Probationary Period Guideline

Contact Officer: Director, Client Services and Organizational Development & Learning


This guideline has been created to support the Probationary Period Policy and Procedure and to outline additional considerations during the probationary period process.


Depending on the complexity of the job, skill level and operational business cycles, a shorter or longer probationary period might be necessary to fully assess a new employee’s performance and suitability to the job. Careful consideration of the appropriate length of probation should be given prior to the employment contract being issued. In the absence of any rationale for a shorter or longer probationary period, 6 months shall be considered the default length.

Regularly scheduled meetings during the probationary period are the best means by which to provide an opportunity for the Manager to assess the employee’s performance and suitability for the role. This includes, but is not limited to, assessing the employee’s demonstrated skills and abilities, attendance, punctuality and overall fit within the organization. Meeting frequency will vary; however, it is recommended that it not be less frequent than bi-weekly.

Robust and comprehensive documentation by the Manager regarding the employee’s performance during the probationary period is essential to support a determination that the employee is not suitable for the position and to validate that the decision was not made in an arbitrary or discriminatory manner.

Managers should ensure that they provide employees with appropriate training and support to meet the expectations of the role. Employees are also advised to proactively seek training opportunities and/or other resources to assist them in meeting the requirements of the role and communicate regularly with their Manager.

It is recommended that Managers follow the guidelines as outlined in the Orientation Toolkit to effectively manage the employee during the probationary period and use any existing assessment tools available through Human Resources.

Related Policies / Procedures

Probationary Period Policy, Probationary Period Procedure


Orientation Toolkit

Date Approved 2016
Approval Authority VPOC
Related Policies, Procedures and Guidelines Probationary Period Policy, Probationary Period Procedure, Orientation Toolkit