FAQs Performance Assessments

It is that time of year again when performance is assessed and I am not talking about the contestants on The Great British Bake Off, X Factor or Strictly Come Dancing!

Performance assessments and associated performance related pay was introduced in 2013 and the first reviews done in 2014 so I know this is not a new process but I hope that this will be a memory jog and remind you of what to do and when to do it, or if you are new to performance reviews then it will help you too.

What’s it all about anyway?

Appraisals are designed to be supportive and developmental, ensuring that teachers and support staff have the skills they need to carry out their role effectively and to continue their professional development where applicable.

The process allows information to be gathered about that persons’ performance over a period of time, in order for it to be considered as evidence of the extent to which a person is performing in their role.

How long have I got?

The appraisal period runs from 01 October to 31 September with pay recommendations being communicated before 31 October – so not long!

By now, performance meetings should be scheduled in and communicated to all staff or well under way!

What do I need to consider?

Your policy may provide a list of information that you need to consider when making decisions on performance and it is important that you stick to that information because that is what the employee will expect. Any interim feedback that you have already given can be incorporated too but bear in mind that this should not be new information. There should not be any surprises!

If an employee has transitioned to the capability procedure during the appraisal process, then you need to ensure that you continue to follow that process. You will still need to conduct their review and make a pay recommendation in line with your internal procedures.

Are you ready for this?

Have you collected the employees’ self-appraisal form?

They have an opportunity to say where and how they have met their performance objectives or why they have not met them.

Have you captured evidence of an employee’s performance?

This will enable a better discussion and provide the necessary evidence to support pay decisions.

Have you provided the support required?

If you noticed areas for development and informed the employee of this, are you confident that you have provided the support required for the employee to meet their objectives?

Let’s go!

Make sure you stick to your timetable for meetings so that all employees not only have their performance assessed but they receive their new objectives for the year.

The meeting should be a dialogue with the employee’s input as a critical factor – it is their review after all.

If you are delivering difficult information do not shy away – say how it is but say it sensitively! Remember, this should not be new news!!

Your aim should be to provide the employee with clear evidence in relation to their performance, clear objectives for the year ahead and in line with your policy, information on pay progression.

To pay or not to pay?

Depending on your policy, pay progression may or may not be linked to performance. If you still offer automatic pay progression, then ensure that you communicate the necessary changes in line with the deadline of 31 October.

If pay progression is directly related to performance, then ensure that you have the evidence to support your decision on whether an employee has met the criteria (contained within your pay policy) for progression or not. You will need to communicate this by 31 October.

If an employee has transitioned to capability during the appraisal cycle and therefore, pay progression is not an option, explain what you will do to support them in achieving their objectives for the year ahead and possible pay progression at the next review.

Grievance or Appeal?

Employees have the right to appeal against any pay decisions and a grievance against how their performance appraisal has been conducted in line with internal procedures.

The likelihood of an appeal or grievance can be reduced if you have provided ongoing feedback, support, evidence and followed a fair and thorough assessment throughout.

And finally……

Unlike the X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing, a performance review or pay decision is not a popularity contest and does not rely on the public vote but as in the Great British Bake Off. The proof is in the pudding.

You need evidence and dialogue and you need to deliver objectives in the way Mary Berry writes a receipe, everyone is clear what’s involved ad if they follow th process they know what to expect.



If you need any support at any point in this process we’d be happy to be part of your judging panel! Although we aim to be more Mary Berry than Paul Hollywood, more Nicole Scherzinger than Simon Cole and more Darcey Bussell than Craig Revel Horwood!!

Contact us hello@yourhrlawyer.co.uk. To find out more about our team, watch our video.


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