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Onboarding - an overview

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Remote onboarding

Line Manager and Induction Facilitator Guidance

Line Manager & IF guidance

Line Manager & IF guidance

The following information aims to provide additional guidance to those members of staff who are undertaking onboarding and induction roles.

The onboarding process should start as soon as a new employee has been offered a role at the University. Managers are responsible for ensuring a welcoming, informative and well planned onboarding experience for new staff. The induction element of onboarding can be supported by an induction facilitator and the orientation element is covered by the University Welcome Events and local inductions.

This page provides information aimed at helping you with your role. Managers are advised to make contact with an appropriate induction facilitator early in the process and agree roles before induction plans are developed. If an induction facilitator is leading the process ensure that the manager is aware of the plan and their role in it. Also consider assigning a ‘buddy’ to help support a new member of staff in those early stages – someone in the team who is able to answer those smaller, everyday questions. If you need further assistance the best places to start are the New Staff and Current Staff pages which provide details of those departments who can provide support.


The following information has been created to help you consider topics you will need to cover in order to create a welcoming and effective onboarding experience for your new joiner. You should also use the relevant induction checklist for your member of staff to help plan their programme, these can be found in the ‘Academic’ and ‘Professional Services’ sections of the onboarding web pages.

The Managers' Onboarding Guidance‌ contains a checklist, advice and guidance about preparing for the arrival of a new staff member and creating an oboarding programme. Use the document in conjunction with the induction checklists in order to create a full onboarding programme.

Training and Development
If you are new to managing staff or would like a refresh about the University's approach then have a look at the Induction for People Managers session.

Induction Facilitators

Where appropriate an induction facilitator can be nominated, via the eSR1 form, to assist with the induction element of the process. The checklists that can be found on the Academic and Professional Services staff induction webpages indicate those parts that might be completed by a facilitator (roles might be different depending on your Faculty / Service). Be aware that if a facilitator is nominated on the eSR1 form they will receive the new members of staff IT details and therefore it is vital that they are available on day 1 to help that member of staff login. Other key points to consider are:

  • Is the facilitator available? Contact the facilitator prior to nominating them to ensure they are available when your member of staff starts.
  • Are they appropriate? Do they know the required details for your department?
  • Would someone else be more appropriate? Can you nominate someone from your department?
  • Has a plan been agreed? Ensure that it is clear who is delivering each part of the induction process to ensure there are no gaps in coverage.

Induction Buddies

An induction buddy is someone from within the team or department who provides an informal support network for the new member of staff. A well-briefed and enthusiastic buddy can help the new employee to feel welcome and will allay some of the nerves that accompany a new job. Use of a buddy system should provide the new employee with an informal support and social network and a starting point for general queries. A good buddy is someone who is prepared to be a contact and a friendly face for the new member of staff. Find out more about Buddying.

University Departments

If you need any support or help throughout the recruitment and onboarding process there are plenty of departments who can assist. The Human Resources pages offer advice and guidance about all areas of employment and recruitment. The ‘Sources of Help’ to the right of this page lists more handy contacts.

Find the name of the facilitator for your area, this will help with completing the eSR1 form. Contact your facilitator prior to nominating them to ensure they are available.

Effective probation is important for both career development and as a means of assessing an individual’s competence to do the job to which they are appointed. The probationary period should be a positive two-way process designed to assist the new employee to integrate into their new role, with emphasis on support and development. Find out your role in this part of the onboarding process.

Induction facilitators

You play a vital role in supporting, guiding and advising new colleagues. You are likely to be one of the first colleagues that a new member of staff interacts with, it is therefore really important to set the right tone, to put the new member of staff at ease and make them feel welcome. It is recognised that at times the induction facilitator will lead on a large proportion of the induction process, however, managers should always be involved in order to conduct the wider onboarding activities that fall within their remit.

Please read the information below before taking on the position of an induction facilitator.

