Arrangements for appraisal - Staff Review and Development Scheme: Notice by the Council and the General Board

2 August 2004

The Council and the General Board have approved the framework Staff Review and Development Scheme covering all staff which is set out below. Guidance on aspects of the Scheme is issued by the Personnel Division, who will periodically review the effectiveness of these arrangements, in consultation with the Heads of institutions.

1. The purpose of the Scheme shall be to enhance work effectiveness and facilitate career development. The framework gives institutions the flexibility to adapt their own local schemes.

2. The underlying objectives of the process shall be as set out in Annex 1 below. The Scheme involves discussing ways in which the member of staff's work can be developed and ways in which any difficulties or obstacles to progress can be removed. It will ensure that staff are clear about their responsibilities and have a formal regular opportunity (at least every two years) to discuss any help they may need in meeting them.

3. Institutions shall specify in their schemes the preparatory documentation to be supplied by a member of staff being reviewed, how both parties should prepare for the meeting, and how the action plan is recorded afterwards. Their scheme should cover the key stages in the Staff Review and Development process of planning, discussion, and recording, as set out in Annex 2 below, and be submitted through the Personnel Division for approval on behalf of the competent authority.

4. Accountability and responsibility for the operation of the Scheme will rest with each institution. The Head of each institution shall be responsible for co-ordinating the procedure before and after each cycle of reviews.

5. The competent authority shall make such changes in the procedure as they consider necessary in the interest of efficient operation.


Purposes of Staff Review and Development (SRD)

The University SRD Scheme is designed to incorporate and extend the objectives set out in the CVCP/AUT agreement of 1987 and the subsequent agreements between the CVCP and MSF and Unison. It is intended to:

At the University of Cambridge we aim through the process to:


Stages in the Staff Review and Development process

(a) Planning
Preparing for the discussion
 A confidential review of the previous period and planning for the next period of review. The member of staff concerned completes a preparatory review of progress.

The reviewer plans for the discussion by completing a similar review of the member of staff's progress. Also, the reviewer specifies what documents the member of staff needs to bring to the review meeting and gathers together information on the University's and institution's objectives.

(b) Agenda
Setting the agenda for the meeting
 Both the reviewer and member of staff list what they would like to discuss at the meeting. The member of staff identifies issues that he or she would like to discuss with the reviewer and lists them. This list may be passed to the reviewer to add additional items that he/she would like to raise, photocopy, and return it to the member of staff.
A review meeting takes place Reviewer and member of staff discuss the member of staff's progress over the review period, training and development needs, and agree on action plan for the future.  (1)The formal framework for the meeting is in accordance with the institution's scheme.
(2)A constructive, two-way open discussion takes place.
(3)Actions resulting from the review are agreed, to be recorded after the meeting.
(a) Outcomes
Recording the decisions and outcomes from the meeting
 The discussion and/or the decisions are recorded, including action plans and training needs. These remain confidential to the member of staff concerned and reviewer (and the Head of institution if specified in the institution's scheme).  (1) The documents may be completed by either party so long as they are seen and signed by both. They may be signed by the Head of institution (or his/her nominated representative if the Head is not the reviewer) if this is specified in the institution's scheme.
(2) Both the member of staff and the reviewer are given copies of the completed documents.
(3) Staff Development Unit may be given a copy of the individual statement of agreed training and development outcomes, if this has been agreed with the member of staff.
There are additional processes which may take place at institutional level:
(b) Summary
Listing and analysing the overall institutional needs
 Reviewers draw together the issues identified in individual reviews. Each reviewer produces a summary of the generic issues identified in the review he or she has completed, and passes them to the Head of institution or his/her nominated representative, with suggestions for overcoming them. (This summary must be anonymous and must not refer explicitly or implicitly to any members of staff.)
(c) Institutional response
Producing an institutional summary
 The Head of institution confirms that the process is completed and identifies any training needs requiring central action. Head or designated person co-ordinates all reviewer summaries to produce an overall institutional summary. This may be discussed at a meeting of all reviewers and fed back to staff generally to let them know in summary what issues have emerged and what steps are being taken to address them.

Staff Development Unit may be informed of some generic training needs so that it can assist in meeting them and also so that the Unit can plan future University training activity appropriately.