Promotions process

The University’s promotions process is for all staff and applications can be made throughout the year.

Our approach to promotions has very recently been reviewed and updated in line with feedback from across the University. The new process and criteria have now been launched for all staff.

We believe that the new procedures represent a really positive change and would like to thank everyone who took the time to provide feedback. Some of the key changes are a simplification of the criteria in addition to a 'pick and mix' approach which we hope will give you more flexibility than the previous system.  

If you need any help, advice or support please contact your faculty/service HR Manager in the first instance.

How to apply

Our promotions process is designed to be simple and flexible, ensuring a quicker and more streamlined process.

You can download the promotions procedure document below for full details of the process.  You'll also find below links to all of the necessary supporting forms and documents, including application forms and application guidance.  The criteria, and local benchmarks if you're applying for an academic promotion, can be found on subsequent pages.

Things to consider before you start your application

  • In your application you'll need to give evidence to show that you meet the criteria for the grade to which you're applying for promotion.
  • You should read the accompanying guidance document which will help you interpret and provide appropriate examples against the criteria.
  • If you're applying for promotion to grade 10 the process will include an interview and, if you are an academic, it will also be informed by external references. Full details are in the promotions procedure document.


Each grade has a set of criteria which describes the entry level to that grade. If you want to apply for a promotion, and it has been confirmed that your job is needed at a higher grade, you will need to provide evidence to show how you meet these criteria.

Each set of criteria also comes with an accompanying set of guidance notes which will help you ensure you interpret and address the criteria correctly.  We strongly recommend that you read these notes before starting your application.

Academic criteria

Grade 7 - criteria are being finalised. If you wish to apply for promotion to grade 7, please use the former criteria.

Grade 8 Student Education criteria / Grade 8 Student Education guidance notes

Grade 8 Research & Innovation criteria / Grade 8 Research & Innovation guidance notes

Grade 9 Student Education criteria / Grade 9 Student Education guidance notes

Grade 9 Research & Innovation criteria / Grade 9 Research & Innovation guidance notes

Grade 10 Student Education criteria / Grade 10 Student Education guidance notes

Grade 10 Research & Innovation criteria / Grade 10 Research & Innovation guidance notes

Grade 10 Academic Leadership criteria / Grade 10 Academic Leadership guidance notes

Support and Professional & Managerial criteria

Grade 3 criteria / Grade 3 guidance notes

Grade 4 criteria / Grade 4 guidance notes

Grade 5 criteria / Grade 5 guidance notes

Grade 6 criteria / Grade 6 guidance notes

Grade 7 criteria / Grade 7 guidance notes

Grade 8 criteria / Grade 8 guidance notes

Grade 9 criteria / Grade 9 guidance notes

Grade 10 criteria

Local benchmarks

If you have an academic job and are applying for a promotion to grade 8, 9 or 10, local benchmarks for your Faculty may help to clarify what some of the criteria mean in practice for your subject or discipline.

Faculty of Arts

Faculty of Biological Sciences (FBS)

Faculty of Business (LUBS)

Faculty of Engineering

Faculty of Environment

Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences (MaPS)

Faculty of Medicine and Health (further updated benchmarks will be available in due course): 

Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications (PVAC)

Faculty of Social Sciences (formerly ESSL)

Roles and responsibilities

Everyone involved in the promotions process has a different role or responsibility, and these are outlined below.

Line manager

  • can make recommendations for a promotion following a discussion with the member of staff or, where appropriate, give help to members of staff that are completing a promotions application;
  • can undertake other roles such as verifier, panel chair, and panel member.


  • will usually be the Head of School/Service or a person they nominate;
  • is the person who knows the most about the role holder and the role;
  • will verify the application that has been submitted to make sure it's accurate.

Guidance for verifiers can be found below.

Dean and Head of School/Service

  • agree the ongoing requirements for a role in line with Faculty/Service needs;
  • verify applications for promotion or nominate an appropriate person to do so;
  • can be a member or chair of a promotions panel.

Panel chair

  • facilitates the promotion panel’s discussion, making sure that applications are judged fairly against the criteria for the higher grade;
  • reminds the promotions panel of equality and inclusion considerations;
  • records any declarations of interest from panel members;
  • facilitates a discussion if there is a difference of opinion in order to help the panel members reach a consensus;
  • makes sure that the discussion is documented using the pro-forma provided.

Panel members

  • consider applications for promotion against the criteria for the higher grade;
  • record the reasons for their decision;
  • give feedback to the applicant for unsuccessful applications.

    Independent panel members

    • make sure that there is University wide consistency.

    Appeal panel members

    • will consider the case put forward by an unsuccessful applicant describing why they think the wrong decision has been made, and determine whether there are grounds for appeal.

    Support and guidance

    There are a number of sources of support and guidance available and these can be relevant at different stages of your career, or of the promotion application process.

    The information below summarises the main sources of support:

    • Head of School/manager (or Deputy Head of School/member of the Senior Management Team) can provide guidance on the best route/criterion for you to address and the most relevant evidence to present in your application document.  They can also review early drafts of your application document.
    • Local peer support – an individual who has recently been through the promotions process and can offer feedback on the structure of your application document.
    • Mentor via the University scheme can, if you prefer have more of an independent and confidential discussion with you about preparing for promotion – this may be well in advance of you beginning to prepare your promotions documents. Please select ‘career development’ in the matching preference section but indicate in the comments section above that you would like to focus on promotion.
    • SRDS reviewer
    • Trained Trade Union representatives.

    If you have any queries about the most appropriate support for you, please contact your Faculty HR team. 

    Promotions roles and responsibilities are explained here and you can download the procedure document below which includes all the information on the promotions process.

    For information on the promotions process for panel members, please refer to the panel member briefing document below.