Performance Management - Operational Policy | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Performance Management - Operational Policy

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Approval authority
Vice-Chancellor and President
Responsible Executive member
Chief Operating Officer
Designated officer
Director, People and Culture
First approved
6 December 2005
Last amended
23 February 2024
Review date
23 February 2029
Related documents
Linked documents
Superseded documents
  • Performance Planning and Review (PPR) - Managerial Policy
  • Staff Development - Managerial Policy
  • Probation - Managerial Policy
Related legislation / standards
  • University of the Sunshine Coast Enterprise Agreement

1. Purpose of the policy

1.1 This policy aims to affirm the University’s commitment to excellence by creating a positive and stimulating environment in which staff can operate effectively, achieve success and satisfaction in their work, and contribute to the achievement of the University’s strategic and operational priorities.

1.2 This policy must be read in conjunction with the linked Performance, Planning and Review (PPR) - Procedures, Probation for Academic Staff - Procedures and Probation for Professional Staff - Procedures.

2. Policy scope and application

2.1 This policy applies to all staff employed by the University.

3. Definitions

3.1 Refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for definitions as they specifically relate to policy documents.

4. Policy statement

4.1 The University provides a comprehensive and transparent performance management framework to support effective performance and encourage excellence while dealing fairly with underperformance, unsatisfactory performance and misconduct.

4.2 The University offers a range of relevant professional development programs to educate staff in relation to the performance development and management framework, to support staff in the development of knowledge and skills to perform their role, and to actively manage their own professional and career development.

5. Principles

5.1 Performance comprises two components:

(a) a staff member’s capacity to fulfil the requirements of the position; and

(b) a staff member’s conduct while undertaking the requirements of the position.

5.2 To operate effectively in any position, a staff member must:

(a) have the required knowledge, skills, abilities, experience and qualifications; and

(b) be prepared to behave in an appropriate manner, follow lawful instructions, not intentionally harm the business of the University, use skill and care while working and behave in accordance with the Staff Code of Conduct – Governing Policy.

5.3 The performance management framework comprises several key elements including:

(a) probation;

(b) performance planning and review;

(c) staff development;

(d) recognising and rewarding exceptional performance;

(e) dealing with unsatisfactory performance;

(f) misconduct and serious misconduct; and

(g) managing ill-health.

5.4 The performance management framework aims to:

(a) optimise the performance of individual staff and the University;

(b) align the work of individual staff with the strategic priorities of the University and the work area;

(c) provide staff with the resources required to achieve their goals and improve performance, where required; and

(d) manage underperformance and unsatisfactory performance, misconduct and serious misconduct, and ill-health fairly and effectively.

5.5 The University is committed to supporting supervisors in the effective management of their staff and to foster a positive environment that is conducive to elevated levels of performance and engagement.

5.6 Probation

5.6.1 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 the Academic Performance Standards, and a schedule of formal and informal meetings to monitor and review progress. However, a probationary period is not normally required for a fixed-term staff member on a second or subsequent reasonably contiguous appointment in a position of the same or similar duties.

5.6.2 Academic staff For new Academic staff, a probationary period of up to three-years normally applies. To maintain the high quality of teaching at the University, all ongoing academic staff, except where approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), are required to complete the University’s Foundations of University Teaching professional development course during their probationary period or demonstrate they have successfully completed a comparable course at another university. An academic appointment cannot be confirmed without fulfilment of this requirement, unless an exemption has been provided by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) upon commencement. Confirmation of an academic appointment rests with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic). Refer to the Probation for Academic Staff - Procedures for further information relating to the probation process for academic staff.

5.6.3 Professional staff For new Professional staff, a probationary period up to 6 months normally applies. Refer to the Probation for Professional Staff - Procedures for further information relating to the probation process for professional staff. Confirmation of a professional appointment rests with the relevant member of senior staff.

5.7 Performance Planning and Review (PPR)

5.7.1 Performance Planning and Review (PPR) refers to the alignment between the performance and development of individual staff, work area plans and priorities, top level plans and the University’s Strategic Plan. PPR is enabled through the annual Performance and Development Cycle and individual staff Performance and Development Plans to develop an active and constructive partnership between a staff member and their PPR supervisor.

5.7.2 PPR applies to all Academic staff, and Professional staff with ongoing appointments and fixed-term appointments of more than twelve months duration. Participation is voluntary for Casual staff.

5.7.3 Refer to the Performance, Planning and Review (PPR) - Procedures for further information relating to the PPR process.

5.8 Staff development

5.8.1 Staff development plays a significant role in attracting, developing and retaining excellent staff and is a process through which staff continue to learn and expand their capability to be effective in their work. Staff development is a responsibility shared by individual staff members and their supervisor, to encourage staff to expand, develop and utilise their skills and abilities for the advancement of themselves and the University.

5.8.2 Furthermore, increased organisational effectiveness is generated when the capabilities of staff are enhanced and they can better understand, and keep improving, the ways the organisation works – its practices, culture and systems. Supervisors are encouraged to support their staff to participate in development activities within their area of responsibility.

5.9 Recognising and rewarding exceptional performance

5.9.1 The University acknowledges that the achievement of our strategic priorities depends on our staff. The deliberate recognition and reward of the performance of our staff can help build a culture of high performance, increase staff engagement, reinforce positive behaviours, increase retention of staff, and maintain and enhance equity. Supervisors are encouraged to recognise and reward staff within their area of responsibility that demonstrate sustained exceptional performance.

5.10 Dealing with unsatisfactory performance, misconduct and serious misconduct and managing ill-health

5.10.1 The University acknowledges that there will be occasions where a supervisor determines the performance or conduct of a staff member falls below expectations. Should this occur the University will apply the relevant process as prescribed in the University Enterprise Agreement as varied from time to time.

5.10.2 In all cases these are referred to the Director, People and Culture who will act on behalf of the University and the Vice-Chancellor and President.