1. Purpose of policy
The following policy is intended to define the purposes and characteristics of Performance Planning and Review (PPR) at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
2. Policy scope and application
This policy applies to all Academic staff, and Professional staff classified at Level 5 and above with ongoing appointments and fixed-term appointments of more than twelve months duration. Participation is voluntary for staff classified up to and including Professional Level 4 and sessional staff.
Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures. Terms and definitions identified below are specific to this policy and are critical to its effectiveness.
PPR means Performance Planning and Review, which is an ongoing cyclical process that facilitates an active and constructive partnership between a staff member and his/her PPR supervisor to support the ongoing review and development of the staff member’s performance within the context of the work area’s plans and priorities, top level plans and the University’s Strategic Plan.
PPR discussion means a formal discussion, which occurs at least once per year, between a staff member and his/her PPR supervisor, to review progress towards previously agreed goals, discuss and plan for performance and development, and set specific performance and development goals.
Feedback means advice or comment that is given in good faith in order to recognise and/or improve performance.
4. Policy - Performance Planning and Review (PPR)
4.1 The principal purpose of PPR is to ensure alignment between the performance and development of individual staff, work area plans and priorities, top level plans and the University’s Strategic Plan.
4.2 PPR also aims to:
(a) Contribute to the creation and maintenance of an organisational culture that fosters high levels of productivity and performance, career development and staff satisfaction;
(b) Encourage effective two-way communication, including constructive feedback, between the staff member and his/her PPR supervisor;
(c) Provide a positive framework within which staff can systematically reflect upon their professional and career development;
(d) Ensure role clarity with regard to the duties, expectations and relationships of the staff member in the position s/he holds within the University;
(e) Provide information that assists with making recommendations or decisions relating to probation, incremental progression, contract renewal/conversion, staff and career development, recognition and rewards, and with making applications for promotion and Professional Development Program (PDP); and
(f) Provide a means to identify and address staff development and training needs.
4.3 PPR is to be implemented in accordance with the principles of fairness, equity and natural justice.
4.4 Nomination of PPR Supervisor
All ongoing and fixed-term staff with appointments of more than twelve months duration have a nominated PPR supervisor.
4.5 Link to Probation
(a) All staff employed in ongoing or fixed-term appointments normally undergo a probationary period, during which a probation plan is developed. The probation plan includes a statement outlining appropriate goals, which are based on the requirements of the position as outlined in the position description, and a schedule of formal and informal meetings to monitor and review progress.
(b) For new Academic staff, a three year probationary period normally applies. PPR and probation converge during this time and discussions normally take place at least once every six months in order to support the establishment or re-establishment of the academic staff member’s career.
(c) For new Professional staff, a probationary period up to 12 months normally applies. PPR follows on after probation.
(d) After probation, formal PPR discussions normally take place at least annually.
(e) If a staff member who has completed probation is appointed or seconded to another similar job in the University, a probationary period does not normally apply. However, a PPR cycle is normally initiated within six weeks of commencement in the new position and on return to a substantive position after the completion of a secondment.
4.6 PPR is a cyclical process comprising three stages:
(a) Stage 1: Preparation
The PPR supervisor and the staff member both prepare separately for the PPR discussion.
(b) Stage 2: PPR Discussion
The PPR supervisor and the staff member meet formally to:
(i) review and discuss achievement of the performance and development goals from the last PPR discussion or probation plan;
(ii) reach agreement on goals and priorities for performance and development;
(iii) discuss and determine the support required to implement the agreed goals.
For Academic staff, workload and the balance between teaching, research and engagement activities within the workload are discussed during the PPR discussion.
(c) Stage 3: Follow up
The PPR supervisor and the staff member continue to work together to implement and monitor achievement of the performance and development goals and meet as often as needed throughout the PPR cycle to discuss progress.
All ongoing and fixed-term staff participate in appropriate PPR training prior to participating in any PPR discussion to ensure they understand the principles, purposes and practice of PPR at the University.
Basic PPR training is available on the University staff intranet MyUSC.
PPR Supervisor training is conducted regularly and publicised through the University's staff development calendar.
4.8 Participation in PPR
(a) All ongoing and fixed-term staff with appointments of more than twelve months duration participate in a formal PPR discussion with their PPR supervisor at least once a year.
(b) It is the responsibility of the PPR supervisor to ensure that all staff for whom they are the nominated PPR supervisor participate in a formal PPR discussion at least once a year.
(c) It is the responsibility of the Vice-Chancellor and President, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Pro Vice-Chancellors, Executive Deans and Cost Centre Managers to ensure the implementation of PPR in their area/s of responsibility.
4.9 Monitoring and Review
Human Resources monitors participation in PPR. A copy of each eligible staff member's PPR goals is forwarded to Human Resources by 31 March in the year to which the goals apply. An annual report of PPR implementation is generated in the first week of April.
Each member of University Executive is provided with the PPR reports for the work areas in their portfolio and a summary report of participation for the whole University. Each Cost Centre Manager and Head of School is forwarded the PPR report for the work area/s for which they are responsible.