Graduate Teaching Assistants and Teaching Assistants Recruitment, Selection and Appointment Policy and Procedures


The University makes provision for the appointment as graduate teaching assistants and teaching assistants for University students who can benefit from the financial support afforded to them and gain valuable experience by teaching and working with academic colleagues. They in turn make a valuable contribution to the academic activities of the University within the scope of their appointment.

Please refer to the Academic Collective Agreement for further information on the terms and conditions for graduate teaching assistants and teaching assistants (Part II of the Academic Collective Agreement).

Agreements to appoint graduate teaching assistants and teaching assistants are covered by the Academic Collective Agreement and the Fixed Term Employment Policy and Procedures


All staff members and students at the University.


To outline the process for recruitment, selection and appointment of graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) and teaching assistants (TAs).


1. The employment agreement must be negotiated and signed before the appointee begins work.

2. This employment agreement must specify:

  • the duties required of the employee
  • the period of employment
  • the total number of hours work required
  • the rate of pay

Note - Both graduate teaching assistant and academic head should monitor total hours worked, and if the initial estimate is incorrect, steps should be taken to adjust the workload to a more appropriate level. If the original estimate is agreed to be incorrect, then additional hours may be claimed by timesheet for payment. If the hours are less than originally agreed, a variation to the terms of their employment agreement must be negotiated and pay will be adjusted accordingly.

3. Appointment of a GTA for more than 0.5 FTE appointments or who is not enrolled in a postgraduate qualification must be approved by the dean.

Note - All appointees who are enrolled for graduate or postgraduate degrees (e.g. Masters, PhD) must comply with the appropriate degree regulations. Graduate teaching assistants who are engaged for a period of 12 months or more are entitled to a partial remission of fees (pro-rata to percentage of full time duties) under the terms of the collective employment agreement.

4. GTA and TA positions are part time and fixed term appointments. GTA roles are paid on a pro-rata salary basis, while TA positions are paid on an hourly rate wage.


Graduate Teaching Assistant

1. Graduate teaching assistants (GTA) must work under close supervision and are not expected to have course control or to give the majority of lectures in any given course

2. GTAs may be required to provide

  • tutoring
  • preparation for tutoring and laboratory sessions
  • laboratory supervision
  • supplementary sessions
  • field work supervision
  • marking
  • delivery of a limited number of lectures and/or seminars
  • test supervision/invigilation
  • attendance at required training sessions and lectures

3. A person in a GTA position cannot hold a TA appointment at the same time. They must be paid at the GTA rate for any of the course support they provide, based on the level of their GTA appointment.

Note - GTA positions are fixed term, part-time positions for postgraduate students and are paid via a salary, pro-rata for the percentage of FTE and fixed-term period. 

Teaching assistants

4. Teaching assistants (TA) must work under close supervision of academic staff responsible for the course involved.

5. TAs may be required to provide:

  • marking
  • laboratory demonstrations
  • test invigilation
  • field work
  • attendance at required training sessions and lectures

6. A TA position should be utilised where the duties do not require a higher level of experience and the work is limited /or supported by a GTA. TA positions are entry level roles which may also provide a student with the experience needed to apply for a GTA role in the future.

Note - The TA positions are part-time positions undergraduate or postgraduate students and they are paid on an hourly rate.


7. Academic heads are responsible for carrying out the following recruitment process for graduate teaching assistants and teaching assistants:

  • seek and receive expressions of interest, with consideration for equal opportunity
  • seek to appoint a diverse range of students through advertising locally and by approaching potential candidates
  • seek and receive written applications
  • offer employment to the most suitable candidate(s)

8. A non-advertised recruitment (NAR) request is to be entered into the University’s preferred system by group services once all relevant information has been supplied.

9. Upon accepting the agreement, the employees must onboard through the University’s chosen onboarding platform.

Note - A copy of the Academic Staff Collective Agreement will be available from the intranet

Note - Overseas students engaged on an employment agreement may require a ”variation to work visa‟ to allow work of up to an average of 20 hours per week


10. TAs are to be paid by timesheet in the HR system

11. Timesheets must be entered and approved within payroll timeframes to facilitate timely payment

Facilities and support

12. The standard University facilities are to be available to GTAs with appointments around 50% full time equivalent, depending on the departmental resources and on the nature of the duties envisaged.

13. For smaller percentage appointments, the level of support may vary to meet the needs of the staff member and the resources available to the department

14. Where a GTA completes extra hours above those provided for in their employment agreement, they can claim these through a timesheet provided the total hours above the agreement do not exceed 38 hours.

Annual leave

15. The term of the agreement for GTAs is to be set to allow for annual leave to be taken during the term of the agreement. Time off is to be provided in blocks of time that allows reasonable leave through the year.

Note - If payment is made in lieu of annual leave, the opportunity for a block of time off for annual leave must still be physically provided.

Union membership

Membership of the Tertiary Education Union (TEU) is available to fixed term and part-time staff. Employees can approach the branch organiser on extension 85169 or to email


The following definitions apply to this policy and procedures:

Academic head means the head of the department/school/research centre/institute or other academic unit in which the staff member is employed

Attendance at required training briefing sessions and lectures means training and attendance at lecturers where required so that GTA can satisfactorily discharge their duties

Delivery of a limited number of lectures/seminars includes the preparation and delivery of the lecture/seminar

Field work means working under the direction of the Course Director, Lecturer or GTA responsible for the field work to assist students

Field work supervision includes supervising off-campus field work/ field trip. This may also include activities associated with the organisation of the field trip, arranging required teaching, identifying the key concepts; equipment usage, health and safety, and recording whether or not students have attended and are at a satisfactory level. The GTA may be responsible for the briefing of any TAs attending the field trip

Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) means an individual who is expected to be a graduate and will normally be enrolled for a postgraduate qualification at the University, or who has just finished their degree and is working for the remainder of the semester and who has recognised skills or experience that would benefit their discipline.

Laboratory demonstration means working under the direction of the course director, lecturer or GTA responsible for the laboratory to assist students to complete laboratory work in a course.

Laboratory supervision means supervising the laboratory. This may also include arranging briefing sessions for TAs, identifying the key concepts, equipment usage, health and safety and recording whether students have attended and are at a satisfactory level

Marking includes marking, providing constructive feedback and data entry associated with marks being recorded in the appropriate University system/s.

Preparation for tutoring and laboratory sessions includes routine preparatory work and may also include working with the Course Director to create new materials and developing laboratory materials, demonstrations etc.

Teaching Assistant (TA) means an individual who is expected to be a student of the University and who provides teaching support and is developing their skills and experience early in their academic career to benefit their discipline.

Test invigilation means assisting the test supervisor in ensuring that students are supervised during the test. This includes completing other duties associated with the administration of tests as instructed by the Test Supervisor, eg, handing out test papers and ensuring cheating does not occur

Test supervision/ invigilation means assuming responsibility for the test room including handing out test papers, confirming which students are present, ensuring cheating does not occur, reporting any misconduct to the Course Director and collection of test papers for marking

Tutoring includes preparing and delivering tutorial sessions, workshops, drop in clinics, monitoring and answering questions on online forums such as Piazza etc

Supplementary sessions include mentoring, supplementary instruction for specified groups or individuals, eg, Tuākana mentoring, and office hours

Standard University facilities means access to a working space, email, IT systems relevant to your role and building access

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Content manager: Associate Director, HR Services
Owner: Director, Human Resources
Approver: Vice-Chancellor
Date reviewed: 30 September 2021
Review date: 31 October 2022