Manual of Policies and Procedures

B/9.2 Performance planning and review for academic staff

Contact Officer

Associate Director, Human Resources (Workplace Relations)

Approval Date

25/02/2013

Approval Authority

Vice-Chancellor and President

Date of Next Review

01/03/2014

9.2.1 Application
9.2.2 Principles
9.2.3 Timing
9.2.4 Definitions
9.2.5 Roles and Responsibilities
9.2.6 PPR-AS Cycle
9.2.7 Subsequent Action
9.2.8 Documentation
9.2.9 Training
9.2.10 Resolution of disputes
9.2.11 Social justice
Related Documents
Modification History

QUT is committed to the implementation of an effective process of Performance Planning and Review for Academic Staff (PPR-AS), linked to the achievement of individual, faculty/school and organisational objectives and initiatives.

The implementation of this process is part of the University's commitment to providing an environment in which staff can expect to receive feedback in relation to performance and be encouraged to discuss future plans and self-development with their supervisor. The PPR-AS process also requires supervisors to provide support, counselling and guidance to staff, and provides a forum in which duties and staff development activities are discussed.

The performance management process described below, is a participative process and provides a framework for reviewing, developing, recognising and rewarding work performance. The success of this process relies on a strong commitment to its implementation by both supervisors and staff.

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9.2.1 Application

This policy applies to academic staff employed by QUT for more than one year on a full-time or part-time basis, either on-going or fixed-term, excluding Senior Staff (SSGA - SSGE) who are covered by the policy, Performance planning and review for senior staff (PPR-SS) (B/9.3).

"Academic staff" includes research only academic staff, including Senior Principal Research Fellows, Principal Research Fellows, Senior Research Fellows, Research Fellows, Postdoctoral Fellows, Senior Research Associates and Research Associates (does not include professional staff appointed to research only positions).

Staff occupying a position of less than twelve months duration or a sessional position may participate in PPR-AS or an abbreviated version of PPR-AS, to be determined by the staff member and supervisor. In these circumstances, participation in PPR-AS may be initiated by the staff member or the supervisor.

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9.2.2 Principles

PPR-AS is concerned with contributing to the achievement of individual, faculty/school and organisational excellence by facilitating the following

  • encouraging high levels of performance
  • providing regular, direct feedback
  • opportunities for counselling and support
  • recognising achievements and identification of appropriate rewards
  • identifying areas of development
  • improving communication between the staff member and supervisor
  • providing an opportunity to discuss career plans.

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9.2.3 Timing

The PPR-AS cycle occurs over a 12 month period. The cycle includes a series of formal discussions between the staff member and the supervisor. These discussions provide an opportunity to assess activities, review performance, provide feedback and plan future activities including development.

The timing of the PPR-AS cycle is determined by the relevant academic unit (faculty/division). Suggested time frames include following planning and budgeting processes or coinciding with the anniversary of appointment. The timing of the PPR-AS cycle should be such to inform decisions on matters relating to incremental progression, probation and renewal of fixed-term appointments.

The nature of the process used for PPR-AS should be discussed between the staff member and their supervisor. Consideration will need to be given to both initiating the process and continuing the process in the academic unit.

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9.2.4 Definitions

(a) 'Supervisor' means the Head of School or another academic staff member above Level C nominated by the Vice-Chancellor and President. Any delegation of the supervisory role in PPR-AS below the level of Head of School to another academic staff member must be approved by the Executive Dean and must ensure that the PPR-AS process is meaningful. The staff member may request the nomination of an alternative supervisor. However, an alternative supervisor would need to be agreed by the Executive Dean.

(b) 'Activity Statement' is a document initially prepared by the staff member and agreed to by the supervisor which summarises and reviews

  • planned activities in the areas of achievement, defined as
    • teaching, performance and leadership
    • research, scholarship and other creative activity
    • service / community engagement activity
  • development needs in light of the planned activities and career goals
  • performance expectations
  • reports and evaluations relating to teaching, research and service performance including University approved evaluations of teaching
  • resource requirements and support.

