View current

Executive and Professional Staff Annual Performance and Development Procedure

This is the current version of the approved document. You can provide feedback on this document to the Enquiries Contact - refer to the Status and Details tab from the menu bar above.

Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) The Annual Performance and Development (APD) process at The University of Queensland (UQ or the University) comprises regular discussions about performance and development between a staff member and their Manager as well as a formal annual performance and development conversation. Performance goals and achievements against these should support the continual improvement and long-term sustainability of the University. Performance goals should focus on both what is to be delivered as well as how they are delivered (through citizenship and leadership). Beyond assessment of performance, the APD process is intended to maintain a significant focus on supporting the career and professional development of UQ staff.

(2) Whilst the APD process can identify any areas for improvement in performance to assist the staff member, it is intended to support the maintenance and continual improvement of good performance. This process is not part of the formal disciplinary process for unsatisfactory performance or misconduct/serious misconduct. Information gathered as part of the APD process may inform other performance processes.

(3) This Procedure applies to all fixed-term and continuing Executive and Professional staff who are employed for more than one year consecutively. Staff employed for less than one year will also be provided with the opportunity to participate in the APD process. Casual staff are not covered by this Procedure. For the purpose of this Procedure, Executive Staff are defined as all staff at Management Level 1-4 as outlined in the Human Resources Sub-delegations Instrument.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Process and Key Controls

(4) The Annual Performance and Development process is an annual process which includes the following 3 phases:

  1. Conversation Phase;
  2. Follow-up/Review Phase;
  3. Preparation Phase.

(5) The ‘Conversation Phase’ (December-February) includes:

  1. Completion of the self-assessment template by the staff member;
  2. Review of the submission by the Manager;
  3. A formal performance and development conversation where achievements are objectively reviewed against previous year’s performance goals;
  4. Determination of the performance ratings by the Manager;
  5. Clarification of the goals for the upcoming year; and
  6. Discussion regarding career aspirations, a review of development to-date and identification of short and long-term development goals.

(6) The ‘Review Phase’ (March-September) involves:

  1. Regular meetings to discuss progress against performance and development objectives;
  2. Seeking feedback from peers and self-reflection on progress;
  3. Reviewing and adjusting performance goals as necessary;
  4. Provision of coaching and support by the Manager as required; and
  5. Undertaking a mid-year check in to review progress.

(7) The ‘Preparation Phase’ (October-November) involves:

  1. Consideration of the progress against previously agreed goals, including seeking feedback from collaborators where relevant;
  2. Preparing supporting documentation, if required;
  3. Identifying focus areas for future delivery and development goals; and
  4. Reviewing the position description to ensure it is an accurate representation of the duties required for the role.
Top of Page

Section 3 - Key Requirements

Annual Performance and Development (APD) Process

(8) The APD self-assessment documentation will be launched to eligible Executive and Professional staff within the Human Capital Management System (Workday). The process should be completed between December and February and review performance from the previous calendar year.

(9) Once notified of the requirement to commence the APD process, the staff member will complete a self-assessment within Workday. This self-assessment will involve reflecting and commenting on agreed goals from the previous year, outlining career planning and development aspirations and setting goals for the coming year.

(10) All staff will be expected to set goals within the categories of ‘Delivery’ and ’Citizenship and Leadership’. Delivery goals would ordinarily encompass the tangible outputs expected from the role as outlined in the position description. Citizenship and Leadership goals would include objectives aligned to the UQ Values and UQ Leadership Framework. Goals should be specific and measurable within a set timeframe. Effective goal setting will support a quality performance rating process.

(11) Once this information is provided and submitted via Workday, it will progress to the Manager for review. At this stage, the staff member should meet with the Manager at an agreed time to conduct the APD conversation.

(12) The Manager will review the documentation, conduct a formal APD conversation with the staff member at the mutually agreed time, provide comments as required, and may add or modify specific goals for the coming year following discussion with the staff member. The Manager will also be required to determine the performance ratings for the relevant goal categories as well as an overall rating. The proposed performance ratings for each section should be discussed with the staff member as part of the APD conversation.

(13) Once the review is finalised and submitted by the Manager, the staff member will receive a notification of the outcome in Workday. The staff member will be provided with the opportunity to acknowledge the outcome and provide their comments. If the staff member has concerns with their APD process or outcomes, the mechanism for addressing issues is outlined in the ‘Redress’ provisions.