As an induction facilitator your role revolves around the ‘induction’ element of the onboarding process. The Onboarding – An overview presentation to the right of this page sets out some of the possible tasks you might undertake. Your Department, Faculty or Service might have a slightly different approach to the role of the line manager and induction facilitator so check whether there are any different procedures or tasks that facilitators take on in your area. Prior to the new member of staff starting with the University the new colleague’s line manager should contact you about the induction process and agree a plan. The main documents that will guide and support you are:

  • The relevant induction checklist for your new colleague which can be found on the ‘Academic’ or ‘Professional Services’ staff sections of the onboarding web pages.
  • The wider onboarding programme agreed between the induction facilitator and new colleague’s manager.
  • The Further Signposting pages


Induction Facilitators should be informed by the Faculty/Service or line manager of the name and start date of new member of staff. The line manager and induction facilitator should agree the induction plan (who is covering the different parts). It is likely that you will be involved in getting the IT access set up and will receive, by email, initial login details. It is therefore extremely important that you are available for the first day of work for the new colleague. You should receive IT account information before the new member of staff is due to start, click on the link for more information about IT Accounts. If you have problems with any aspect of IT account creation or equipment contact Exeter IT through the IT Helpdesk.

Day 1

You will meet the new colleague and should aim to cover the following:

  • Explain your role as an Induction Facilitator.
  • Explain how to make contact with you during the induction process.
  • Activate the IT account.
  • Assist with logging in to LearnUpon in order for the new colleague to complete their mandatory training.
  • Begin to work through the induction checklist.
  • End each day of the first week with a quick catch up. 

The first day can be busy and overwhelming for a new member of staff so consider ways that you might break up the required information into manageable areas and build in time for them to reflect about what they have learnt and to ask questions.

  • If inducting the new colleague on Campus you will need to consider social distancing and office space.
  • If working remotely consider a short ‘virtual’ chat to start the process and then screen sharing in a Teams meeting which can really help signpost and demonstrate to new staff relevant websites, SharePoint sites and explanations of how to log on etc. 

Week one and beyond

Continue to work through the induction checklist signposting and guiding where required. Typically, you would meet them briefly (either virtually or in person depending on work situations) at the end of the first couple of weeks to check if they have any questions. You should also be contactable at other times.

The University has a code of practice for onboarding which sets out our policy and guidelines. 

Policy Statement

The University will ensure that:

  • Each Faculty/Department has nominated induction facilitators who are responsible (with the line manager) for organising elements of the induction of new staff. The induction facilitator may be the line manager or someone else within the Faculty/Department.
  • It is the responsibility of the Faculty/Department to advise People Development of any deletions or additions to their list of induction facilitators to
  • The onboarding process is applied in line with the University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy of fair treatment of its staff, potential staff or users of its services.
  • All staff employed are given the same core information. In order to achieve this, as a minimum, the line manager and induction facilitator will work though the relevant induction checklist within the first few weeks of employment.
  • The Line Manager will complete Probation reviews and a Performance Development Review (PDR) within three months of commencing work with the new starter. 


In order to achieve the aims of the Policy Statement onboarding should:

  • Start from the moment that a new member of staff is appointed, first impressions are important.
  • Cover all essential information at the earliest opportunity.
  • Address the generic areas of induction.
  • Line managers or Induction facilitators should introduce all new staff to their onboarding timetable.
  • Have no specified length for the process as individuals will have different needs but it will typically be carried out over several weeks.
  • Have time allocated to it so that the new member of staff does not feel rushed and be timetabled so that an employee, and those involved in the induction, has a clear plan of what will be covered and when. This needs to be planned before they commence work and should take effect from their first day of employment.
  • Be evaluated by the new member of staff, line manager and the induction facilitator at regular intervals (People Development will undertake this task).

The University of Exeter wishes to ensure that all new staff receive the same core induction, which will be supported by members of staff working in the same Faculty/Service who are registered induction facilitators. In order to register, you will first need to read through the information contained on the Onboarding web pages, specifically the Line Manager and IF Guidance, Academic Staff and Professional Services Staff pages.

You will then need to complete the online registration form. If you have any queries please email

If you no longer wish to be an Induction Facilitator, please email us at and we will update your record on the eSR1 and remove your name from the Induction webpages.