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Staff Development Procedure - Performance Development Process: Academic Staff
Monash University relies on the high quality teaching and research of its academic community to ensure that it provides the highest quality education for Monash students and performs research which is relevant and innovative. The performance development process for academic staff supports these objectives by:
The performance development process is a planning and review cycle that supports staff to reach their full career potential and to achieve their work goals through:
The process operates on a three year forward planning cycle that allows annual adjustments for changing priorities and circumstances. The process is intended to be a dynamic and interactive one between staff and supervisors which encourages trust and regular, open communication.
The process is coordinated with the University’s planning cycle to effectively align individual goals with faculty and University objectives.
This procedure applies to all continuing academic staff on a fraction of 0.4 or greater, fixed term academic staff on probation and all academic staff seeking promotion to the next level.
Staff on performance-based contracts may elect to use the Performance Development Online (PDO) tool to assist in their annual performance planning, with the approval of their supervisor. However, by doing so the staff member acknowledges that:
Adjunct and Conjoint appointees are exempt from this procedure.
Academic promotion: a process by which academic staff are promoted at Monash University based on merit.
Academic performance development plan: a planning template for academic staff to record three-year career and performance plans, strategies, annual achievement indicators and achievements. The template is accessible via the Performance Development Online (PDO) system.
Academic performance supervisor: see definition for Supervisor
Academic performance standards: faculty or discipline specific performance standards for all academic staff against which academic performance will be measured, particularly for the purpose of probation, promotion and performance development. The standards are qualitative, quantitative or a mixture of both across the three key areas of academic activity - research, education and service. They include identified minimum performance standards, below which the staff member would be managed for unsatisfactory performance in accordance with the Staff Development Procedure – Managing Unsatisfactory Performance: Academic Staff.
The required performance standard:
Achievement indicators: a detailed summary of performance outputs that demonstrate the achievement of or progress towards agreed goals in any given year.
Achievement(s) relative to opportunity: is an evaluative framework in which the overall quality and impact of achievements is given more weight than the quantity, rate or breadth of particular achievements. Assessing achievements relative to opportunity involves giving consideration to circumstances, arrangements, career histories and overall time available to the staff member. This in turn allows appropriate evaluation of achievements in relation to:
Achievement relative to opportunity is a positive acknowledgement of what a staff member can and has achieved given the opportunities available and is not about providing “special consideration” or expecting lesser standards of performance.
Adjunct appointments: persons who are not currently staff members of the University, but whose professional standing or specialist expertise would contribute to the teaching or research activities of a particular department or research centre in the University. Normally, such appointments are unpaid appointment.
Annual work allocation: a combination of self-directed and assigned tasks in research, education and service allocated through Faculty Workload Models for teaching and research academic staff as described in Clause 60, Monash University Enterprise Agreement (Academic and Professional Staff) 2009. The starting point for discussions about allocation of work is 40% teaching, 40% research and scholarship and 20% other activities. In the case of education-focused academic staff, workload allocation will have a significantly greater emphasis placed on teaching and teaching scholarship with a consequent reduction in expectations for research.
Conflict of commitment: occurs when one interest of a staff member, which may, or may not be a private interest or non-University interest may harm or interfere with the productivity or involvement of that staff member in aspects of their University responsibilities. It may concern the staff member’s distribution of efforts between employment obligations to the University and to outside activities. Conflicts of commitment can occur in research where the staff member’s non-University activities harm or interfere with the staff member's research obligations.
Conflict of interest: refers to a situation where a conflict arises for an individual between two competing interests. These are often, but not exclusively, interests of public duty versus private interests. This refers to a reasonably perceived, potential or actual conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest can involve financial or non-financial interests of the staff member, and the interests of a business partner or associate, family member, friend or person in a close personal relationship with the staff member. For further information refer to Conduct and Compliance Procedure – Conflict of interest
Conjoint appointments: usually a professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences who is also the Director of a clinical centre in a hospital, and who is actually employed and paid by the hospital on hospital employment conditions, but by virtue of his/her employment contract with Monash has the status of professor.
Feedback: the primary means for recognising good performance and for redirecting performance that needs improvement. Feedback is an ongoing activity that is usually information based, regular, immediate, informal and verbal. It is used to build trust and relationships in the workplace.
Head of unit: the head of unit/school/department/centre or director or, where applicable, a person acting as his or her nominee. If there are no heads of unit within the faculty, a deputy dean or equivalent may be delegated the head of unit’s responsibilities for the academic performance development process.
HR Business Partner: is a member of Monash HR who operates as a strategic partner responsible for providing a range of human resources services for an assigned Faculty or administrative Division. HR Business Partners are located within a HR Service Hub.
