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What is a pass probation letter? Tips & free template

What is a pass probation letter? Tips & free template

A pass probation letter is one of the lighter parts of onboarding a new team member, as it’s only sent when someone has passed their probation and a lot of the legal HR admin is out of the way. But it’s important to understand what goes into it, as a pass probation letter is part and parcel of the employee experience. 

As one of Charlie’s HR advisor, I help founders and CEO’s give their teams the best possible employee experience. I’ve written this blog so you’ll know how to write a pass probation letter and when to send it out

And to make things that bit easier, I’ve included a free passed probation letter template for you to edit and send out straight away. 

Never underestimate the importance of how you make your employees feel. Passing probation is a big deal to most people.

Download our pass probation letter template.webp

What is a pass probation letter?

A pass probation letter, also known as a passed probation letter, is a written confirmation from an employer to an employee to inform them that they’ve successfully passed their probation period, and are now a permanent member of the team

What is a probation period?

In most sectors and in most companies, a probation period (or probationary period) is standard practice for all new employees. 

Probation periods can be defined according to three criteria: 

  • They’re a trial period at the start of employment
  • They confirm the employee will be made a permanent member of the team after probation is successfully passed
  • They vary in length depending on the role and sector, but typically last anywhere between one and six months 

During the probation period, a new employee must demonstrate their capability and suitability for the role and company to be offered a permanent place on the team. 

But probation periods also work both ways, as they give employees real- life experience of a role and an employer. Notice periods are much shorter during probation, so if the job or company doesn’t live up to expectations then they can more easily move on. 

An employer can choose to extend a probation period if more time or training is required to better gauge someone’s suitability. The employee in question would need to be made aware of why and for how long their probation period was being extended. 

Check out our probation review template and best practices tip to set your team members for success. 

When do you send a passed probation letter?

It is custom and practice for an employer to let an employee know in writing that they’ve passed their probation. 

More often than not, an employee’s line manager will meet with them to confirm they’ve successfully passed their probation, and then follow it up with a pass probation letter. 

A passed probation letter is sent to an employee at the end of their probation period, to inform them that they’ve completed it successfully. 

How to write a pass probation letter (i.e. What to include in a passed probation letter)

A pass probation letter should be written clearly and concisely, and contain certain key information:

  • The completion date of their probation period
  • Confirmation that they’ve successfully passed their probation
  • Congratulations on becoming a permanent member of the team (you can include any standout moments from their probation period here too)
  • That the probation period counts towards their length of service
  • What’s next (looking forward to the future and working together). 

Don’t use overly formal language when writing your pass probation letter, especially if you’re not a very corporate company. You want the pass probation letter to sound friendly. 

To make writing a passed probation letter faster and easier, I’ve included a free pass probation letter template below. 

Pass probation letter template

Use this template to write a pass probation letter into an email or document. 

Pass probation letter template

Subject line: Successful completion of probation period

[Today's date]

Dear [name of HR manager/ line manager],

I’m really pleased to confirm that you have successfully completed your probationary period in the role of [insert job title]. Congratulations on becoming a permanent member of the [insert company or department name]!

[Optional] During the last [insert number of months], we’ve been impressed by your [insert example] and your work on [insert example].

Your probationary period counts towards your total length of service with [insert company name], and we’re looking forward to seeing where you take the role of [insert job title].

Congratulations once again. It’s great to have you on the team!

Best wishes,

[Your name]

Save this template in your HR documents so you can easily adapt it when someone on your team passes their probation. 

And to make it even easier, you can use HR software like Charlie to store all of your paperwork securely and in one place. 

Store your documents with Charlie HR
Start a free 7 day trial with Charlie and make your HR a breeze

Employer concerns around probation

There’s a lot for employers to consider when taking on a new employee, and this can be felt especially by small businesses. A new team member can make a big impression in a small team, and you want it to be the right one. 

As a small business, you may have concerns about:

  • Performance: employees who don’t meet performance expectations during their probation period, leading you to doubt their suitability for the role.
  • Compliance: understanding and following legal requirements and best practices around probation periods, and documenting all decisions to avoid potential, future legal issues or disputes.
  • Communication: effectively communicating feedback and expectations to employees during their probation period, and avoiding misunderstanding or dissatisfaction on both sides.
  • Turnover: high turnover during or after the probation period can disrupt productivity and cost the business money.
  • Confidence: small business managers may lack confidence in their ability to accurately assess employee performance and make decisions about whether to pass or extend probation.

Hopefully, this helped you put together your own probation letter. If you want more confidence around scheduling probation reviews and performance reviews, you can also choose to take Charlie for a spin – we’re the most popular HR software amongst companies where HR is handled by CEOs and founders. 

Click here to start a free trial

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