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Academic Annual Performance and Development Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) The Annual Performance and Development (APD) process is comprised of regular discussions about performance between Supervisors and staff and an annual review covering key achievements, challenges, career planning and areas for improvement. The Criteria for Academic Performance Policy and its Domains (Research, Teaching, Supervision and Researcher Development, and Citizenship and Service) will provide the basis for assessment of performance by the Supervisor with respect to strengths and areas of improvement to be documented.

(2) This Procedure applies to academic staff at The University of Queensland (UQ or the University), with the exception of casual academic staff, employed in one of the four academic categories - Teaching and Research, Research Focused, Teaching Focused, and Clinical Academic – who are employed for more than one year consecutively.

(3) While the APD process can identify any areas for improvement in performance to assist the staff member, it is designed for the maintenance and continuing improvement of good performance. This process is not part of the formal disciplinary procedures for misconduct/serious misconduct or unsatisfactory performance. Information gathered at the APD process may inform other performance processes.

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Section 2 - Process and Key Controls


(4) The APD process will be launched to eligible Academic Staff within Workday. The self‐evaluation, Supervisor evaluation and formal review meeting should be completed between September and December and review performance during the calendar year. Continuing Academic Staff engaged on a 3‐year probationary period will participate in the Annual Performance and Development (APD) process, consistent with the timeframes for non‐probationary academic staff.

(5) Once notified of the requirement to commence the APD process, the staff member will complete a self-assessment. This assessment will include a summary of key activities and deliverables, reflection on progress against agreed goals and the Criteria for Academic Performance. The self-assessment documentation will also include opportunity for reflection on future development and career objectives as well as proposed goals for the coming year. Once completed, the self-assessment documentation will progress to the Supervisor for review.

(6) The Supervisor will review the documentation, conduct a formal review meeting with the staff member at a mutually agreed time, provide comments as required, and may add or modify specific goals for the coming year. Where possible, the Supervisor and staff member should reach a consensus on the goals and development plan to be recorded during the APD process.

(7) Supervisors are required to give a performance rating for each of the four Domains of activity, and an overall rating. The rating scale is:

  1. Exceeds Expectations
  2. Performing Well
  3. Some Gaps
  4. Unsatisfactory.

(8) Where the Supervisor is not the Head of the Organisational Unit, the APD documentation will be provided to the Head for approval. Where a Head disagrees with a nominated Supervisor's comments or ratings in relation to the APD, the Head must discuss the issue with the nominated Supervisor prior to approving the performance documentation.

(9) Once approved by the Head, the staff member will receive a notification of the outcome. The staff member will be provided with the opportunity to acknowledge the outcome and provide their comments.

(10) If the staff member has any concerns regarding their APD process or outcomes, they can send a brief covering letter clearly explaining the specific issues and preferred resolution, and any relevant documentation to the Executive Dean/Institute Director for resolution.

Associated Processes

(11) The APD process may inform other performance and development processes, discussions and decisions depending on the particular circumstances of the academic staff member:

  1. Confirmation of incremental progression (if applicable).
  2. The Supervisor's and Head’s assessment of progress of probationary staff, recommendation for confirmation of continuing appointments, promotion, or approval of teaching free periods for research or other specific projects for non-research-focussed staff as appropriate.
  3. Discussion or agreement between the Supervisor and staff member about a plan and a timeframe for transition of academic category consistent with the Academic Categories Policy and Academic Categories Procedure.

(12) The Head's recommendations in relation to the above processes and/or outcomes will be made available to the staff member.

Transition of Academic Category

(13) When requesting a change of category, the staff member should complete the appropriate form, indicating the change being sought. The Head will meet with the staff member and their Supervisor (where the Head is not the nominated Supervisor) to discuss the requested category change, with regard to the employee’s career plans, the operational requirements for the organisational unit and other relevant considerations. If endorsed by the Head, the change of category can be progressed to the Executive Dean or Institute Director for approval. The Executive Dean or Institute Director will seek advice from the relevant senior staff, for example the Associate Dean (Research) and/or Associate Dean (Academic), before making a determination.

(14) Where the variation is supported and approved, notification in writing will be provided to the staff member. Where the variation has not been supported and/or approved, the staff member will be informed.

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Section 3 - Key Requirements

Nomination of Supervisor

(15) Each staff member will be notified of the name and position of their Supervisor.

(16) The relevant Executive Dean, Institute Director or Head of School may nominate an academic staff member in accordance with the requirements of the Enterprise Agreement, to be the Supervisor of one academic or a group of academic staff.

(17) Staff may request the nomination of an alternative Supervisor by making a written request to their Executive Dean or Institute Director.

(18) Heads of supervisory units who are not incorporated into a larger unit in the University can be made directly responsible to the Provost, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

Determining a Performance Rating for a Domain

(19) Guidance for determining a Domain rating is provided in the Appendix (Academic Performance Framework with Rating Guidelines). In determining a rating for each Domain, consideration should be given to:

  1. the goals set for the period under review and the reflections of the staff member on the progress achieved;
  2. the Criteria for Academic Performance for that Domain and the academic level; and
  3. relative to opportunity considerations, outstanding performance in one or more criteria, or other relevant circumstances.

(20) Should the Supervisor determine that overriding the guidance for the Domain ratings provided in the Appendix (Academic Performance Framework with Rating Guidelines) is warranted, the justification should be provided in the relevant Domain rating section of the APD documentation.