APD Conversation

(14) To support the alignment of individual goals to team, Organisational Unit or University priorities, two options are available for the APD conversation.

  1. Option one includes the staff member and Manager engaging in one APD conversation that encompasses the annual review, development discussion, career planning and goal setting for the coming year.
  2. Option two allows goal setting to be addressed in a separate conversation. Option two may be suitable in circumstances where key priority areas for a Unit are being finalised early in the following year but the staff member or Manager would prefer to finalise the retrospective element of the process in December.

(15) The Manager should discuss and identify the preferred approach at the outset of the process.

Assessment of Performance

(16) Managers are required to give a performance rating for both the ‘Delivery’ and ‘Citizenship and Leadership’ goal categories, as well as an overall rating. The rating scale is defined as:

4 - Exceeds Expectations - Performance consistently exceeds expectations and goals are met. Ambitious, or ‘stretch’, goals are also achieved.
- Consistently delivers high quality outcomes at/before timeframes and well above the standards expected of their role and cohort.
- Consistently exhibits exemplary standards of UQ values, citizenship behaviours and leadership (where relevant).
3 - Performing Well - Performance satisfactorily meets most expectations and goals, or may exceed in one or two areas.
- Delivers outcomes within timeframes required, consistent with their current role and cohort.
- Consistently demonstrates expected UQ values, citizenship behaviours and leadership (where relevant).
2 - Some Gaps - Performance does not meet all expectations and goals, may have met some but not all delivery goals.
- Does not consistently meet required work quality, timeframes and output expected of their current role and cohort.
- Occasionally demonstrates behaviour below expected UQ values, citizenship behaviours and leadership (where relevant).
1 - Unsatisfactory - Performance does not meet most or all expectations or requirements.
- Does not demonstrate skills, knowledge and/or capabilities required for their role and does not produce work to expected standards.
- Does not sufficiently demonstrate UQ values, citizenship behaviours and leadership (where relevant).
0 - Not applicable Not applicable will only be used in circumstances where the employee has been performing the duties of the role for less than six months in the calendar year. For example, if they have recently commenced or have been on extended leave.

Unsatisfactory Performance

(17) This rating will apply to a staff member who is not fulfilling the requirements of the position description, achieving their agreed goals or meeting the relevant citizenship expectations. This rating must only be given if performance guidance and counselling is ongoing or has been conducted in accordance with the Diminished Performance and Unsatisfactory Performance Policy and/or the relevant sections of the Enterprise Agreement.

(18) In circumstances whereby the Manager assesses that the overall rating as Unsatisfactory, a record of the steps taken to address the diminished performance is required to be included in the APD documentation and the salary increment for that year will be withheld.

Recognition of Exceptional Performance

(19) In circumstances where a staff member has demonstrated exceptional performance during the annual performance cycle beyond the definition of ‘Exceeds Expectations’, this may be recognised via a performance payment consistent with the provisions of the Salary Loadings and Performance Payments Policy.

(20) Performance at this level is rare and would require all of the following criteria to be met:

  1. evidence of sustained exceptional performance over the whole year, not just in relation to one or two instances;
  2. outcomes achieved are truly exceptional (i.e. an undoubted major contribution to the work of the organisation unit, or innovative solutions to University problems/work practices/services etc; and
  3. evidence of the exceptional performance is apparent beyond the staff member’s immediate work area.

(21) Approval from the relevant Authorised Officer is required prior to creating an expectation for a performance payment.

New Staff

(22) For new staff, a goal setting template will be launched via Workday upon commencement to enable staff to set goals with guidance from their Manager. These goals should align to their position and set the expectations for their performance in the role. The Manager should clarify which goals are deliverable during the probation period and will therefore be assessed as part of the probation confirmation decision (see Recruitment, Selection and Appointment Procedure).

(23) If a staff member commenced on or after 1 October, the Manager may recommend setting goals which will extend to the end of the following year. The first annual APD conversation would involve reflection on the status of those goals and allow them to be rolled over to the next year. In this situation, the ‘Not Applicable’ rating would be used for the goal category and overall ratings.

Mid Year Check In and Informal Performance Conversations

(24) It is strongly recommended that staff and Managers engage in regular informal performance conversations throughout the year. These conversations provide the opportunity for both parties to provide feedback, discuss development activities, check progress against objectives and refine or add goals as needed.

