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Supporting Guidance: Part 6 - Performance Management

6 Performance Management

6.1 It is expected that all employees (other than probationary employees) will have a formal annual performance agreement in place which clearly identifies key performance expectations and related indicators of performance and the required workplace behaviours expected of the employee, and contains learning and career development goals.

6.2 Performance management clauses in enterprise agreements should contain clearly defined principles and entitlements. Any procedural or descriptive content should be confined to policy documents outside of an enterprise agreement.

6.3 An employee is not to advance through a classification or broadband pay scale if they have not performed at a satisfactory level at a minimum.

6.1 Performance agreements

6.1.1 Agencies have the flexibility to develop performance management systems that meet the particular needs of their organisation and employees, noting that clause 4.1 of the Australian Public Service Commissioner's Directions 2013 requires Agency Heads to support employees to achieve effective performance by ensuring that the agency:

  • builds the capability necessary to achieve the outcomes properly expected by the Government;
  • has fair and open performance management processes and practices that support a culture of high performance, in which all performance is effectively managed;
  • provides each APS employee with a clear statement of the performance and behaviour expected of him or her, and an opportunity to discuss his or her responsibilities;
  • requires employees to participate constructively in agency-based performance management processes and practices;
  • invests in building the capability of managers to manage performance effectively; and
  • uses its performance management processes to guide salary movement and reward.

6.1.2 Performance management systems should make clear the performance rating that an employee is expected to achieve should they wish to be eligible for salary advancement through a pay scale and/or broadband, and provide detail about what the employee must do to demonstrate performance at that level.

6.2 Clear principles and entitlements around individual performance

6.2.1 Enterprise agreements and other workplace arrangements are to clearly set out the principles that will guide performance management and performance assessment in the agency and make reference to the specific entitlements that arise for employees in relation to the agency's performance management framework (for example, the performance threshold that makes an employee eligible for salary advancement; or the right for an employee to be supported by a representative in a performance management discussion).

6.2.2 Prescriptive information and procedural content relating to performance management in the agency should not be included in an enterprise agreement or other workplace arrangement but instead be contained in a policy document that is easily accessible to employees in the workplace (for example, via an Intranet page).

6.2.3 Guidance on best practice performance management systems is available on the APSC's website.

6.3 Salary advancement for individual employees

6.3.1 Salary advancement through a classification and/or broadband is only to occur where an employee's performance has been assessed as at least satisfactory, or higher, in accordance with:

  • the work level standards for their classification;
  • the terms of their individual performance agreement;
  • the APS Values, APS Employment Principles and APS Code of Conduct; and
  • other applicable employment instruments under the Public Service Act.

6.3.2 While agencies may use differing descriptors for performance ratings, the intent of ‘satisfactory’ is that the employee has met the performance requirements of the job for which they are being paid, to the work level standard for their classification, and has maintained the behavioural standards required of them by the APS Values, APS Employment Principles and APS Code of Conduct.

6.3.3 Agencies are encouraged to set additional performance management requirements at their discretion. This may include setting a higher performance bar at which employees become eligible for salary advancement through a pay scale. For example, an agency could implement an arrangement requiring employees to obtain a performance rating equivalent to ‘above average’ before they are eligible for progression through a pay scale. This could require employees to consistently perform above and beyond ‘satisfactory’ over the term of their performance agreement.

6.3.4 As best practice, agencies should ensure that supervisors have adequate evidence of employee performance, including time to observe and assess that performance. To that end, a minimum period of six months' performance at the workplace is recommended before employees become eligible for salary advancement.

6.3.5 Advancement within a broadband should also be guided by work availability and application of the merit principle. See paragraphs 1.3.9-1.3.12 for further information on broadbanding.