- Hagrid: "Jus' busy, yeh know, usual stuff lessons ter prepare - couple o' salamanders got scale rot - an' I'm on probation."
- Ron: "You're on probation? Sorry - I mean - you're on probation?"
- Hagrid: "Yeah. S'no more'n I expected, ter tell yeh the truth. Yeh migh' not've picked up on it, bu' that inspection didn' go too well, yeh know…"
- — Exchange between Hagrid and Ron[src]
Probation is a disciplinary status that teachers at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry can be placed under, in which the staff in question will be monitored more closely to evaluate their future performances, with possible dismissal if their teaching standards do not improve.
During his time as Headmaster, Armando Dippet placed Care of Magical Creatures Professor Silvanus Kettleburn on sixty-two periods of probation, though he never found cause to dismiss him. Kettleburn continued to serve the school under Albus Dumbledore until his retirement in 1993.
Hogwarts High Inquisitor
As part of her role as Hogwarts High Inquisitor, Dolores Umbridge was granted the power to inspect teachers, with the supposed purpose of eventually removing those not found to be up to the educational standards set by the Ministry of Magic. In actuality, this was an excuse to harass teachers found to be loyal to Albus Dumbledore.
Upon inspecting a teacher, Umbridge could choose to place that teacher on probation, a power she used to great effect. She first placed Sybill Trelawney on probation and began inspecting all future lessons of hers, in which Umbridge heavily harassed Trelawney with difficult questions and peer pressure, causing the latter to falter more and more, eventually dismissing her from her teaching post. Rubeus Hagrid was also placed under probation, and like Trelawney, he was faltering from Umbridge's presence, though he escaped from Hogwarts and went into hiding, rather than allowing himself to be formally dismissed. Severus Snape, too, was briefly placed on probation after he stated to Umbridge that it would take a month for him to procure Veritaserum in order for her pursue her goal of interrogating Harry Potter; Snape took this with little concern, and simply left the room apathetically. This period of probation lasted less than a day, however, as Umbridge was soon removed from her post as Hogwarts High Inquisitor.
Contradicting to the purpose of a probation, which is to give incentive to the teacher to improve themselves, Umbridge abused her position to further weaken Trewlaney and Hagrid's performances under her supervision, as Harry suspected that she was trying to achieve a sacking soon. Indeed, Umbridge's constant harassment of those two teachers made them increasingly falter, giving her a closer reason to dismiss them.
Known teachers placed on probation
- Silvanus Kettleburn (62 times; later retired)
- Sybill Trelawney (sacked; later reinstated)
- Rubeus Hagrid (sacked; later reinstated)
- Severus Snape (no action taken)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (First appearance)
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Mentioned only)
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)