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9.2.5 Roles and Responsibilities

(a) Staff Member

PPR-AS is a participative process in which the staff member and supervisor mutually develop and agree activity statements. This requires that the staff member actively participate in

  • determining responsibilities, expectations and priorities and how the achievement of these will be assessed
  • developing a personal evaluation strategy. Academic staff engaged in a teaching role (ongoing, fixed term or sessional) are required to develop an annual personal evaluation strategy using the University endorsed evaluation suite of evaluation tools in consultation with their supervisor. Academic staff are expected to annually engage in evaluation drawing on multiple sources of qualitative and quantitative data and the evaluation needs to be targeted and focus on the impact on student learning.
  • identifying areas of development
  • advising the supervisor of plans for long service leave and recreation leave
  • drafting the activity statement
  • assessing achievements against the agreed responsibilities, expectations and priorities.

(b) Supervisor

The supervisor is required to

  • initiate and maintain PPR-AS for the relevant staff
  • ensure that the timing of the PPR-AS cycle is such to inform relevant decisions eg probation, incremental progression, renewal of fixed-term appointments
  • provide to the staff member, upon request, relevant plans and documentation (B/9.2.6)
  • assist in the development of the staff member's personal evaluation strategy
  • determine, together with the staff member, responsibilities, expectations and priorities and how the achievement of these will be assessed
  • assess, together with the staff member, achievements against the agreed responsibilities, expectations and priorities including
    • the results of the evaluations of a unit, results and/or outcomes and learnings from evaluations of teaching, planned improvements and/or outcomes of enacted improvements, and the reporting of improvements to students
    • research productivity and impact
    • service contributions and community engagement
  • determine, together with the staff member, responsibilities, expectations and priorities for the following PPR-AS cycle and how the achievement of these will be assessed
  • discuss and document any issues associated with allocation of workload consistent with Clause 35 Workloads and Allocation of Work of the QUT Enterprise Agreement (Academic Staff)
  • where appropriate, raise plans to give notice to the staff member to take long service leave or recreation leave
  • provide the necessary coaching, support and where appropriate resources
  • facilitate staff development and career development opportunities in accordance with the activity statement
  • make the relevant decisions/recommendations arising from the review of the responsibilities and expectations contained in the activity statement and advise the staff member and Human Resources Department accordingly
  • forward a copy of such decisions/recommendations to the Human Resources Department for actioning.

(c) Human Resources Department

The responsibilities of the Human Resources Department with respect to the PPR-AS include

  • providing support and advice to supervisors and staff
  • providing training in PPR-AS for supervisors and staff members
  • actioning the relevant administrative outcomes arising from PPR-AS as advised by the supervisor (ie. probation and renewal of fixed term appointment if appropriate)
  • providing advice on the training and development actions identified in the plan
  • facilitating the resolution of conflict or disputes arising from PPR-AS
  • monitoring the overall effectiveness of the process.

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9.2.6 PPR-AS Cycle

(a) Initial Planning Discussion and Activity Statement

Responsibility

Action

Supervisor

1) Prepare for initial planning discussion with staff member 1

2) Obtain relevant plans and documentation (eg. duty statement, position classification standard, faculty and school strategic and operation plans, QUT plan, guidelines for the allocation of workload with the School)

3) Provide copies of these documents to staff member upon request

Staff member

4)Consult relevant documentation supplied by supervisor

5) Develop personal evaluation strategy using the endorsed suite of evaluation tools in consultation with supervisor

6) Prepare draft activity statement

Supervisor and staff member (joint responsibility)

7) Meet to discuss and develop plans for cycle

8) Discuss draft activity statement

9) Outline plans in an activity statement

10) Record development plans on activity statement

11) Discuss career plans and include on activity statement if desired

12) Record signatures on activity statement (where the supervisor is someone other than the Head of School, eg. Professor in school, the activity statement will be ratified by the Head of School)

1 For the initial PPR-AS cycle only, the Executive Director, Human Resources will advise the supervisor in writing that PPR-AS discussions need to occur with the staff member. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to initiate all future discussions.

