University of Bath

Understand the approval stages for authorising a vacancy

Guidance outlining vacancy authorisation at the University and the approval stages.

Vacancy authorisation

The procedure for seeking approval for new positions, the filling of vacancies and the extension of fixed term contracts.

Terms of Reference of the Staff Vacancies Review Group

The Staff Vacancies Review Group (SVRG), consisting of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University Secretary, Director of Finance and Commercial Services and the Director of Human Resources, will consider requests to fill vacancies and the extension of fixed term contracts with the exception of wholly externally-funded research positions.

Requests to establish new positions, with the exception of wholly externally-funded research positions, should be brought forward as part of the Planning process. In exceptional circumstances, proposals for new positions may be submitted to the Director of Human Resources who will advise whether the request should be submitted to SVRG or a business case should be submitted directly to the Vice-Chancellor’s Group.

Positions funded by special initiative funding (e.g. HEFCE special initiative funding) will be considered by SVRG.

The recommendations of SVRG will be subject to formal approval by the Vice-Chancellor’s Group.

Procedure for filling vacancies

All positions must be submitted online using the Staff Request Form. The Department Reviewer must be the head (or their designate) of the organisational level above that of the post proposer.

Academic and Teaching Fellow posts must be reviewed by the Dean of Faculty/School.

SVRG has responsibility for:

  • seeking confirmation that all options for covering positions through internal restructuring or resource sharing have been considered
  • seeking confirmation that the funding for any positionsunder consideration has been explicitly addressed within the planning process for the relevant department or alternative sources of funding have been identified;
  • ensuring that the University's contribution to research bids in relation to staff appointments has prior approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) and the Director of Finance and Commercial Services.

Human Resources will not take action to advertise, or appoint to, any positions until the appropriate approvals have been obtained.

SVRG meets weekly to consider applications. The deadline for submission of applications is normally at close of business on Monday.

Vacancy approval stages

When you submit a request via the Staff Request Form, it will be subject to the following stages of review.

1) Department review

2) HR Review

3) Staff Vacancies Review Group (SVRG) Review

4) Vice-Chancellor's Group (VCG) Review

5) RIS Review (for externally funded research roles only)

Department review

The Department Reviewer must be the head (or their designate) of the organisational level above that of the post proposer.

Academic and Teaching Fellow posts must be reviewed at this stage by the Dean of Faculty/School.

In the case of externally funded research positions, the Department Reviewer must be the Head of Department.

The Department Reviewer needs to assess whether the request is appropriate within the context of the department’s objectives and available resources:

  • financial: are sufficient funds available within an agreed budget? (for externally funded research roles see RIS review below)

  • working space: is there sufficient space to accommodate the proposed appointment e.g. desk, storage, laboratory?

  • equipment: is there sufficient available equipment for the proposed appointment to be able to deliver the objectives for their role?

  • specialist equipment/resources: Does the individual require access to specialist equipment/resources that are managed outside of the immediate department e.g High Performance Computing, Mass Spectrometer?

Department Reviewer approval denotes that the reviewer has considered all of the above and is supportive of the request. If additional resources are required, that there is sufficient information for subsequent reviewers to be able to make an informed decision.

HR Review

The HR Reviewer needs to assess whether the request is appropriate within the context of the University’s Human Resources policies and procedures for ensuring equity across the University.

  • Job Description: does the job description contain sufficient information for the role to be graded, shortlisted and for subsequent performance management.

HR Reviewer approval denotes that the reviewer has considered all of the above and is supportive of the request. If additional resources are required that there is sufficient information for subsequent reviewers to be able to make an informed decision.

Staff Vacancies Review Group (SVRG) Review

SVRG needs to assess whether the request is appropriate within the context of the University’s objectives and available resources by:

  • seeking confirmation that all options for covering posts through internal restructuring or resource sharing have been considered;

  • seeking confirmation that the funding for any post under consideration has been explicitly addressed within the planning process for the relevant department or alternative sources of funding have been identified;

  • ensuring that the University's contribution to research bids in relation to staff appointments has prior approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) and the Director of Finance and Commercial Services.

SVRG Reviewer approval denotes that the reviewer has considered all of the above and is supportive of the request. If additional resources are required that there is sufficient information for subsequent reviewers to be able to make an informed decision.

SVRG typically will meet on a Wednesday. The SVRG meeting agenda comprises of those requests that have completed all prior approval steps by close of business on the Monday.

Vice-Chancellor's Group (VCG) Review

VCG assesses whether the request is appropriate within the context of the University’s objectives and available resources.

VCG Reviewer approval denotes that the reviewer has considered all of the above and is supportive of the request.

VCG typically will meet on a Monday, with outcomes normally communicated by Tuesday morning.

RIS Review (for externally funded research roles only)

RIS are responsible for ensuring that the request complies with the requirements of the funding body i.e:

  • financial: are sufficient funds available within an agreed budget?

  • timing of appointment falls within start and end of project (if dates are fixed)?

  • length of employment contract does not exceed duration of project?

  • compliance: does the request meet the compliance requirements of the funding body?

RIS reviewer approval denotes that the request is appropriate within the context of the agreement with the funding body.