Performance Review and Planning for Academic Staff

Academic Performance Matrices and Evidence Framework (APME)

  1. Introduction
  2. Application of Policy
  3. Purpose
  4. Process
  5. Frequency of Review
  6. Policy Review
  7. Further Assistance

1. Introduction

Australian Catholic University recognises the need for performance excellence to be successful in all of its activities and operations. In the context of its Mission, strategic goals and the Minimum Standards for Academic Levels (MSALS) and to enhance excellence in performance, the University has a Performance Review and Planning Policy.

To achieve performance excellence, the University needs to constructively nurture and enhance performance, and have mechanisms to recognise performance excellence and to manage performance improvement.

The Performance Review and Planning process provides a framework for identifying, evaluating and developing performance that assists staff to meet individual professional and work goals as well as their collective work area and organisational goals.

The Academic Performance Matrices and Evidence (APME) Framework comprehensively outlines performance standards, general requirements and evidence requirements in all areas of academic activity relevant to academic level and Academic Career Pathway (ACP). The APME Framework should inform the setting and reviewing of performance objectives and development planning in the Performance Review and Planning process.

2. Application of Policy

The Performance Review and Planning Policy applies to all Academic Staff who are employed on a continuing or fixed-term basis for a period greater than 6 months.

Staff on probation participate in the Performance Review and Planning process annually using, as a minimum, the probationary criteria as the basis for their performance objectives. The probation review process is outlined in the Probation for Academic Staff Policy.

3. Purpose

The Performance Review and Planning process is designed to assist staff to develop so as to contribute to the quality of their working life and career, and to align their work with the strategic objectives of the University and the Faculty, School, Institute or Centre, thus enhancing performance at all levels and assisting the University’s continued success of activities and operations.

The Performance Review and Planning process is an important process/mechanism to plan, monitor, evaluate, develop and affirm performance excellence to provide that:

  • the University’s Mission is upheld, strategic goals are achieved, activities and operations are enhanced, and effective customer service, including quality teaching and student support, are delivered;
  • staff have a clear and agreed sense of their work, role and individual performance objectives and how these fit within the organisational objectives and the overall planning framework of the University;
  • a process is in place for monitoring and reviewing and nurturing the achievements of individual staff and their objectives in the organisational context, and for providing feedback and evaluation on performance;
  • a clear focus is placed on developmental strategies in support of the staff member’s performance and career aspirations;
  • performance objectives and development activities align with performance standards and general requirements articulated in the APME Framework for the academic level and ACP relevant to the staff member’s current role and future aspirations; and
  • the University’s Capability Development Framework (CDF) is utilised to assess and develop the core competencies of all staff.

The Performance Review and Planning process provides the staff member and their nominated supervisor the opportunity to:

  • affirm the staff member’s contributions to the University;
  • determine work priorities and performance expectations over the next annual review period;
  • discuss the staff member’s plans for taking annual, long service and other leave;
  • discuss the annual workload and specifically the contribution to scholarship and administration;
  • provide feedback in relation to individual performance, also with reference to work area and organisational goals;
  • determine if the staff member is eligible for incremental advancement;
  • identify if the staff member’s performance may warrant reward and/or recognition;
  • assess if the staff member is making the necessary progress in meeting probationary requirements;
  • discuss and identify assistance and support that will be provided to improve performance where performance is assessed as requiring improvement;
    identify the support that will be provided for professional and career development;
  • clarify the staff member’s position and expected outcomes, if necessary;
  • discuss career pathways, work patterns and/or pre-retirement arrangements;
  • discuss knowledge, skills and competencies development to support career pathways; and
  • discuss as appropriate, any personal/work issues that may impact on work performance.

4. Process

The process is explained in detail in the Academic Performance Review and Planning (PRP) Conversation Guides for Staff and Nominated Supervisors.

The Performance Review and Planning process is retrospective for the performance review element of the process and prospective for the performance planning element.

During the performance planning year, the staff member maintains an Academic Performance Portfolio that reflects their achievements, consistent with their career goals and annual performance objectives.

The staff member and nominated supervisor meet annually to:

  • discuss, review and assess the staff member’s performance against the standards in the APME Framework, progress towards achievement of the career goals and agreed performance objectives;
  • establish the annual plan with career goals and performance objectives that are aligned to:
    • Organisational Unit and University Strategic goals,
    • the Academic Career Pathway for the relevant academic level, as described in the APME Framework,
    • the CDF core competencies relevant to the role; and
  • affirm contributions to the University; and
  • identify any relevant professional development activities.

Academic staff are usually reviewed by their nominated supervisor as follows:

Staff Member

Nominated Supervisor

Academic Staff Member

National Head of School, State Head of School, Deputy Head of School* Research Institute Director or Research Centre Director

Deputy Head of School

State Head of School or National Head of School

State Head of School

National Head of School

National Head of School

Executive Dean

Research Institute Director or Research Centre Director

Deputy Vice Chancellor Research

Executive Dean

Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic)

*The National Head of School will provide advice and guidance to the State Head of School and Deputy Head of School in establishing performance objectives to ensure these meet the needs of the Faculty/School/Institute as well as giving consideration to the career aspirations of the individual staff member.

Discussions will be confidential to the staff member and the nominated supervisor and the Executive Dean, who will be sent the completed Performance Review and Planning form. A staff member may share relevant aspects of the Performance Review and Planning form in support of other University processes.

The Performance Review and Planning process will be informed as applicable by the University’s Equal Opportunity Policy, and will take account of the special needs of individual staff arising from different career histories.

5. Frequency of Review

Staff members (except casual staff members and those on contracts of less than 6 months) are to be reviewed annually under this Policy. The Performance Review and Planning process for Academic Staff normally occurs between July and December annually.

In addition to the formal annual process, regular informal discussions will occur between Academic Staff and their nominated supervisor about matters relating to their work and workplace. Such informal meetings may be initiated at the request of the staff member and/or the nominated supervisor.

6. Policy Review

The University may make changes to this Policy from time to time to improve the effectiveness of their operation. In this regard, any staff member who wishes to make any comments about this Policy may forward their suggestions to the Human Resources Advisory Service.

7. Further Assistance

Any staff member who requires assistance in understanding this Policy and Procedures should first consult their nominated supervisor who is responsible for the implementation and operation of these arrangements in their work area. Should further advice be required staff should contact the Human Resources Advisory Service, HR@acu.edu.au or extension 4222.

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Related Policies, Procedures, Guidelines and Local Protocols

Classification Standards for Academic and Professional Staff
Managing Performance Policy
Mentoring of Academic Staff Policy
Probation for Academic Staff Policy
Professional Learning for Academic Staff Policy
Academic Performance Matrices and Evidence Framework
Capability Development Framework

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