Appraisal, also referred to as Staff Review and Development (SRD), is an essential part of the University’s commitment to developing staff. The University has set out a framework for how SRD is carried out, and encouraged Institutions to develop their own procedures.
The School of Clinical Medicine has developed an Appraisal Scheme (“the Scheme”) which is based on the University framework. The Scheme is applicable to all staff employed within the School.
Within the School, appraisal is an annual process for all staff. The School has also developed its own appraisal form which has been designed to be used across all staff groups. There is also a School of Clinical Medicine Question and Answers document which provides additional helpful guidance.
The purpose of the School of Clinical Medicine Appraisal Scheme is to:-
- Enhance work effectiveness.
- Facilitate career development.
- provides the opportunity for staff to have uninterrupted time with their line manager/PI to discuss performance and development, expectations and objectives, and to ensure these are in line with the objectives of the Department and School of Clinical Medicine;
- provides an opportunity for positive and constructive two-way review of work progress;
- supports academic and research staff in maximising their research potential and to support the Research Excellence Framework (REF);
- provides an opportunity to invest time in nurturing careers to ensure that individuals fulfil their full potential, supporting a process of continuous professional development;
- supports engagement, which is linked to both improved motivation and greater staff retention; facilitates the recognition and celebration of achievement;
- provides an opportunity to discuss succession planning which is of particular importance at the latter stages of an established officer’s career;
- supports setting of objectives and priorities, and agreement of an action plan;
- allows for identification and discussion of difficulties or obstacles to the appraisee’s effectiveness, and ways in which any difficulties and obstacles to progress could be removed;
- provides for discussion of training needs for the appraisee’s current role, as well as career development.
For more information on how the scheme works, read more in the following document:
What are the benefits of an appraisal process?
- improved communication, for example, an opportunity to discuss ideas about how to improve how things work;
- clarification of roles, responsibilities, aims and priorities;
- creation of a formal record of experience and learning over time to complement a CV or Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activity;
- supporting a more open and engaged style of management and leadership;
- better targeting and planning for training and development on a department-wide or University basis;
- enhanced overall performance through more effective and motivated staff.
How does the appraisal process work?
There are three key stages within the appraisal process:
Review and reflect on achievements to date, and begin to plan for the next appraisal period.
A constructive two way open discussion takes place in a formal appraisal meeting.
Outcomes and actions are recorded on the appraisal form and agreed (objectives for the next appraisal period).
What happens to completed appraisal forms?
The appraisee will be given a copy of the fully completed appraisal form at the end of the appraisal process. The original form should be retained securely by the appraiser or other nominated person in accordance with expressly agreed Departmental practice.
For medical staff, how does the appraisal process work for University employees who hold an honorary clinical contract?
Appraisals should be carried out under the School of Clinical Medicine Scheme in conjunction with the relevant NHS/PHE appraisal process. Further guidance is available here.
What are SMART objectives? How many objectives should be agreed?
A SMART objective is:-
- Time scaled
A SMART objective is more likely to succeed because it is specific – so it’s clear what exactly what needs to be achieved. You can tell when it has been achieved (measurable) because you have a way to measure completion. A SMART objective is likely to happen because it is an event that is achievable. Before setting a SMART objective relevant factors such as resources and time are taken into account to ensure that it is realistic. Finally the timescale element provides a deadline which helps focus.
Further information about SMART objective setting is available in the PPD SRD (appraisal) training provision, both the on line training and within the classroom based training.
It is recommended that a maximum of five objectives are agreed.
How does the Clinical School appraisal process integrate with the University Career Management process for contract research staff?
Research staff are subject to the Clinical School Appraisal Scheme and should complete the Clinical School Appraisal Form. Attention is drawn to guidance provided on the University web pages. The University’s model self-appraisal form for research staff (“Preparation for Review Meeting Self-Appraisal Form”) provides helpful additional guidance for research staff and identifies information that may be included when completing a Clinical School Appraisal Form, or be captured on a CV, or appended to the Appraisal Form when it is submitted. For example:-
- “Research activity – briefly describe your current research project(s): detailing in particular the area you are involved in, how you are funding and when the funding is due to end, etc.”
- “Research publications: list any publications over the past 4 years and those currently in progress.”
- Other Professional Activities: detail and other professional activities you have taken part in.”
- Other research group activities: given details of other activities you have organized, eg journal club, tissue culture room etc.”
- Other Departmental Activities: detail other activities you have been involved with.”
What should be recorded on CHRIS and when should this be done?
The date of the appraisal interview is recorded on CHRIS along with the name of the appraiser and the next appraisal date. For clinical staff who have a further clinical appraisal, the date of the University appraisal is recorded on CHRIS. CHRIS should be updated as soon as possible.
What happens if there is a disagreement between appraiser and appraisee?
