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Criteria for Academic Performance Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) The purpose of this Policy is to set out the criteria to be applied in the Annual Performance and Development (APD) process, and the Confirmation of Appointment and Promotion processes for academic staff. The criteria will assist academic staff in planning for their career development and guide supervisors in the appraisal of staff as well as their readiness for confirmation and/or promotion.

(2) The criteria represent The University of Queensland's (UQ or the University) formal expectations of academic staff in the conduct of teaching, research, supervision and researcher development, and citizenship and service. Any expectations of academic performance set at the School, Faculty or Institute level are subordinate to these criteria and must be consistent with them.

(3) This Policy applies to all academic fixed-term and continuing staff. This Policy does not apply to casual academic staff or Industry Appointments made under the 'Non-Traditional Pathway'.

(4) Staff must perform their duties in accordance with UQ values and the principles as set out in the Staff Code of Conduct Policy.

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Section 2 - Principles and Key Requirements

(5) Performance expectations within the Criteria for Academic Performance are categorised under four Domains: Teaching, Research, Supervision and Researcher Development, and Citizenship and Service. Within these Domains, there is a range of internal and external activities which academic staff may undertake in their roles.

(6) While there are some common elements to performance expectations across disciplines, particularly in the Domain of Citizenship and Service, the nature and emphasis of each academic activity within Domains can vary across academic disciplines. The Guidelines on Evidencing Academic Achievement lists a broad (but not exhaustive) range of examples of academic performance indicators that acknowledges the diversity of academic achievement.

(7) The Criteria for Academic Performance have been designed as a principles-based framework that has regard for the following issues:

  1. Relative to opportunity.
    A staff member's performance will be assessed against the criteria with regard to circumstances that impact on performance relative to opportunity. In terms of expectations for activity and output, consideration will be given to the fraction at which they are employed, periods of absence and/or personal circumstances. Where information about a staff member's personal circumstances is provided, that information will remain confidential to the assessing individual and/or committees.
  2. Supervisory expectations.
    The annual process of goal setting during the APD, in conjunction with the academic category of a staff member, provide the basis for the relative expectations of a staff member for performance in each of the Domains to be assessed against the criteria.
  3. Diversity among disciplines.
    The criteria are intended to achieve clarity about University expectations of academic staff performance, without inappropriate rigidity. Understanding discipline norms, and differences that result in for example, research output types or teaching practices, is an important component of assessing academic performance.
  4. Seniority and experience.
    The criteria describe how more senior staff are expected to make a greater contribution to leadership of their discipline, organisational unit and the University. This responsibility for greater leadership applies across teaching, research, supervision and researcher development and citizenship and service. Individuals often make a particular contribution in an area of strength which may change during their career and in response to the needs and opportunities of the institution.
  5. Equity.
    A staff member should not be treated less favourably or subject to direct or indirect discrimination as a result of a protected attribute 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.

Relationship to Confirmation and Promotion Processes

(8) In the years preceding an application for continuing appointment or promotion, staff should prepare by referring to: the guidelines for those processes; their own conditions of appointment; any other advice through the mid-term review and APD process; and to requirements for mandatory staff development programs. Staff should consult their supervisors about any implications for assigned duties and performance expectations.

(9) For the purposes of a staff member undergoing the APD process, mid-term review or confirmation at a particular level of appointment, the criteria applicable to that level will be applied.

(10) Confirmation in a continuing appointment is based primarily upon the assessment of the staff member’s performance over the relevant probationary period, against the criteria for the level of appointment set out in this Policy, and in the light of the Probation and Confirmation of Continuing Appointment (Academic Staff) Procedure. For example, a staff member seeking confirmation at Level B will have the Level B criteria applied. Recognition of trajectory, based on available evidence, may be appropriate.

(11) In assessing the performance of staff seeking promotion, the criteria for the level being sought will be applied, in conjunction with the Promotion of Academic Staff Procedure. For example, a staff member seeking promotion to Level C will have the Level C criteria applied. Recognition of trajectory, based on available evidence, may be appropriate.

Academic Category

(12) Academic staff will be allocated an academic category of Teaching and Research (T&R), Research Focused (RF), Teaching Focused (TF) or Clinical Academic (CA) as noted in their offer of appointment or relevant variation letter. The academic category serves to denote the areas of principal contribution.

(13) The University recognises the diversity of academic achievement over the course of an academic’s career and acknowledges that the patterns of activity vary widely across academic categories, disciplines and the level of appointment. Where relevant, this may lead to a change of academic category.

(14) Supervisors and Heads should ensure the fair and transparent allocation of an appropriate balance of activities in line with the academic level and category of their staff, alongside requirements outlined within the Academic Staff Workloads clauses within the Enterprise Agreement and the Workload Allocation for Academic Staff Policy and Guideline.

Criteria for Academic Performance

(15) The linked table outlines the expectations for performance by level of appointment and across all four Domains.

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Section 3 - Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Academic Staff

(16) Academic staff should ensure that goals set and activity undertaken in their roles is consistent with the outcomes articulated in the Criteria for Academic Performance. Academic staff will be required to demonstrate their achievements in relation to this Criteria in the APD process as well as in the Confirmation and Promotion processes, where relevant.

Academic Supervisors

(17) Academic supervisors are required to consider the requirements of the Criteria for Academic Performance when assigning duties and evaluating performance, in particular for staff seeking promotion or undergoing processes related to the Confirmation of Appointment.

Confirmation and Promotion Committees

(18) Confirmation and Promotion Committees are required to ensure that all assessment of applications for Confirmation and Promotion of Academic Staff are undertaken in accordance with the Criteria outlined in this Policy, noting the requirement to use judgement where relevant in accordance with the identified principles.

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Section 4 - Monitoring, Review and Assurance

(19) The Chief Human Resources Officer, in consultation with the Provost, will be responsible for the continual monitoring of the effectiveness and application of this Policy.

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Section 5 - Recording and Reporting

(20) The Criteria for Academic Performance will be reflected in all relevant academic performance documentation contained in the Human Capital Management System (Workday). All documentation associated with the application of these processes will be retained within Workday in the relevant staff member’s employee record.

(21) Similarly, the allocated academic category for each staff member will also be recorded within Workday. Information regarding the composition of the academic staff cohort across the relevant academic categories will be reported on as required.

(22) Reports to assess Continuing Appointment and Promotion outcomes and Annual Performance and Development process completion rates will be produced by the Human Resources Division to assist with monitoring, review and quality assurance.

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Section 6 - Appendix


Term Definition
Academic category Academic appointment type i.e. Teaching and Research, Teaching Focused, Research Focused or Clinical Academic.
Domains The four areas of performance expectation: Research, Teaching, Supervision and Researcher Development, and Citizenship and Service.
Enterprise Agreement The University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2021-2026, or as amended or replaced.
Protected attributes One of the attributes contained within Commonwealth and State legislation:

• sex
• relationship status
• pregnancy, or potential pregnancy
• parental status
• breastfeeding
• age
• race, including colour, national extraction, nationality, national or ethnic origin and immigration status
• disability or impairment
• religious belief or religious activity
• political belief or activity
• trade union activity
• lawful sexual activity
• gender identity
• sexuality
• intersex status
• social origin
• family or carer's responsibilities
• association with, or relation to, a person identified on the basis of any of the above attributes.