Message from the Provost: AP&D update and 2014 cycle

20 February 2014

Dear colleagues

We have now completed the first cycle of the Academic Performance and Development (AP&D) process and I am writing to thank those of you who participated and provided feedback. I also wanted to let you know about our plans to improve the process and what you need to do to complete your AP&D in 2014.

Reviewing the AP&D process

Since we launched the new AP&D process in late 2012, we have received positive feedback about the core mentoring principle that underpins it: to help colleagues achieve their potential and professional goals through enabling meaningful, review conversations and identifying development opportunities.

However, it was clear that the technical platform supporting the AP&D process needed to be substantially improved. We have worked closely with academic colleagues across the University to review the current online system, and towards the end of last year I asked the Human Resources team to consult with all faculties. This led to the establishment of a User Reference Group to ensure the AP&D system meets our needs as an academic community.

You have told us that you need a solution that is far easier to use and navigate. After extensive testing involving the reference group, we have agreed that the current technology platform cannot be modified enough to meet those needs and are now investigating alternative solutions, with a view to implementation later this year.

Your AP&D in 2014

While we work to develop an improved technical solution, please complete your AP&D using the paper-based form provided by HR. This form has been in use for the past few months and has received positive feedback. HR can also help you access your previous AP&D if it was submitted online.

Completing an AP&D review is important because it is a prerequisite for academic promotion and incremental salary progression (under the new Enterprise Agreement staff must have completed a performance review and been assessed as meeting standards before they can receive an increment). If you are unsure of the deadline for the completion of your AP&D, please contact your head of school or relevant associate dean.

Future developments

To improve support for the AP&D process, we are introducing updated professional development programs to support AP&D advisers and supervisors, and starting to work with faculties to identify where this training would be of value. In due course we will provide training on using the new online system.

If you would like to be involved or to provide input to the project, please contact your faculty representative on the User Reference Group, or Jo Metzke or Andrea Brooks from HR.

Improving how we recognise, praise, support and provide feedback to colleagues across the University is a very important part of our overall teaching and research mission. Thank you to all those of you who have contributed to date.

Yours sincerely


Stephen Garton

Provost and DVC