(b) Formal Review

Reviews will occur at least annually. However, more frequent reviews may be beneficial in some instances, especially where a staff member is in a new position or where resources and/or priorities are changing. The staff member and supervisor will meet to review the current activity statement.

This review will assess achievements against the agreed responsibilities, expectations and priorities identified at the time of establishing the activity statement. Reviews provide the opportunity to

  • discuss progress towards goals and activities
  • review plans to account for changing priorities, changes in resources, whether resources have been made available
  • provide and document feedback on performance including the results and/or outcomes and learnings from evaluations of teaching and identify any areas where performance is not satisfactory
  • inform decisions on development, probation, incremental progression, promotion, PDP applications, renewal of fixed-term appointment if appropriate and other possible outcomes outlined in B/9.2.7.

Responsibility

Action

Supervisor

1) If an academic staff member, other than the Head of School, is to be the supervisor, approval must be sought from the Executive Dean for this delegation.

2) If the supervisor is not the Head of School, the supervisor must first consult with the Head of School before the review meeting with the staff member.

3) Arrange review meeting with staff member.

4) Provide the staff member with documented feedback on their achievements against the activity statement and make known to the staff member their recommendations in relation to the following processes, as appropriate:

  • resources to be provided from the school
  • offer of further fixed term contract appointment, if appropriate
  • incremental progression
  • annual probation reviews, including the final probation review
  • applications for PDP and/or promotion
  • initiation of procedures for unsatisfactory performance

Supervisor and Staff member (joint responsibility)

5) Complete the item titled "Confirmation of performance feedback discussions"

6) Commence planning for the subsequent PPR-AS cycle

Staff member

7) Present an activity statement to the supervisor for the next 12 month cycle for discussion and agreement

8) If acceptable to both parties, activity statement to be signed off by both parties

9) Where the activity statement requires further work, the staff member will arrange a second meeting with the supervisor for further discussion and agreement.

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9.2.7 Subsequent Action

PPR-AS will inform decisions and/or recommendations relating to the following. Where PPR-AS discussions result in decisions concerning the following or any similar matters, or where the Head of School gives a reference or assessment, the supervisor will provide the staff member with full details of their recommendations in writing as soon as practicable.

(a) Incremental Progression

A staff member will progress to the next increment within the relevant classification level where performance is satisfactory as determined through PPR-AS.

The provisions relating to incremental progression for academic staff are contained in the QUT Enterprise Agreement (Academic Staff) (clause 19).

(b) Probation

A probation period shall be up to three years for all staff members (Levels A to E) appointed to an on-going position.

The following periods of probation will apply to staff employed on their first fixed-term appointment having regard to the period of fixed term employment and the nature of the work.

Period of fixed-term appointment

Period of Probation

More than 6 months and up to 1 year

1 - 3 months

More than 1 year and up to 3 years

6 - 9 months

More than 3 years

12 months

The arrangements for probation are provided in clause 33 of the QUT Enterprise Agreement (Academic Staff).

(c) Accelerated Incremental Progression

Following the formal PPR-AS review and where the supervisor determines that a staff member's performance against the agreed performance objectives outlined in the PPR-AS plan is exceptional, the supervisor may consider making a recommendation to the authorising officer for accelerated incremental progression through more than one salary increment consistent with the University's policy on accelerated incremental progression (B/7.8).

The Executive Director, Human Resources will monitor instances of accelerated progression.

(d) Recognition and Reward Programs

Following the formal PPR-AS review and where the supervisor determines that a staff member has met or exceeded the agreed performance objectives outlined in the PPR-AS plan, the supervisor may consider recognising a staff member's performance through a range of recognition and reward programs (B/5).

(e) Fixed term appointment

For all staff on fixed term appointments, the outcomes of PPR-AS may be one factor which informs decisions regarding the renewal of fixed-term appointments. Fixed term appointments must be made and renewed in accordance with clause 27 of the QUT Enterprise Agreement (Academic Staff).

(f) Promotion

Where staff members indicate they will be seeking promotion on personal merit, the supervisor will provide the staff member with a written report as a result of the PPR-AS process, indicating the level of support for the application. The report of the supervisor will be discussed with the Head of School where the Head of School is not the supervisor.

