Performance Expectations Framework for Academic Staff

The Performance Expectations Framework for Academic Staff (PDF, 527KB) provides performance and career clarity for academic staff. The Framework details the qualitative descriptors and performance metrics across a continuum of academic leadership from Level A to E, for the three main domains of academic work:

The leadership continuum describes the progression of skills, knowledge, and performance expectations from an early career academic through to the developing, proficient and distinguished academic.


Performance Expectations Framework for Academics - FAQ

The Performance Expectations Framework for Academic Staff is a key element of the Performance Review and Development (PRD) process for academic staff and exemplifies NeW Directions strategy in action. Strengthening research performance and providing a first-rate educational experience for students are our top priorities under NeW Directions. The Framework assists in aligning staff performance with the University's strategic direction and provides career clarity for staff to support them in delivering excellence in research and in teaching and learning.

The Framework outlines both qualitative expectations and quantitative performance indicators and target ranges by academic level.

The Framework takes into account that performance targets may be calibrated by Discipline, School or Faculty and will be relative to each staff member's opportunity for research, teaching, and service.Heads of School and PRD Mentors have received training on use of performance expectations within the PRD process and contextualisation of the Framework within each School/Discipline, recognising there are considerable disciplinary differences in research practices.

The PEF will provide performance clarity for staff and facilitate staff and their Schools to prioritise their work in line with expectations. The PEF will also facilitate staff in optimising the way various work tasks are performed, and identifying tasks that can be reduced or are no longer necessary, particularly by taking new approaches to learning and teaching, e.g. fewer repeat classes by using technology-enhanced learning pedagogies to enhance teaching delivery.

The PEF emphasises that quality should never be sacrificed for quantity. The research target ranges within the PEF provide expectations for staff with a 'normal' teaching and research load and with no mitigating circumstances. The target ranges are provided as a guideline of what is needed by each individual in order to meet school KPIs, however Heads of Schools and PRD Mentors will use their academic judgement to consider a staff member's individual circumstances and their overall performance across the areas of research outputs, research income and research supervision. The HOS can adjust expectations where a staff member is performing highly in one or two of these areas.

The Framework is designed as a development model with a view to enabling behavioural and cultural change across the institution through encouraging collaboration, discussion on more efficient and effective methods of meeting teaching and research goals, and enabling all staff to engage in high quality teaching and research.

It is expected that the majority of academics will meet expectations. Research performance will be reviewed as an annual average over the most recent rolling three-year period, acknowledging that research output, in terms of number and mix, can fluctuate from year to year.

In negotiating an academic staff member's research targets, overall performance across all areas of research output will be taken into account. For example, where a staff member's research outputs exceed expectations in one area, a lower contribution in other output areas may be agreed.

Individual performance targets will be discussed and agreed upon as part of the PRD process. A staff member's three-year average of research output will be used as a baseline from which to set targets for the current year and beyond; which depending on the individual, may need to be maintained or increased in order to meet or exceed the established satisfactory level of performance. Individual targets should take account of the quality and impact of publications, recent promotion, leadership roles, extended periods of leave, fractional appointments, recent periods of study leave, designated work allocation, and individual circumstances.

The University runs a wide range of professional development activities for academic staff throughout each year, via the Centre for Teaching and Learning and Research Services, including its Special Studies Program (SSP). In addition, each of the faculties has tailored support schemes in place to encourage the research and teaching development of academic staff.

Development support also includes internal development opportunities, such as mentoring, internal peer review of publications and grant applications, the creation of RHD supervisory teams, and co-publication with senior staff and RHD candidates.