Determining if a Domain is Not Applicable

(21) A Supervisor may indicate that a specific Domain is “Not Applicable” to that staff member for the current Annual Review where: 

  1. a Supervisor has not allocated duties to the staff member in that Domain for the past year;
  2. no goals were set for a particular Domain during the previous APD cycle; or
  3. the Supervisor forms the view that a staff member has not had the opportunity to participate sufficiently in a particular Domain based on relative to opportunity considerations, or other special circumstances.

(22) Where minor activity associated with a Domain occurred during the review period, the Domain may also reasonably be categorised as “Not Applicable”.

(23) The following examples are typical of minor activities where “Not Applicable” may still apply to a Domain:

  1. Teaching Domain - where the primary activity was the delivery of a guest lecture by a Research Focussed staff member for their own development.
  2. Research Domain - where the primary activity was a research output generated as a consequence of an unexpected collaboration, entailing a minor contribution from the staff member, that is unlikely to be repeated.
  3. Supervision and Researcher Development Domain - where the primary activity was a minor supervisory role involving a coursework research project.

(24) It is a general expectation that staff with Teaching Focussed or Research Focussed appointments will have the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to Research and Teaching Domains, respectively. Therefore, the decision to use “Not Applicable” should not solely be derived from a staff member’s Academic category.

(25) The Citizenship and Service Domain is applicable to all staff, and staff are required to proactively identify and create opportunities within this space. The “Not Applicable” option must not be used for this Domain as this category encompasses aspects of behaviour and collegiality as well as delivery of academic activity.

Determining an Overall Performance Rating

(26) Guidance for combining Domain performance ratings into an overall rating is provided in the following table:

Domain Ratings Overall Rating
4 Exceeds Expectations Exceeds Expectations
3 Exceeds Expectations, and 1 Performing Well Exceeds Expectations
2 or less Exceeds Expectations, and 2 or more Performing Well Performing Well
1 Some Gaps, and any combination of higher ratings Performing Well
2 or more Some Gaps, and any combination of higher ratings Some Gaps
1 Unsatisfactory, and no Some Gaps Some Gaps
2 or more Unsatisfactory, or 1 Unsatisfactory and 1 Some Gaps Unsatisfactory

(27) In determining the appropriate overall rating, consideration should also be given to relative to opportunity factors and consideration of other relevant circumstances. Should the Supervisor determine that overriding the guidance for the Overall rating provided in the table is warranted, the justification should be provided in the relevant Overall rating section of the APD documentation.

(28) Where a staff member has been given performance ratings on less than 4 Domains as a consequence of the use of “Not Applicable” for a Domain(s), the overall rating of “Exceeds Expectations” is met with one fewer (or two fewer if only 2 Domains were rated) “Exceeds Expectations” Domain rating.

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Section 4 - Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Academic Staff

(29) Academic staff are required to ensure their documentation is up-to-date and supplied in a timely manner before the scheduled APD meeting. This includes checking that all corporate data that is auto-populated into the Individual Activity Profile (IAP) is correct and as complete as possible.

(30) Staff can find assistance with documenting their achievements in the Guidelines on Evidencing Academic Achievement.


(31) Supervisors are responsible for supporting the performance development and career planning of academic staff through active participation in the APD process.

(32) Supervisors are required to remain cognisant and sensitive to protected attributes within the context of the annual review and ensure that the process is handled with appropriate sensitivity to avoid direct or indirect discrimination as outlined in the Prevention of Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Behaviours Procedure. For clarity, a list of the protected attributes is supplied within the Appendix.

Head of Organisational Unit

(33) The Head is responsible for ensuring that each staff member is assigned a Supervisor as well as reviewing and approving performance documentation submitted by staff and Supervisors.

Executive Dean, Institute Director or Deputy Vice-Chancellor

(34) The relevant Executive Dean, Institute Director or Deputy Vice-Chancellor will act as an escalation point for any disputes between the staff member and the Supervisor and/or Head with respect to the APD process. There is no appeal process to a determination made by the Executive Dean/Institute Director/Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

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Section 5 - Monitoring, Review and Assurance

(35) Staff and Supervisors seeking general information on the APD process can contact AskHR or their local HR Client Partnering team in the first instance.

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Section 6 - Recording and Reporting

(36) All documentation associated with the Annual Performance and Development process will be retained within the Human Capital Management System (Workday) in the relevant staff member’s employee record.

(37) Reports to assess annual process completion rates will be produced by Human Resources to assist with monitoring, review and quality assurance.

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Section 7 - Appendix

Academic Performance Framework with Rating Guidelines

(38) The linked Academic Performance Framework with Rating Guidelines shows the academic performance expectations by level for the four domains: Teaching; Research; Supervision and Researcher Development; and Citizenship and Service.


Terms Definitions
Enterprise Agreement The University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2021-2026, or as amended or replaced.
Head Head of School or equivalent.
Protected Attributes One of the attributes contained within Commonwealth and State legislation:
  1. sex;
  2. relationship status;
  3. pregnancy, or potential pregnancy;
  4. parental status;
  5. breastfeeding;
  6. age;
  7. race, including colour, national extraction, nationality, national or ethnic origin and immigration status;
  8. disability or impairment;
  9. religious belief or religious activity;
  10. political belief or activity;
  11. trade union activity;
  12. lawful sexual activity;
  13. gender identity;
  14. sexuality;
  15. intersex status;
  16. social origin;
  17. family or carer's responsibilities; and
  18. association with, or relation to, a person identified on the basis of any of the above attributes;
Supervisor The academic staff member nominated by the relevant Executive Dean/Institute Director or Head of School to undertake the APD process for another academic staff member.