How does the Performance Development Framework (PDF) differ from traditional Performance Appraisal?
PDF differs from traditional performance appraisal schemes because it:
- recognises the critical importance of career progression for staff as well as the promotion of organisational performance
- focuses on an organisational unit context
- is owned and driven by you, your colleagues, and your supervisor;
- focuses on setting expectations up-front through mutual discussion and agreement and on developing and improving performance continually
- bases evidence of performance on objective data
- clarifies key goals and performance indicators for the University, your workgroup and for you
- aims to provide performance and development goals that are challenging and which assist you to develop new skills and abilities which contribute to long-term career aspirations.
What happens if my workload focus changes during the PDF Cycle?
Ongoing discussions between the staff member and supervisor will assist to identify changes that may have occurred and should involve a review of the staff member’s workload focus and/or allocation.
How often is the PDF Cycle undertaken?
PDF is an ongoing process that requires strong commitment from staff and supervisors. The cycle must be undertaken at least on an annual basis, generally between October and February. The supervisor and staff member should discuss the timing of Performance Feedback and the Review Discussion during the Planning Discussion.
Can the Performance Development Framework process be applied on a team basis?
The process and documentation can also be applied on a team basis. Goals may be set at the organisational unit and group level and need to be discussed and agreed upon by all team members. Development activities are to be tailored according to each individual's development needs.
Are the Planning and Review Discussions the only discussions held during the cycle?
Staff members and supervisors should hold feedback discussions aside from the Planning and Review discussions according to the needs of the staff member, supervisor and organisational unit.
What is the difference between a Performance Plan and a Development Plan?
Performance goals are short to medium term objectives related to work in the employee's current position. They are aligned with the University Strategic Plan through the School/Divisional Operational Plan, and are written in S.M.A.R.T format. The Development Plan looks at required development activities where there are skill gaps or anticipated needs of the organisation. They also look at career planning for the staff member and may focus on opportunities outside the current role.
What happens if my goals change during the cycle?
It is inevitable that work priorities and unit goals may change during the cycle. The individual Performance and Development Plans should be adjusted accordingly to ensure alignment of individual effort with the organisation’s goals.
What is a Key Result Area (KRA)?
A Key Result Area (KRA) is a broad heading for the category in whioch a performance goal fits and is generally linked with a strategic priority in the School/Divisional Operational Plan. Examples include 'Improving the Student Experience' and 'Indigenous Collaboration'.
How do I write a performance goal?
Performance goals should be written according to the SMART principle, that is, they should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timeframed. Please refer to Appendix 1 of the PDF Online User Guide for further information.
How many goals should I have?
Three to five goals are generally recommended, although this can vary depending on the individual and their role.
What if agreement cannot be reached during the process?
If agreement cannot be reached between the staff member and supervisor during the PDF cycle, advice should be sought from the Director in the first instance. Support and advice can also be obtained from Human Resource Services. Where a disagreement is not resolved informally it may be referred to an Inquiry Officer for resolution.
Who is my supervisor for the purposes of PDF?
Overall responsibility for the PDF process rests with the immediate supervisor. However, following discussions with you, the supervisor may delegate PDF responsibility to an agreed alternative supervisor. For staff with dual reporting lines there may be two supervisors participating in your PDF. In all cases, supervisors will discuss alternative supervisory arrangements with you.
What records are kept as part of the PDF process?
The current Performance and Development Plans and the three most recent years are accessible on the Review page of PDF Online. This is the first page you see after logging into the system, and only yourself and your PDF supervisor have access to this information through PDF Online. Older plans will be archived in the database. If you wish to access these archived plans email the system administrator on email@example.com with your request.
As a staff member engaged in the process you may wish to keep a hard copy of the Performance Development Framework forms and any notes which you make. You are also encouraged to make and keep records which document your achievements. These may support you as part of the Performance Development Framework process.
The entries in your Performance Diary however will be deleted once the plans are signed off electronically by you and your supervisor. Therefore, if you wish to retain copies of these entries you should print them off prior to signing off your plans.
How long will these records be kept?
The University is obliged under the State Records Act 1998 to protect and appropriately manage its records, regardless of format. With respect to the records relating to the Performance Development Framework for individual staff, these must be retained for at least seven (7) years. It is an offence under the Act to destroy these records before this period has lapsed.
Any records kept outside of the online system, eg emails, hard copies of records, must be retained for at least three years after action, although if they are duplicates of records in the online system they may be destroyed at any time.
Records for senior / executive staff must be retained for seven years after they leave the University.
Who will have access to the Performance Development Framework records?
Records or files which contain personal information, must be maintained in accordance with the Information Protection Principles in Part 2, Division 1 of the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998. In particular they should be protected by reasonable security measures and protected from unauthorised use or disclosure.
Supervisors should ensure that any hard copy records are always stored securely, preferably in a locked container. In particular, the records:
- Should be accessible to the individual staff member to whom they relate.
- Should only be accessed by those with the need and authority to do so.
- Should relate to the individual staff member only, eg, if a document contains information about another person, then that information must be removed or obscured, even in circumstances where several people are mentioned on a document or piece of correspondence. This is a requirement of the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act. 1998.
- Should not be left in public view or where unauthorised people can access them.
- Must be retained for at least three (3) years.