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EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 1998  | REVISED DATE: April 16, 2012



One of the ways that individuals broaden and deepen their career experience is through professional moves within the Vanderbilt system. A transfer is defined as changing positions for a lateral move, promotion, department change, job change, or demotion. A change in job title, reporting structure, change in responsibilities, or any other modification to a current position, is not considered a transfer.


ELIGIBILITY Staff must have successfully completed the orientation period and have remained in the current position to allow for a six month evaluation period 1 to be eligible for a transfer. Vanderbilt encourages staff to establish a long-term, stable working relationship before seeking other career opportunities within the Vanderbilt system. Individuals who are not meeting performance expectations must disclose any formal performance counseling to be eligible to transfer within the Vanderbilt system (see examples below):

  • Performance Problems: If a staff member is unable to adjust to the job requirements of a position or is failing to meet minimum expectations, it may be to the staff member's and the University's advantage to attempt to identify other opportunities within Vanderbilt for consideration. It is important that the individual is transferred into a position where he/she has an opportunity to be successful.
  • Conduct Problems:Staff with conduct problems are rarely transferred. Conduct problems are defined as inappropriate conduct resulting in Performance Improvement Counseling (PIC). The conduct must be formally documented and approval must be granted by both the leaving and gaining departments, as well as Human Resources. Unless approval is granted, staff involved in conduct actions are not eligible for transfer or promotion into a regular, term, or temporary position.
    • NOTE: While on a Performance Accountability and Commitment plan or discipline warning, the employee is required to share with the hiring manager, prior to the job offer, the content and expectations of the written or final Performance Accountability and Commitment Plan. This information may be a deciding factor in the hiring decision.
  • Staff transferring or being rehired will be subject to a screen of work history which may also include a background check. The ability to transfer to other areas within Vanderbilt could be subject to the background check.


Lateral Transfer: A lateral transfer is a move to a position with the same or similar job title in the same pay grade. Such transfers provide opportunities to work with new colleagues, to master a different range of skills, or to transfer special skills and experience to a new environment.

Promotion: Staff are often interested in opportunities for professional development through promotion to more responsible positions, either in their current department or in another area of Vanderbilt. A move is considered a promotion if it places an individual in a higher pay grade, even if the actual salary is not increased.

Other Job Changes: Staff may move to a position in another department, change career paths, or to take a job involving less responsibility or pay. These moves are also considered transfers. To process a transfer, the current supervisor must fill out the Payroll Action Form (PAF) Turnaround document (see the Administrator's Guide). Ideally, transfers for hourly staff occur at the beginning of a payroll period. However, salary increases are effective the first day of the workweek immediately following the transfer effective date. Once the PAF has been completed and appropriate signatures have been obtained, the form will be sent to the individual’s new department. The new department will complete the new information, obtain appropriate signatures, and send the form (with the Position Management Form and the EEO Self-Audit Form) to the appropriate budget office (see the Administrator's Guide).

References: Managers are required to check references with the current supervisor on all transfers within Vanderbilt. An internal transfer candidate must provide a minimum of two references. The hiring official informs the final candidate that references will be checked. Hiring officials use the same criteria for asking relevant reference questions as they use when conducting interviews.


Exceptions to the Transfer Policy may be made in order to comply with the ADA, Workers' Compensation law, or other state or federal laws. For example, if an appropriate accommodation for a Vanderbilt staff member is to transfer to another department, exceptions may be made regarding eligibility and/or process guidelines. Exceptions to the Transfer Policy must be coordinated with Human Resource Services and the Opportunity Development Center.


The orientation period is three months for hourly staff and six months for exempt staff. The purpose of the orientation period is to provide a period of training, support and close feedback. The orientation period after a transfer differs from the “initial” orientation period upon hire or rehire into Vanderbilt. A staff member who has performance issues during the orientation period, after a transfer, is subject to the Performance Management process.


Change From a Regular Position to a Temporary or PRN Position: Staff members who leave Vanderbilt's regular employment and have an interest in temporary employment through Vanderbilt Temporary Services (VTS) or PRN positions must apply for opportunities utilizing the current recruitment process. Staff who leave regular employment to accept a temporary or PRN position should be processed through a terminating PAF and all appropriate accruals will be paid at the time of termination. Acceptance of a temporary or PRN position would be processed as a "new hire." Time spent in a temporary or PRN position does not count toward service eligibility unless the staff member returns to regular employment within 12-months of termination of their previous regular employment. Please refer to the Recruitment, Hiring and Onboarding policy for more information on rehires and bridging.

  • NOTE: Sick time accrual during previous regular or term employment is forfeited upon termination. Staff may be eligible to continue other benefits, like health insurance, at their own cost. Consult with the Human Resources Benefits office for more information.

Change from a Temporary Position to a Regular Position: The same process is used when a staff member moves from a temporary position through VTS to a regular position at Vanderbilt. The staff member is terminated from VTS and processed either as a;

  1. Rehire -- If no more than one year has expired since previous regular employment or
  2. New Hire -- If more than one year has expired since previous regular employment or if this is the first regular employment at Vanderbilt.


Refer to policy HR-009 on Affiliated Entities.


Accrual positions are positions that accrue vacation and holiday leave (regular and term positions). Non-accrual positions are positions that do not accrue vacation and holiday leave (temporary positions and faculty appointments). When staff transfer from an accrual position to a non-accrual position, the following will occur for each group of staff:

  1. regular or term hourly and exempt staff changing to a temporary or PRN position will be processed as a termination. The appropriate accrual will be paid out at that time.
  2. staff transferring to faculty appointments will have all accrued vacation leave paid at the time of transfer by the current department.
    • NOTE: A staff member who transfers into a faculty position and within five (5) years returns to staff status: In this case the time in the sick bank is not available while employment is continued in a faculty status position, but will be carried forward in its entirety for a future staff position. If there is not a transfer from a faculty position to another staff position within the five-year period, the sick bank is lost and will not be paid out in whole or in part under any circumstances.

Approved by Traci K. Nordberg, Chief Human Resources Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor

Approved by Jerry Fife, Vice Chancellor for Administration

Approved by Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs

1 Employee Relations should be consulted before any exceptions are made.

This policy is intended as a guideline to assist in the consistent application of University policies and programs for staff. The policy does not create a contract implied or expressed, with any Vanderbilt staff members, who are employees at will. Vanderbilt reserves the right to modify this policy in whole or in part, at any time, at the discretion of the University.