Schedule 4. Minimum standards for academic levels (MSAL)

S4.1 Introduction

Minimum standards for levels of academic staff, other than a casual, are set out in this schedule. The levels are differentiated by level of complexity, degree of autonomy, leadership requirements of the position and level of achievement of the academic. The responsibilities of academic staff may vary according to the specific requirements of the institution to meet its objectives, to different discipline requirements and/or to individual staff development.

An academic appointed to a particular level may be assigned and may be expected to undertake responsibilities and functions of any level up to and including the level to which the academic is appointed or promoted. In addition, an academic may undertake elements of the work of a higher level in order to gain experience and expertise consistent with the requirements of an institution's promotion processes.

MSAL will not be used as a basis for claims for reclassification.

S4.2 Teaching and research academic staff

Level A

A Level A academic will work with the support and guidance from more senior academic staff and is expected to develop his or her expertise in teaching and research with an increasing degree of autonomy. A Level A academic will normally have completed four years of tertiary study or equivalent qualifications and experience and may be required to hold a relevant higher degree.

A Level A academic will normally contribute to teaching at the institution, at a level appropriate to the skills and experience of the staff member, engage in scholarly, research and/or professional activities appropriate to their profession or discipline, and undertake administration primarily relating to their activities at the institution. The contribution to teaching of Level A academics will be primarily at undergraduate and graduate diploma level.

Level B

A Level B academic will undertake independent teaching and research in his or her discipline or related area. In research and/or scholarship and/or teaching a Level B academic will make an independent contribution through professional practice and expertise and coordinate and/or lead the activities of other staff, as appropriate to the discipline.

A Level B academic will normally contribute to teaching at undergraduate, honours and postgraduate level, engage in independent scholarship and/or research and/or professional activities appropriate to his or her profession or discipline. The academic will normally undertake administration primarily relating to their activities at the institution and may be required to perform the full academic responsibilities of and related administration for the coordination of an award program of the institution.

Level C

A Level C academic will make a significant contribution to the discipline at the national level. In research and/or scholarship and/or teaching he or she will make original contributions, which expand knowledge or practice in his or her discipline.

A Level C academic will normally make a significant contribution to research and/or scholarship and/or teaching and administration activities of an organisational unit or an interdisciplinary area at undergraduate, honours and postgraduate level. The academic will normally play a major role or provide a significant degree of leadership in scholarly, research and/or professional activities relevant to the profession, discipline and/or community and may be required to perform the full academic responsibilities of and related administration for the coordination of a large award program or a number of smaller award programs of the institution.

Level D

A Level D academic will normally make an outstanding contribution to the research and/or scholarship and/or teaching and administration activities of an organisational unit, including a large organisational unit, or interdisciplinary area.

A Level D academic will make an outstanding contribution to the governance and collegial life inside and outside of the institution and will have attained recognition at a national or international level in his or her discipline. The academic will make original and innovative contributions to the advancement of scholarship, research and teaching in their discipline.

Level E

A Level E academic will provide leadership and foster excellence in research, teaching and policy development in the academic discipline within the institution and within the community, professional, commercial or industrial sectors.

A Level E academic will have attained recognition as an eminent authority in his or her discipline, will have achieved distinction at the national level and may be required to have achieved distinction at the international level. A Level E academic will make original, innovative and distinguished contributions to scholarship, research and teaching in their discipline. They will make a commensurate contribution to the work of the institution.

S4.3 Research academic staff (inclusive of creative disciplines)

Level A

A Level A research academic will typically conduct research/scholarly activities under limited supervision either independently or as a member of a team and will normally hold a relevant higher degree.

A Level A research academic will normally work under the supervision of academic staff at Level B or above, with an increasing degree of autonomy as the research academic gains skills and experience. A Level A research academic may undertake limited teaching, may supervise at undergraduate levels and may publish the results of the research conducted as sole author or in collaboration. They will undertake administration primarily relating to their activities at the institution.

Level B

A Level B research academic will normally have experience in research or scholarly activities, which have resulted in publications in refereed journals or other demonstrated scholarly activities.

A Level B research academic will carry out independent and/or team research. A Level B research academic may supervise postgraduate research students or projects and be involved in research training.

Level C

A Level C research academic will make independent and original contributions to research, which have a significant impact on his or her field of expertise.

The work of the research academic will be acknowledged at a national level as being influential in expanding the knowledge of their discipline. This standing will normally be demonstrated by a strong record of published work or other demonstrated scholarly activities.

A Level C research academic will provide leadership in research, including research training and supervision.

Level D

A Level D research academic will make major original and innovative contributions to their field of study or research, which are recognised as outstanding nationally or internationally.

A Level D research academic will play an outstanding role within their institution, discipline and/or profession in fostering the research activities of others and in research training.

Level E

A Level E research academic will typically have achieved international recognition through original, innovative and distinguished contributions to their field of research, which is demonstrated by sustained and distinguished performance.

A Level E research academic will provide leadership in their field of research, within their institution, discipline and/or profession and within the scholarly and/or general community. They will foster excellence in research, research policy and research training.