The direct recruitment of teaching staff at public universities came into effect with the Catalan Universities Act (LUC) (as opposed to the previous system of selection through competitive examinations and employment through the civil service). The posts of tenured assistant professor and full professor, which receive indefinite contracts, are the highest positions in the new contractual system as of the LUC, within the category of doctoral teaching staff under the Spanish Universities Act (LOU), which was amended by Organic Law 4/2007.
Academic staff recruited in these categories have full teaching and research capacity and can, as stipulated in the LUC, take leave and sabbaticals for the purposes of research and/or interuniversity collaboration. Their salaries shall be determined by the Autonomous Catalan Government.
Candidates for a post of assistant professor must be in possession of research accreditation issued by AQU Catalunya, in recognition of proven abilities in teaching and research. The post of assistant professor is the first in the higher category to benefit from an indefinite contract.
Decree 404/2006, dated 24 October, which deals with the duties of academic staff in higher education contracted by the public universities in Catalonia.