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Frequently Asked Questions: Transfer

Q: When is the new transfer policy in effect?

A: The new transfer policy is in effect July 1, 1998.

Q: Who is eligible for a transfer?

A: Individuals who have completed six months in their current position, and whose performance is satisfactory, are eligible for a transfer.

Q: Can staff who have performance or conduct problems transfer?

A: At times. It is important that staff are placed into positions where they can be successful. If a staff member is having difficulty adjusting to the job requirements of a position or is failing to meet minimum expectations, it may be possible to identify other opportunities within Vanderbilt where he/she can be successful. If a staff member is on a Performance Accountability and Commitment plan or a disciplinary letter, 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 or disciplinary letter. This information may be a deciding factor in the hiring decision.  The transfer will need to be coordinated among the current supervisor, Human Resources consultant, and the supervisor of the vacant position. When staff are determined ineligible for transfer, they may not transfer into a regular, term, or temporary position.


Q: Will my references be checked if I apply for a transfer?

A: Yes. References are required for all positions at Vanderbilt. For a transfer, this includes a reference check with the current supervisor. A minimum of two references are required on all applicants.

Q: Do I have to inform my current supervisor when I am applying for a transfer?

A: No -- there is no policy that requires that you notify your current supervisor. However, it is good practice to do so. Because Vanderbilt requires references be checked on all applicants (both external and internal), your supervisor will most likely be called by the hiring department. It is both a courtesy and good practice to advise your supervisor of your interest and to notify him/her that a reference call may be forthcoming.

Q: What can I do if I feel my supervisor will give me a poor reference or try to block my transfer?

A: If you are on a Performance Accountability and Commitment plan or disciplinary letter, your transfer will need to be coordinated among your current supervisor, your HR Consultant, and the new supervisor. If you are not on a Performance Accountability and Commitment plan or disciplinary letter and are concerned that your supervisor will not provide a good reference, contact your HR Consultant or Recruiter. Be honest with the new department about your strengths and limitations when you are interviewing.

Q: If I have a staff member who is a "poor performer," what should I tell the new department who is calling for a reference?

A: It's important to understand Vanderbilt's reference policies. Supervisors are not to provide references externally. All calls should be directed to the Work Number at 1-800-367-2884, where the dates of employment and job title will be provided. Callers will be prompted to enter Vanderbilt's employer code: 12412 when calling. For additional information visit Vanderbilt's employment verification page.

Vanderbilt does require, however, that references be provided internally-for staff transferring from one department to another. It's important to be honest about the staff member's performance. Information you share about a staff member should be relevant, consistent, and objective. While you should discuss the staff member's limitations, it is also important to discuss his/her strengths. Vanderbilt does not want to transfer performance problems from one department to another. It's in the best interest of Vanderbilt and the staff member to look for positions where the staff member can be successful. For guidance on reference information, please contact your Human Resources Consultant.


Q: What’s a lateral transfer?

A: A move to a position with the same or similar job title in the same pay grade.

Q: What’s a promotion?

A: A promotion places an individual into a higher pay grade, even if the actual salary is not increased.

Q: Other than lateral moves or promotions, are there other types of transfers?

A: Yes. Moves into another department, a change in career paths, or taking a job involving less responsibility or pay are also considered transfers.

Q: What paperwork is required to process a transfer?

A: The current supervisor completes a Payroll Action Form (PAF) turnaround document. See the Vanderbilt University Payroll Handbook for instructions. Once the PAF has been completed and appropriate signatures have been obtained, the PAF is sent to the individual’s new department. The new supervisor will complete information, sign the form, and send it to the appropriate budget office. The personnel request form (PR) and EEO self-audit report (SAR) should be attached to the PAF when it is submitted to the budget office.

Q: For hourly-paid staff, when a transfer involves a salary increase, when will the change in pay be effective?

A: Salary increases are effective the first day of the workweek immediately following the transfer effective date.

Q: Are there exceptions to the transfer policy?

A: Yes. There may be exceptions in order to comply with 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 transfer process guidelines. All exceptions must be coordinated through Human Resource Services and the Opportunity Development Center.

Q: When I transfer, do I have to begin a new orientation and evaluation period?

A: Yes. The purpose of the orientation period is to provide close support and feedback. The orientation period is 3 months for hourly-paid staff and 6 months for exempt staff.

Q: What happens if I transfer to a temporary position?

A: Staff members who leave Vanderbilt's regular employment and have an interest in temporary employment through Vanderbilt Temporary Services (VTS) must apply for opportunities utilizing the current recruitment process. Staff who leave regular employment should be processed through a terminating PAF and all appropriate accruals will be paid at the time of termination. Employment through VTS would be processed as a "new hire." Time spent in VTS does not count toward service eligibility unless the staff member returns to regular employment within 12-months of termination of their previous regular employment according to the Bridging Policy.

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 and need to consult with Benefits termination and rehire into a temporary position.

Q: What happens when I transfer from a temporary position?

A: 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: (a) Rehire -- as a "Rehire" (if no more than one year has expired since previous regular employment) or (b) New Hire -- as a "New Hire" (if more than one year has expired since previous regular employment or if this is the first regular employment at Vanderbilt).

Q: What happens to vacation and holiday leave when I transfer?

A: It depends on the situation. (1) If you are hourly-paid or exempt and transferring into a term or regular position, your accrual balances for vacation and holiday leave are transferred with you to the new department. (2) If you are hourly-paid and transferring to a temporary position, all accrued vacation and holiday leave will be paid at the time of the transfer by the current department. (3) If you are exempt and transferring to a temporary position, all accrued vacation leave will be paid at the time of the transfer by the current department. Exempt staff will not be paid for holiday time. (4) If you are transferring to a faculty appointment, all accrued vacation leave will be paid at the time of the transfer by the current department. Exempt staff will not be paid for holiday time.

Q: Who do I call if I have problems with the transfer process, with my reference information, etc.?

A: For questions or concerns about your experience in the transfer process, call the EAD (formerly known as the Opportunity Development Center - ODC) at 322-4705 or contact Employee Relations at 322-7259.
For questions regarding the administration of this policy, call Employee Relations at 322-7259.
F or questions regarding the transfer process and how to apply for a transfer, call Recruitment Services at 322-8300 or Vanderbilt Temporary Services at 322-8299.