Register of supervisors procedures

A Register of Supervisors of Higher Degree Research (HDR) Students has been established to promote a culture of best practice in supervision and provide clarity around the roles and expectations of supervisors at UWA.

Research active for the purposes of supervision is defined as having produced at least two peer-reviewed publications or equivalent research outputs per four-year period, relative to opportunity. This definition has been endorsed by the Board of Graduate Research (BGRS) and approved by Academic Council.

From 2017, all staff of the university, and all adjunct, honorary and emeritus affiliates, must be on the Register in order to be eligible to be approved as designated supervisors of HDR students. Apply for entry/renewal on the register here.

External supervisors who are not employed by the university and do not hold adjunct, honorary or emeritus positions are exempt from the register. 

The register ensures compliance with the Higher Education Standards Framework. See Section 4 Research and Research Training

Roles and responsibilities of supervisors are described in the UWA Graduate Research Training Policy


  • 1. Eligibility
  • 2. Supervisor levels and roles
  • 3. Professional development requirements
  • 4. Registration process
  • 5. Registration renewal and upgrade
  • 6. Suspension and removal of registration
  • 7. Links to related rules, policies and guidelines
  • 1. Eligibility

    Staff and adjunct, honorary and emeritus affiliates of the University are eligible for registration provided they meet all of the following criteria;
    • 1.1  Hold a PhD or have experience and standing in the research field equivalent to a PhD; and
    • 1.2  Are research active as defined as having produced at least 2 peer-reviewed publications or equivalent research outputs per 4-year period, relative to opportunity; and
    • 1.3  Agree to undertake supervision in accordance with the University's relevant policies and guidelines; and
    • 1.4  Have the support of their Head of School (HoS) or other line manager to undertake supervision; and
    • 1.5  Have undertaken a minimum of one supervisor professional development activity in the last 4 years.

    A person is not eligible to supervise doctoral HDR students if they are enrolled in a doctoral degree at this or any other university.

    Adjunct, honorary, emeritus or external supervisors may not act as coordinating supervisors but may be listed as co- supervisors provided that they meet the eligibility criteria above.

    Adjunct, honorary or emeritus supervisors may be approved as principal supervisors on a case by case basis at the discretion of the Board of the Graduate Research School, if the relevant Head of School can substantiate a case with supporting documentation.

    Adjunct affiliates who are members of staff of other universities, and external supervisors, will not be approved as principal supervisors. 

    2. Supervisor levels and roles

    Four levels of registration are recognised, based on experience and professional development (PD) as shown in the Table below. 

    Level 4 is Supervisor Practitioner and includes staff, adjunct, honorary or emeritus supervisors who have non-traditional research outputs related to the practice of the discipline.

    Level Experience RoleUpgrade
    1 Staff new to HDR supervision who have not yet supervised a research masters or doctoral student through to completion Co-supervisor; may be Principal and/or Coordinating if mentored by L3 and supported by a Graduate Research Coordinator After a minimum of one year as Co-supervisor of a completing student
    2Staff who have experience of supervision and have supervised at least one research masters or doctoral student through to completion Principal, Coordinating, Co-supervisor Recommendation of HoS/line manager to Dean GRS
    3Staff with extensive supervision experience and a track record of successful, timely completions Principal, Coordinating, Co-supervisor and mentor to L1N/A 
    Supervisor PractitionerNon-traditional research outputs related to professional practiceCo-supervisor only None permitted

    3. Professional development requirements

    • 3.1  All staff must undertake some professional development activity every 4 years to acquaint themselves with changes to policy and the University definition of best practice. 
    • 3.2  Staff new to supervision (L1) or new to the University should undertake the online induction module and ensure they have the knowledge of processes related to major HDR candidature milestones.

    4. Registration process

    • 4.1  Staff currently supervising HDR students shall ensure registration prior to 21 December 2017, this includes adjunct, honorary and emeritus affiliates. The Register Application Form can be found here.
    • 4.2  Adjunct, honorary and emeritus affiliates are also required to provide CV outlining research and supervisory experience.
    • 4.3  Staff who have not undertaken professional development in the past two years will be required to attend a supervisor induction, refresher or other professional development activity to be eligible for registration. The current Research Supervision Professional Development Program of activities can be found here.
    • 4.4  Eligible staff new to supervision at UWA shall complete a Register Application Form and the appropriate professional development activity.
    • 4.5  Registrations will be reported to the Board of the Graduate Research School.

    5. Registration renewal and upgrade

    • 5.1  Renewal of registration is required every 4 years and supervisors must have undertaken at least 1 professional development activity during each registration period.
    • 5.2  Applications for upgrade from Level 1 to Level 2 or from Level 2 to Level 3 can occur at any time using the Register Application Form

    6. Suspension and removal of registration

    Registration may be suspended with respect to a supervisor taking on additional students, at the discretion of the Dean GRS where a staff member:

    • is no longer a member of staff, adjunct or honorary fellow of the university;
    • is no longer research active as defined in 1.2 OR
    • fails to renew registration within 9 months of registration expiry.

    A supervisor may be removed from the register and required to cease supervision activities if they:

    For any queries regarding the Supervisor Register please email [email protected]