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Version 9
June 2018
Probationary periods (PDF, 152 KB)

Information to get started

As a general rule, the probationary period for apprenticeships is 90 days and 30 - 60 days for traineeships (this includes full-time, part-time and school-based apprenticeships and traineeships). This period allows the employer and apprentice or trainee time to assess their compatibility and suitability to the apprenticeship or traineeship. The employer should commence training during this period.

The probationary period applies from the first day of the apprenticeship or traineeship and is included in the nominal term (length of the apprenticeship or traineeship) of the training contract. Probationary periods also apply to training contract where the apprentice or trainee is recommencing in the same apprenticeship or traineeship. However, probationary periods will not apply where the training contract has been temporarily or permanently transferred to another employer.

To confirm the probationary period of a particular apprenticeship or traineeship, visit the Queensland Training Information Service (QTIS) website.

Extending the probationary period

The employer and apprentice or trainee may apply to extend the probationary period for the training contract, for reasons such as:

  • the employer is dissatisfied with the apprentice or trainee's progress; or
  • the apprentice or trainee is uncertain about their suitability to the apprenticeship or traineeship.

The probationary period cannot be extended more than 6 months past the commencement date of the apprenticeship or traineeship.

The employer and apprentice or trainee should send their application to extend the probationary period to their Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider or the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training at least 14 days before the end of the probationary period. The ATF-036 Extension of probationary period form has been developed for this purpose.

A decision on the application will be made within 7 days of receiving it and the parties will be advised of the decision in writing.

Ending the apprenticeship or traineeship during the probationary period

Whether a training contract has been signed or not, the apprenticeship or traineeship may be ended by the employer or apprentice or trainee at any time during the probationary period. The party who wishes to end the apprenticeship or traineeship must inform the other party in writing, stating the date the apprenticeship or traineeship is to end. The end date can be no later than the day the probationary period to due to finish.

The employer must notify their AASN provider or the department that the apprenticeship or traineeship has ended within 7 days after it ends.

Ending the employment contract

Probationary periods for employment are a separate matter from probationary periods for an apprenticeship or traineeship. For further information on the employment contract, contact the Fair Work Ombudsman.


The myApprenticeship self-service website allows apprentices and trainees to securely view details and initiate various tasks, such as extension of the probationary period, relating to their apprenticeship or traineeship.

For further information


  • The nominated AASN provider. Registered apprentices and trainees can view their AASN provider in their myApprenticeship account if they are unsure.
  • Apprenticeships Info on 1800 210 210, regarding the training contract probation.
  • Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94, regarding the employment contract probation and wages.

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Last updated 28 November 2018

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)