Intellectual property: any copyright work, circuit layout, eligible layout, design, patent, invention, confidential information, know-how, plant variety, trade mark or other insignia of origin, and any related right. Staff duty to engage in research during any performance period includes a duty to carry forward the fruits of the research - for instance to invent things in the course of research and to co-operate with the University to commercialise or to patent any invention(s). Staff must also assign any intellectual property or invention created in the course of employment with the University, to the University, from the date the intellectual property comes into existence. Note that under the Monash University Intellectual Property Regulation staff must not publish or otherwise disclose any patent worthy discovery or invention or any intellectual property (other than copyright belonging to the staff member under the Monash University IP statute and regulations) until such publication is approved in writing by the Intellectual Property Officer or nominee.
Outside studies program (OSP): provides academic staff with a period of relief from normal University duties to pursue research and other scholarly work to enhance staff member's development, extend the body of knowledge in their chosen field and improve research performance. For more information refer to the Staff Development Procedure – Outside Studies Program.
Paid outside work: work undertaken outside of a staff member’s normal duties that may reasonably be construed as either university or private practice. Paid outside work requires prior written approval from the Dean. It may only be included as part of university practice where the University is party to the contract under which the work is undertaken. For more information refer to Conduct and Compliance Procedure – Paid outside work.
Performance Development Online (PDO): an online performance planning tool that supports academic staff to manage the performance development cycle in a timely and consistent way. It is a hosted, web-based product that is easy to use, offers a secure repository for documentation, streamlines user data entry via SAP and ROPES feeds and gives heads of unit and deans oversight of unit/faculty performance development activity.
Performance development portfolio: evidence or material that supports the staff member’s claims of progress made and goals achieved such as awards received, articles published, SETU data, books written and any other relevant evidence. These documents may be stored electronically within the Portfolio Attachments section of the staff member’s PDO plan.
Performance goals: are rolling three-year performance goals that will enable a staff member to achieve their work objectives and career aspirations. They should be concise, measurable, achievable, and address relevant areas of academic activity in education, research and service. Academic staff must have a minimum of two performance goals in their performance development plan each year. Performance goals are automatically carried across from one annual cycle to the next in the PDO system and staff can amend them as required at the start of the each performance cycle.
Performance improvement: the process of professional growth through targeted learning and development activities.
Probationary period: all new academic staff appointments at levels A to D at Monash University’s Australian campuses are subject to probationary periods of 3 years or 50% of the period of the contract in the case of academic staff on fixed term appointments. This is extendable by up to 24 months for staff employed on a full-time or part-time continuing basis; and by up to two thirds of the initial probation period for staff employed on fixed-term contracts. Probationary periods do not apply in cases of transfer, secondment, pre-retirement contracts, second or subsequent contracts unless the second or subsequent contract is for a position where the duties are substantially different; or to contracts for a period of less than six months. All academic staff subject to a probationary period must have at least two formal performance planning and review meetings each year with their academic performance supervisor.
Relevant personal circumstances: may include family responsibilities (for example child rearing, elder-care, illness of a partner or dependant), a temporary or permanent disability, relevant cultural expectations or circumstances, periods of part-time working and/or absences due to ill-health or injury.
Research only academic staff: an academic staff member engaged on research only functions for a contract period not exceeding five years.
ROPES: the Researcher's Online Project Enquiry System (ROPES) displays researchers' current research activities, past outputs and profiling information and enables them to establish collaborative links with their fellows. ROPES autopopulates the relevant fields of the PDO system nightly to ensure an accurate summary of research outputs is maintained for each academic staff member. The ROPES data includes research achievements for the past three years, as entered on Research Master 4.
SAP: the University’s Human Resource Information System with staff personal and employment information, including pay and leave details, organisational reporting structures, training records, probationary periods and incremental approvals.
SETU (Student Evaluation of Teaching and Unit): is the University’s online teaching and unit evaluation instrument.
Strategies: proposed programs, methods, projects or other courses of action developed for the attainment of a career and/or work goal.
Supervisor: the person who is responsible for managing the performance of a staff member. This will be the immediate academic line manager, unless the University nominates an alternative supervisor at level C or above. The supervisor must be trained to effectively perform his or her role in the performance development process. Where a staff member has two or more supervisors, one should be nominated as the primary supervisor.
Unsatisfactory performance: when a satisfactory level of performance is not sustained or the desired performance improvement is not achieved. Refer to Staff Development Procedure – Managing Unsatisfactory Performance: Academic Staff
Academic Performance Development Process
The performance planning cycle commences in September each year, however may be finalised as late as February at the discretion of the dean (or equivalent) and in accordance with the operational planning activities and timelines set for each faculty/portfolio/campus/centre.
Step 1. Supervisors meeting
The dean or head of unit identifies academic performance supervisors for the coming performance cycle.
Changes to performance supervisor details on SAP and PDO can be made by contacting your local HR Service Hub.
The head of unit meets with the academic performance supervisors to convey expectations and to clarify goals and objectives for the school or department for the coming year in the context of the faculty plan and other university plans. As part of the meeting they will reflect upon achievements and challenges of the past year against previously agreed goals.
