Policy

Performance Appraisal for Academic Staff - Policy

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1. Purpose and Objectives

The University of Queensland is committed to recruiting, developing and retaining appropriately skilled, experienced and motivated staff.

Academic staff performance appraisal is comprised of regular discussions about performance between supervisors and their staff and an Annual Review. This review will assist in staff development and personal planning, assessment of achievements and performance, and recommendations relating to the formal processes in the University, including continuing appointment, promotion, Special Studies Program and incremental progression.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Enterprise Agreement - The University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014 – 2017

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

Academic staff, other than casual staff, across the four academic categories - Teaching and Research, Research Focused, Teaching Focused and Clinical Academic - employed for more than one year, will meet regularly with their supervisor and have an Annual Review of Performance.

This policy is supplementary to the Enterprise Agreement.

4. Policy Statement

The Annual Review for academic staff is a review and an assessment of performance in the preceding period and a mutual goal-setting exercise for the following year. The Criteria for Academic Performance policy (PPL 5.70.17a) provides the basis for assessment of performance for the four academic categories of Teaching and Research, Teaching Focused, Research Focused and Clinical Academic.

The Guidelines on Evidencing Academic Achievement provide further information regarding demonstrating achievement within these roles.

Each academic staff member is to have a nominated supervisor who is responsible for assessment of their performance.

The whole process from completion of the Form A - Academic Portfolio of Achievement by the staff member, to the conduct of the Annual Review meeting and at conclusion, the formulation of recommendations that have been generated, should be dealt with through an open and transparent process.

Any disputes about the process or outcomes of the Annual Review can be referred to the Executive Dean or Institute Director for resolution, in order that an agreed program of action for the coming year can be determined.

Custodians
Director, Human Resources
Mr Bill Kernahan (Acting)

Procedures

Performance Appraisal for Academic Staff - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This procedure enacts PPL 5.70.15a Performance Appraisal of Academic Staff – Policy.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Head - Head of School or equivalent

Supervisor – the organisational unit head, or another academic staff member nominated by the relevant Executive Dean/Institute Director.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

This procedure applies to academic staff, other than casual academic staff, across the four academic categories - Teaching and Research, Research Focused, Teaching Focused and Clinical Academic – who are employed for more than one year.

Academic staff performance appraisal is comprised of regular discussions about performance between supervisors and their staff and an Annual Review covering key achievements, challenges and areas for improvement.

4. Procedures Statement

The Annual Review provides an opportunity for staff and their supervisors to:

  • summarise the staff member’s performance, propose objectives for the next year, and discuss personal development, career aims and advancement, including promotion and confirmation;
  • align individual objectives with the strategic objectives of the Organisational Unit, and workload requirements;
  • exchange effective feedback about performance;
  • clarify expectations of the staff member’s duties and performance;
  • enhance individual and organisational performance;
  • discuss key objectives with probationary staff during their probationary period and towards their mid-term and final reviews;
  • consider recommendations for continuing appointment, promotion, Special Studies Program and incremental progression;
  • discuss the University’s direction and any operational changes so that individuals are clear how they contribute to the effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation;
  • further the University's equal opportunity objectives.

While the Annual Review can identify any areas for improvement in performance to assist the staff member, it is designed for the maintenance and continuing improvement of good performance. This process is not part of the formal disciplinary procedures for unsatisfactory performance or serious misconduct. Information gathered at the Annual Review may inform other performance processes.

5. Nominated Supervisor

The supervisor will usually be the head of the academic unit in which the staff member is employed; this may be the Head of School or equivalent. The relevant Executive Dean or Institute Director may nominate in writing another academic staff member classified at level C or above, or at Level B in accordance with the requirements of the Enterprise Agreement, to be the supervisor of one academic or a group of academic staff.

Heads of organisational units which are not incorporated into a larger unit in the University can be made directly responsible to the Provost, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

Each staff member is to be notified in writing of the name and position of their supervisor by the Head.

Staff can request the nomination of an alternative supervisor. Supervisors will normally be classified at the level of Academic Level C or above. An academic at Level B may be a supervisor in accordance with the requirements contained in the Enterprise Agreement. All supervisors must undertake training in performance appraisal.

6. Annual Review

Staff employed for more than one year consecutively will undertake a review of their performance annually (the ‘Annual Review’).

A Form B - Achievements and Objectives Form must be provided to the supervisor by the staff member prior to the Annual Review.

Staff who are expecting incremental progression, are applying or planning to apply for a Special Studies Program, promotion, continuing appointment or review of probation, must also provide to their supervisor for discussion, (in addition to the Form B - Achievements and Objectives) a full Form A - Academic Portfolio covering achievements in the broad areas of-

(a) teaching and supervision;

(b) scholarship, research and original achievement; and

(c) service to the University and the community.

Staff can find assistance with documenting their achievements in the Guidelines on Evidencing Academic Achievement and the Academic Categories procedure, which provide an indication of the expected ranges of contributions for each relevant academic role across each academic category.

Where the nominated supervisor conducts the Annual Review rather than the Head, the nominated supervisor passes the appropriate form/s to the Head for completion of relevant sections, including recommendations. A recommendation for continuing appointment, promotion, mid-term review, SSP or decision regarding increment will only be received by the relevant approving body if it is signed by the Head.