(g) Professional Development Program (PDP)

It is professionally expected that applications for PDP will be discussed as part of PPR-AS prior to submission.

The staff member will submit a PDP application to their supervisor detailing the areas of development required, developmental activities previously undertaken and any other relevant information.

The supervisor will consider this application and provide the staff member with a written report indicating the level of support for the application and the School resources, if any, to be provided. The report of the supervisor will be discussed with the Head of School where the Head of School is not the supervisor.

(h) Unsatisfactory performance

Either during the PPR-AS process or in the normal course of performance of duties, the supervisor may identify the performance of a staff member as not satisfactory. Where this occurs as part of PPR-AS the supervisor will record performance as being unsatisfactory and commence procedures for Managing Unsatisfactory Performance in accordance with the procedures outlined in the QUT Enterprise Agreement (Academic Staff), clause 44. The PPR-AS activity statement can be used in any process for managing unsatisfactory performance.

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9.2.8 Documentation

(a) The PPR-AS Activity Statement form remains confidential to the supervisor and the staff member during the term of the appointment unless all parties agree otherwise. The Head of School will also have access to the documentation unless the Executive Dean of Faculty has replaced the Head of School as supervisor at the staff member's request.

(b) At the completion of a PPR-AS cycle the Activity Statement form will be filed on the staff member's personal file in the Human Resources Department. To assist the planning discussions, the supervisor and staff member should maintain a copy of the official documentation for the current cycle and for the previous cycle.

(c) A copy of relevant PPR-AS documentation will however be provided to the authorising officer in support of any recommendation associated with incremental progression, renewal of fixed-term appointment and the final probation review as evidence of a staff member's performance during the term of appointment.

(d) A staff member may use documentation developed for the formal performance review to support other applications (eg promotion, PDP).

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9.2.9 Training

The University will provide supervisors with training relevant to the PPR-AS. All supervisors must attend training in PPR-AS prior to participating in the process.

All non-supervisory staff will have access to information sessions prior to participating in PPR- AS.

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9.2.10 Resolution of disputes

Any matters of disagreement between the staff member and supervisor should be referred to the head of school (if not the supervisor) or the executive dean of faculty (if the head of school is the supervisor). If disagreements are unable to be resolved the staff member may refer them to the University grievance resolution procedures as contained in the Staff complaints policy (B/10.1).

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9.2.11 Social justice

All aspects of the PPR-AS will be consistent with the University's social justice policies (A/8).

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Related Documents

QUT Enterprise Agreement (Academic Staff) (QUT staff access only)

  • Clause 19 - Incremental Progression
  • Clause 25 - Leave Entitlements
  • Clause 27 - Categories of Appointment
  • Clause 32 - Performance Planning and Review for Academic Staff
  • Clause 33 - Probation
  • Clause 35 - Workloads and Allocation of Work
  • Clause 44 - Process for managing Unsatisfactory Performance

PPR-AS Activity Statement (QUT staff access only)

MOPP B/7.8 Incremental progression

MOPP B/9.3 Performance Planning and Review - Senior Staff

MOPP B/9.1 Performance Planning and Review for professional staff - applies to professional staff appointed to research only positions

MOPP C/4.7 Evaluation of courses, units, teaching and student experience

MOPP C/7.1 High quality teaching

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Modification History

Date

Sections

Source

Details

03.11.14 All Governance and Legal Services Editorial amendments to reflect the termination of the senior staff agreement
12.12.12 All Vice Chancellor Policy revised to align and support QUT's new approach to evaluation

21.12.10

All

Human Resources Department

Periodic review - Minor editorial changes only

27.04.06

All

Vice-Chancellor

Revised policy consistent with current probation provisions and University policy on evaluating teaching quality

17.11.05

All

Vice-Chancellor

Revised policy to comply with Higher Education Workplace Relations Requirements (HEWRR)

01.06.01

All

Vice-Chancellor

Updated following certification of QUT Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (Academic Staff) 2000-2003

01.12.98

All

Vice-Chancellor

Approved - to take effect for professors and associate professors from 01.01.99; for all other academic staff from 01.07.99

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