(25) At the midpoint of the performance cycle, staff and Managers will receive a notification in Workday recommending an informal check in to discuss status against both performance and development-related goals.

Career and Development Expectations

(26) The University is committed to the development of all our staff, irrespective of level or position. A core component of the Annual Performance and Development process is to support the planning and activities that will contribute to staff development. As part of the APD conversation, a Manager and staff member should discuss the staff member’s career aspirations. In addition, short term and long-term development goals should be established. Short term development goals should focus on development activities to support achievement in the current role or help with a transition to a new position. Long term development goals should support the continued career development of the staff member.

(27) The University encourages a mutual commitment to staff development. The University is committed to providing a good match between your professional interests and goals and challenging and meaningful job opportunities. In return, the University asks that staff take responsibility for their own learning and development, continuously building new skills and sharing their knowledge.

(28) The University maintains a philosophy whereby the most impactful development comes from on the job experiences. As such, development goals should include participation in projects, undertaking new tasks and stretch goals. Longer term development goals should identify roles which support future career aspirations. Lateral movements into new positions can provide broader career development and taking on extra responsibilities including people supervision can develop leadership capability. On the job learning can be supplemented by coaching and mentoring, as well as more formal (e.g. instructor led) training.

Senior Staff (HEW Level 10)

(29) A Senior Staff member (HEW Level 10) who is at their ‘grade rate’ in accordance with the Senior Administrative Staff Salaries Schedule, as amended from time to time, may apply to receive an increase in their salary towards the maximum rate, in recognition of their performance during the annual performance cycle.

(30) A Senior Staff member whose salary is at or above the ‘grade rate’ may apply for salary advancement where they can demonstrate that their performance is outstanding via submission of a written justification.

Approval Process

(31) The Manager of the Senior Staff member will assess the justification with consideration to the APD documentation. If the case is supported, the Manager will discuss the request with their relevant HR Contact Officer to seek input on the recommended salary increase based on equivalency with similar positions internally and relevant market salary rates.

(32) Following this discussion, a written request outlining the agreed salary rate will be sent to Human Resources Division by the Authorised Officer. The date of effect for the salary increase will be 1 January of the year following the performance cycle unless otherwise agreed.


(33) If a staff member has any concerns regarding their APD process or outcomes, these concerns should first be raised with their Manager, or Manager's Manager, as appropriate. The Manager or Manager's Manager should attempt to resolve the matter through a discussion with the staff member. 

(34) If the staff member is not satisfied with the outcome, the matter can be referred to the Head of Organisational Unit, or next most senior Manager as appropriate, for resolution.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Staff Member

(35) All staff members (Executive and Professional) are expected to proactively engage with the APD process by preparing their documentation in Workday in advance of the conversation, updating goals as required and seeking feedback through the year. Staff members are expected to take responsibility for their future career goals and personal aspirations via discussions and planning with their Manager.


(36) Managers are responsible for proactively engaging in the APD process and ensuring that regular performance conversations, including the provision of performance feedback and recognition, occur with staff members throughout the year.

(37) All Managers are required to undertake relevant training with respect to performance development and assessment techniques as well as maintaining an understanding of the relevant policies, procedures and Enterprise Agreement clauses.

(38) Managers are required to remain cognisant of the principles of Performance Relative to Opportunity and protected attributes within the context of the APD process 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.

Manager’s Manager

(39) The Manager's Manager will act as an escalation point for any issues raised regarding the APD process for their direct reports.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Monitoring, Review and Assurance

(40) The effectiveness and application of this Procedure will be monitored during the review period by the Chief Human Resources Officer.

(41) Staff and Managers seeking general information on the APD process can access further resources via the APD website, or contact AskHR or their local HR Client Partnering team for assistance.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Recording and Reporting

(42) 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.

(43) Feedback and reports to assess annual process completion rates will be produced by Human Resources Division to assist with monitoring, review and quality assurance.

Top of Page

Section 7 - Appendix


Term Definition
APD process Annual Performance and Development process.
Enterprise Agreement The University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2021-2026, or as amended or replaced.
Manager For the purpose of this Procedure, the definition of ‘Manager’ is equivalent to ‘Supervisor’ as outlined in the Enterprise Agreement.
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. Criminal record;
  18. Family or carer's responsibilities; and
  19. Association with, or relation to, a person identified on the basis of any of the above attributes.