Where a Head disagrees with a nominated supervisor's comments in relation to the Annual Review, the Head must discuss the issue with the nominated supervisor and the staff member.

In the interest of openness, a copy of the Head's recommendations regarding continuing appointment, promotion, mid-term review, SSP and incremental progression must be made available to the staff member before they are processed.

If the staff member is not satisfied with the Annual Review outcomes (e.g. in terms of the agreed plan in Form B – Achievements and Objectives) then they can attach a brief covering letter to Form B and Form A - Academic Portfolio of Achievement and send both to the Executive Dean/Institute Director. The staff member must ensure that they have clearly explained the point over which there is no consensus before they forward these documents to the Executive Dean/Institute Director for resolution.

Staff and supervisors seeking general information on the Annual Review process can be directed to the relevant faculty/institute HR Consultant/Manager in the first instance.

7. Conduct of the Annual Review Meeting

The supervisor will conduct a formal review with each staff member at a mutually agreed time. The reviews for the year gone by should be conducted between November of that year and:

  • mid-February of the following year for staff undertaking final review;
  • mid-April for staff undergoing mid-term review, or applying for promotion or SSP;
  • 30 June for all other academic staff.

The meeting should be conducted professionally and review the job performance of the academic staff member. It should not deal with individual characteristics, personality traits or inferred attitudes. Where the reviewer and the reviewee are of a different gender, or where the reviewee is identified with a recognised minority group subject to disadvantage elsewhere in the community, care must be taken to ensure that the process is handled with appropriate sensitivity.

The meeting should start with a review of facts - objective or neutral matters which are on record. The meeting can than move on to a more diagnostic discussion regarding how a level of achievement was reached and why, including areas of strength and any areas requiring improvement, as well as conclusions regarding objectives and development plans.

The policy on Criteria for Academic Performance (PPL 5.70.17a) will provide the basis for assessment of performance by the supervisor with respect to strengths and areas of improvement to be documented in the Achievements and Objectives form.

Where possible, the supervisor and staff member should reach consensus on the assessment of the Academic Portfolio (where the Academic Portfolio is considered), as well as on objectives and activities/development plans to be recorded in the Achievements and Objectives document, and on any recommendations to flow from the Annual Review.

8. Outcomes from the Annual Review

The Application Submission Timetable sets out the time-lines associated with Annual Review. One or more of the following outcomes can result from the Annual Review depending on the particular circumstances of the academic staff member:

  • The supervisor's assessment of progress of probationary staff;
  • The supervisor’s assessment of performance;
  • A personal and professional development plan using Form B - Achievements and Objectives, completed and agreed by the staff member and supervisor. This document remains confidential to the staff member, the supervisor and the Head of School/Organisational Unit and remains with the Organisational Unit, unless the staff member chooses to include the document for probationary considerations (for example for relevant Committee consideration at mid-term review);
  • The supervisor’s and Head's recommendation concerning incremental progression, where required, using Form C – Appraisal Summary Report and Record of Assessment ;
  • The supervisor and Head's recommendation using Form D - Assessment and Recommendation for Continuing Appointment and Promotion regarding mid-term and final review for confirmation of continuing appointments, promotion, or relevant SSP as appropriate;
  • Discussion or agreement between the supervisor and staff member about a plan and a timeframe for transition of academic category summarised in Form B – Achievements and Objectives. When ready to enact a change of category a Form F – Change of Academic Category is completed. This would require endorsement of the Head and Executive Dean/Institute Director. An academic wishing to change academic categories would normally plan to achieve this over time. Before a staff member and their Head propose a change of category they must consider implications for the staff member’s career path (e.g. for staff on probation, the timing of the staff member’s mid-term and final review will be an important consideration in determining if and when a change of category will occur). In addition, the Head will need to consider the operational requirements of the unit.

Completion of the appraisal will be reported annually to the next highest level of management, and the summary results (including the performance rating) entered into the HR system. For staff undergoing probation or applying for promotion the relevant recommendation forms will be sent to the Faculty/Institute HR Consultant or Central HR Division (for Professorial Promotion) according to Application Submission Timetable.

Custodians
Director, Human Resources
Mr Bill Kernahan (Acting)

Forms

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Academic Portfolio of Achievement (Form A) - Form

Academic Portfolio of Achievement (Form A) - Form

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Description: 

This form is the Academic Portfolio of Achievement (Form A).

Custodians
Director, Human Resources
Mr Bill Kernahan (Acting)
Achievements and Objectives (Form B) - Form

Achievements and Objectives (Form B) - Form

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Description: 

Academic staff must complete this form with their supervisor as part of the academic performance appraisal (Annual Review). Refer to PPL 5.70.15 Peformance Appraisal for Academic Staff for further details.

Custodians
Director, Human Resources
Mr Bill Kernahan (Acting)
Appraisal Summary Report and Record of Assessment (Form C) - Form

Appraisal Summary Report and Record of Assessment (Form C) - Form

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Description: 

The supervisor completes this form after an appraisal with the academic staff member. Refer to PPL 5.70.15 Performance Appraisal for Academic Staff for further details. 

Custodians
Director, Human Resources
Mr Bill Kernahan (Acting)
Custodians
Director, Human Resources
Mr Bill Kernahan (Acting)
Custodians
Director, Human Resources
Mr Bill Kernahan (Acting)