the employee to meet and strive to exceed the standards established for work accomplishment and conduct, to improve work effectiveness, and to perform at the highest competency levels possible by the end of the probationary or trial service period and throughout his/her employment.

D. PROBATIONARY AND TRIAL SERVICE PERIODS

The standard probationary and trial service periods for a class are for periods of six to 12 months. (WAC 357-19-040, 050). Employees will serve the initial probationary or trial service period as described in their letter of appointment.

Extensions of probationary or trial service periods can be made for the following reasons:

  1. Entire Classification (WAC 357-19-045)
    Human resources may extend the probationary or trial service period for an entire class for up to a total of 12 months if, due to the nature of job responsibilities, work cycle, and/or business and operational needs of the college, the standard probationary and/or trial service period does not provide an adequate time frame to evaluate an employee’s performance.
  2. Individual Position - Probationary Period (WAC 357-19-045)
    An employee who does not have permanent status that is appointed to a position will serve a probationary period of a minimum of six months. The probationary period may be extended for up to a total of 12 months, with the approval of human resources, for an individual whose performance indicates deficiencies that additional training and/or experience may correct, or when unexpected circumstances occur which warrant extension. Extending the probationary period does not preclude the college from terminating an employee at any time during the extension period.
  3. Individual Position - Trial Service Period (WAC 357-19-060)
    A permanent employee who is promoted to a classification within the college in which they have not held permanent status will serve a trial service period of a minimum of six months. A permanent employee who is promoted, transferred, elevated or demoted to a position for which they have not previously attained permanent status, will be required to serve an initial trial service period of a minimum of six months unless otherwise authorized by human resources. The trial service period may be extended for up to a total of 12 months, with the approval of human resources, for an individual whose performance evaluation indicates deficiencies that additional training and/or experience may correct, or when unexpected circumstances occur which warrant extension. Extending the trial service period does not preclude the college from reverting an employee at any time during the extension period.

If an employee uses leave without pay for an entire workshift while serving a probationary period or trial service period, the probationary or trial service period is extended by one workday for each work shift of leave without pay. (WAC 357-31-355)

E. CONTINUATION OR REASSIGNMENT DURING A PROBATIONARY OR TRIAL SERVICE PERIOD

  1. If an employee accepts an appointment to another permanent position within the college while serving a probationary or trial service period, the probationary or trial service period will start over with the new appointment. However, if the college determines that the new position is closely related to the former position, the college may count time served in the initial probationary or trial service period toward the probationary or trial service period of the new position. (WAC 357-19-070)
  2. If an employee is reassigned by the college while serving a probationary or trial service period, time spent in the initial probationary or trial service period counts towards the probationary or trial service period of the position to which the employee is reassigned. (WAC 357-19-075)

F. NOTIFICATION OF PROBATIONARY/TRIAL SERVICE PERIOD

  1. An employee shall be notified in the appointment letter the duration of the probationary or trial service period and the possibility of an extension to the maximum term.
  2. Written notification shall be given to an employee in advance of any extension or continuation of the probationary or trial service period.

G. PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS

Employees will be formally evaluated during the probationary/trial service period per the college´s classified performance management process policy and WAC 357-37-030.

H. PROBATIONARY PERIOD SEPARATION (WAC 357-19-095) (WAC 357-46-180)

If performance or conduct issues are found to be below acceptable standards by the responsible evaluator, a recommendation shall be made to the appointing authority to terminate employment. Such terminations are not subject to review or appeal.

I. TRIAL SERVICE REVERSION

The college may revert any employee who fails to meet the college’s standards during the trial service period (WAC 357-19-100). The following information provides information and rules regarding reversion:

  1. The employee being reverted must be notified in accordance with WAC 357-19-105.
  2. An employee can voluntarily revert during a trial service period in accordance with WAC 357-19-110.
  3. Upon reversion, the employee has the rights provided by WAC 357-19-115 and WAC 357-19-117. Priority for reverted employee: the college must first look for a position within the layoff unit of the position the employee is being reverted from.
  4. Employees who are reverted during trial service do not have the right to appeal the reversion. (WAC 357-19-135)

Approved by the president’s cabinet: 8/2/11, 12/30/14
Presented to the board of trustees: 9/14/11, 1/21/15
Last reviewed: 9/18/19
Procedure contact: Human Resources

Related policies and procedures
540.060 Classified Probationary & Trial Service Period Policy