Step 2 Annual performance development review and planning
The staff member and supervisor meet to review achievements for the past 12 months, revise three-year career and performance goals and plan strategies and achievement indicators for the coming year.
The performance supervisor will advise staff in writing of the planned timelines for submitting and reviewing performance plans. The timing of the annual review and planning meetings will be aligned with the University and faculty planning cycle.
The dean may exempt a staff member from the obligation of submitting an annual portfolio as long as this does not prejudice the University’s enforcement of other elements of Clause 59 of the Monash University Enterprise Agreement (Academic and Professional Staff) 2009 (for example performance assessment, recommendations in relation to tenure, promotion and OSP). Deans should exercise caution when granting exemptions and consult with a Workplace Relations Consultant for further advice.
2.1 Prior to the annual meeting
In preparing for the annual meeting at least 3 to 4 weeks in advance, the staff member and supervisor will:
At least 2 weeks in advance the staff member will:
When completing their own performance development plans heads of unit, deans, pro vice-chancellors, deputy vice-chancellors, campus directors and centre/institute directors will also record their leadership plans, strategies and indicators in the leadership section of the plan.
In addition, academic performance supervisors will:
The University recommends that supervisors access training in the performance development process as follows.
Supervisors can book into the supervisor’s workshop via the Monash University Staff Development web page. Supervisors should contact their faculty’s HR Business Partner if they are unsure of whether or not they should undertake performance development training.
2.2 During the annual meeting
Supervisors will facilitate the annual review and planning discussion.
In reviewing the past 12 months, the staff member and supervisor will:
* Note that the supervisor must address performance issues related to disciplinary procedures in accordance with clauses 52 and 53, Monash University Enterprise Agreement (Academic and Professional Staff) 2009.
In planning for the next three year period, the staff member and supervisor will:
When the review and planning meeting is over the staff member will make any changes required to their performance development plan.
2.3 Following the annual meeting
When the review and planning meeting is over the supervisor will:
Step 3. Mid-cycle feedback meeting (probationary staff only)
Only academic staff on probation are required to participate in a mid-cycle feedback meeting however supervisors are encouraged to meet with all staff regularly throughout the year to provide informal and constructive feedback on the staff member’s progress towards the performance goals.
At the mid-cycle feedback meeting, the probationary staff member and supervisor will give and receive feedback on progress made toward goals set in the annual meeting, and review and revise plans as appropriate.
3.1 Prior to the mid-cycle meeting
In preparing for the meeting at least 2 weeks in advance, the staff member and supervisor will reflect on performance and progress over the past 6 months.
The staff member will:
Supervisors will note which of their staff are subject to probationary periods.
3.2 During the mid-cycle meeting
In reviewing the past 6 months, the staff member and supervisor will:
Following the meeting the staff member and supervisor will ensure that any agreed variations are recorded in the staff member’s performance development plan.
In addition the supervisor will participate in the process to confirm, terminate or extend the appointments of staff who are at the end of their probationary period as set out in the ‘Recruitment, Selection and Appointment Procedure - Probation and Confirmation of Appointment’ and Clause 58 of the Monash University Enterprise Agreement (Academic and Professional Staff) 2009.
Step 4. Performance development portfolio
The staff member collects a portfolio of documents throughout the year to present for review at the performance development meetings. These may include a range of documents that can be used to substantiate staff performance and achievements, including:
The staff member must include his or her SETU data in the performance development portfolio. If the staff member fails to include the data, the supervisor and/or the head of unit may request that the staff member add the data to the performance development portfolio. If the staff member still neglects to provide the data, the performance supervisor and/or head of unit may request the data directly from the Monash Quality Unit.
The academic staff member is responsible for:
The academic performance supervisor is responsible for:
Where a staff member has more than one supervisor, the nominated primary supervisor is responsible for consulting with the other supervisors of a staff member to determine the plan and review comments.
Performance development supervisors must ensure that they are adequately trained in the performance development process. This is vital to the success of the performance development process and also gives supervisor’s authorisation to recommend and sign off staff incremental outcomes.
Head of unit
The head of school / head of department is responsible for:
Monash HR Responsibilities
HR Business Partner
The HR Business Partner is responsible for
Workforce Policy and Performance
Workforce Policy and Performance is responsible for:
Office of Planning & Quality
The Office of Planning and Quality is responsible for providing a range of evaluation services including maintaining the SETU data that must be included in an academic staff member’s performance development portfolio. If a staff member fails to include his or her SETU data in the performance development portfolio and continues to neglect providing the data following a specific request from the performance supervisor and/or head of unit, The Office of Planning and Quality will release the data directly to the performance supervisor and/or head of unit. Refer to The Office of Planning and Quality
The Monash University Research Office is responsible for the provision of the Researchers Online Projects Enquiry System (ROPES), used to help pull together the various data required for tracking an individual's research activity. Refer to Information for Monash Researchers.
Related enterprise agreement clauses