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 a consolidated teaching and research career 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 full professor must be in possession of advanced research accreditation issued by AQU Catalunya, in recognition of a consolidated teaching and research career. The post of full professor, which is the highest category, benefits from an indefinite contract.
Decree 404/2006, dated 24 October, sets out the duties of contracted academic staff in higher education recruited by the public universities in Catalonia.