Minor differences of opinion should simply be noted by the appraiser as a record of the key points of the meeting or by the appraisee. If there is a significant difference of opinion either the appraisee or appraiser may refer the matter for consideration to the relevant line manager or, in the case of academic or research staff, to the Head of Department of nominee in the first instance.
Where can I find out more information or access training?
If you are newly appointed, you will be given a copy of the Scheme as part of the induction process in your department.
Please speak to your departmental administrator in the first instance if you have any queries about appraisals, or contact the Clinical School HR Team.
Details of training courses (to include e-learning for appraisers) can be found on the PPD pages.
What should I do to prepare for my appraisal?
Prior to the review meeting you should complete section A on the appraisal form and give this to your appraiser at least 5 working days before your appraisal date. If you are an academic or research member of staff you would normally be expected to attach an updated CV. These documents will be used to guide the discussion at the meeting and should highlight the areas you wish to discuss. As part of your preparation, you should:
- Take stock of your progress against objectives as well as professional plans, e.g. achievements and responsibilities since your last review (or your appointment, if you’ve not been through the appraisal process before). Identify impact. If you have previously been appraised in your post, review your last appraisal form to prepare for this appraisal and remember to take a copy of last year’s form with you so you can refer to it if necessary when you attend your appraisal meeting.
- Think about your successes and difficulties and consider what lessons you can learn for the future.
- Look ahead to the coming review period and outline your suggested objectives and your key personal and professional plans. Think about what might hamper their achievement and about any training and development needs you have, now or longer-term.
And more generally you may wish to give consideration to the following areas, where appropriate:
- Responsibilities as indicated in the role profile for your position, for example staff and financial management;
- Projects and tasks completed, in progress or planned, indicating specific areas and level of responsibility and contribution made;
- Membership of committees and other bodies, indicating level of responsibility;
- Training delivered, mentoring role etc;
- Other relevant contributions.
What should I expect at the appraisal meeting?
During the appraisal meeting you will be discussing with your appraiser your progress over the review period and your training and development needs before agreeing an action plan for the future, taking into account your department’s and the University’s objectives. The discussion and/or the decisions are then recorded by your appraiser, and you will be given an opportunity to add your comments.
This meeting may take place within the department or away from the office. Wherever it takes place, the arrangements should ensure that the discussion is uninterrupted and confidential. You should plan for the meeting taking at least an hour.
Do I need to attach a CV?
If you are an academic or research member of staff you would normally be expected to attach a CV to the completed form. If a CV is not required this should be agreed between both the appraisee and the appraiser prior to the meeting. Other staff may wish to provide the appraiser with a copy of their CV, and they are free to do so.
Do I have to undertake appraiser training?
Yes. All appraisers are required to have completed an appropriate appraiser training course. Training is available either as an e-learning programme or a short classroom based session. Further details are available on the PPD pages of the University website.
Please note that it is a requirement within the Clinical School that an appraiser who has not carried out an appraisal within the previous 2 years should carry out refresher appraisal training.
What do I need to do to prepare?
Meet with your Head of Department or his/her nominated representative before each cycle of reviews on an annual basis – one function of the meeting is to identify any wider departmental common themes or emerging problems so objective setting and action planning can be aligned.
Be clear about any relevant wider objectives that will impact upon the objectives to be agree with the appraisee in the coming appraisal period, for example University, School or Departmental/Institutional plans/objectives.
Specifically, ensure that you have reviewed the previous appraisal form for each appraisee (if appropriate) and have a copy of the appraisee’s completed current appraisal form at least 5 working days prior to the scheduled meeting date.
Review the documents identified by the appraisee as relevant to the appraisal meeting (as identified on the appraisal form) and identify any other documents you would like the appraiser to provide. Request these, giving sufficient notice to enable them to be located/copied. If there are documents that you will provide to inform the discussion, it is good practice to provide a copy to the appraisee prior to the meeting.
Should I take notes during the meeting?
Yes. You need to keep a record of the main points of the discussion to include the actions and timescales agreed with the appraisee in order to be able to complete Section B after the meeting.
What do I need to do after the meeting?
Complete Section B of the appraisal form. It is good practice to agree this with the appraisee. The appraisee then completes Section C (their comments).
Ensure that the fully completed appraisal form is countersigned by all parties.
Agree with the appraisee how many review meetings will be needed over the coming appraisal period, and schedule these. Agree who will take forward any training needs that have been identified, researching options or completing any booking process.
Ensure any generic departmental issues identified as part of the appraisal process are referred as appropriate for information/action.
Meet with the Head of Department or his/her nominated representative after each cycle of reviews on an annual basis – one function of the meeting is to identify any common themes or emerging problems so that appropriate action can be taken, for example, advising the Staff Development Unit of generic training needs and informing staff of common issues that have emerged and steps that are being taken to address them.
Feedback and improvements to the Scheme
The Clinical School welcomes feedback on the operation of the Scheme. If you have suggestions that would help to improve the process or the supporting paperwork please contact the Clinical School HR Team.