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Career Success Procedure

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) The University is committed to developing and retaining high performing staff. These Procedures support the Career Success - Annual Cycle at the University.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) These Procedures apply to all continuing or fixed-term staff members.

(3) New staff members are required to participate in the probation process as the first step in the Career Success - Annual Cycle.

(4) For more information, refer to the Probation Procedures.

(5) These Procedures are to be read in conjunction with the Collective Agreement.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(6) Refer to the Workforce Management Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedure

Annual Planning and Review Period

(7) The annual planning and review period coincides with the calendar year (01 January to 31 December).

Training and Support

(8) Training and support material will be provided to assist the manager and staff member to carry out their responsibilities.

Annual Cycle

(9) The Career Success - Annual Cycle consists of five components with indicative timeframes:

Discuss School and Divisional priorities and performance measures. Draft goals and development plan for discussion and Manager approval.
Mid-Year Review
Document progress against goals. Discuss achievements and learnings. Add new goals as required.
Year-End Review
Document achievements for the year under review. Discuss feedback and learnings. Discuss impact on next year’s workload or goal planning. Manager provides assessment and recommendation for ratings.
Leadership team discusses individual ratings in the context of the School or Divisional performance including rationale for multiple increments or bonus payments as per policy.
Review & Complete
Managers discuss rationale for any amendments to ratings with leadership team member, add agreed performance outcomes and discuss with staff member.


(10) The performance plan must be aligned with position descriptions, the University’s strategic plans, college and divisional operational plans, work area goals and performance targets.

(11) In addition, academic staff are to discuss workload allocation for the year ahead in conjunction with goal setting. This follows review of the previous year’s performance and workload allocation. Agreed goals are to be consistent with: 

  1. Minimum Standards for Academic Levels;
  2. Academic expectations;
  3. Academic Workload Planning System Operational Guidelines 2015.

(12) The performance plan consists of the following components:

  1. Work Goals

    The performance plan must contain SMART work goals and indicators. That is, they are to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound.
  2. Values

    Managers and staff are expected to demonstrate values. These will be discussed during the review process.
  3. Core Capabilities

    Building capability is the key to high performance. Staff assess their proficiency in capabilities agreed by the supervisor as being critical for the role. Managers determine the level of proficiency the role requires and support development activities as appropriate.
  4. Career Discussion

    Staff identify their career aspirations and consider options that will assist them in managing their career.
  5. Development Plan

    Development activities are planned to address developmental needs or opportunities for professional growth. Development activities may be in the following areas:
    1. specialist or technical expertise
    2. core capabilities or
    3. behaviours aligned with values
  6. Refer to the Capability Development Guide for suggested activities which support development through experience, exposure and education. These activities include:
    1. informal on the job experience 
    2. undertaking new projects 
    3. coaching and mentoring 
    4. reading and research
    5. structured courses and workshops.

Mid-Year Review

(13) The mid-year review is an opportunity to discuss progress against goals established in the performance plan. Staff and their managers should discuss:

  1. outputs or outcomes achieved
  2. evidence of achievement or progress towards goal
  3. feedback from stakeholders

Year-End Review

(14) The year-end reviews are the basis for assessing overall performance for the preceding period. Prior to the review, staff and managers should gather evidence to support their discussions.

(15) The review discussion will:

  1. assess the achievement of work goals
  2. include a discussion on feedback and learnings 
  3. consider resource, restructuring issues and other exceptional circumstances that may have impacted on progress against identified goals
  4. include a discussion on the demonstration of values, and
  5. address the outcomes achieved from development activities undertaken

(16) At the completion of the review, the manager will provide recommendations for performance ratings for the staff member.

Parity Discussion

(17) Parity discussions are normally held by leadership teams at School or Divisional level. The Senior Deputy, Deputy or Pro Vice Chancellors or Executive Directors will ensure parity across their work areas before approving the rating recommendations. Parity discussions will consider appropriate relativities with regard to individual performance and team or university performance.

Review and Complete

(18) The overall performance rating is linked to the University's performance pay procedures and the process for improving performance using the full rating scale in accordance with La Trobe University policy.

(19) Managers will make any amendments as required by the leadership team, complete the required documentation and discuss performance outcomes with the staff member.

Performance Pay

(20) Performance pay is determined by the overall performance rating approved at the Parity Discussion. Performance pay refers to a single increment, multiple increments or a bonus payment.

(21) The performance rating will determine if an eligible staff member receives a performance payment.

(22) Staff performing at an outstanding level may be eligible for:

  1. multiple increments; or
  2. performance bonus (Professional and Administrative Staff - HEO 1 to HEO 10 only).

(23) For more information refer to the Performance Pay Procedure.

Other Reward and Recognition

(24) La Trobe recognizes outstanding performance through university wide initiatives, performance pay and academic promotion. Team performance and individual awards may also be recognised through local initiatives.

Under Performance

(25) Where staff members are under performing, the manager will discuss and document areas for improvement and provide support as required. This can occur at any time during the year.

(26) If performance issues are not rectified within a reasonable time frame, the processes detailed in the Collective Agreement may be initiated. Refer to Disciplinary Procedures for more information.

Grievance Resolution Procedures

(27) There will be an attempt to resolve any fundamental disagreements between staff members and supervisors at the local level. However, staff members also have access to the University’s Grievance Resolution Procedures.


(28) Staff members are responsible for drafting their performance plan for discussion and making any changes required for supervisory approval. Staff members are required to document progress against goals in readiness for the mid-year and year end reviews.

(29) The manager is responsible for ensuring plans are outcome focused and align with University goals. Managers will ensure staff are provided with support to draft their performance plan and regularly discuss progress, feedback and achievements. The manager also provides information on:

  1. relevant business plan and objectives;
  2. key focus areas, expectations and performance targets and other relevant issues.

(30) To establish a performance plan, staff members and their managers are to refer to the Human Resources intranet site for guidance and support.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(31) Manager refers to the line supervisor. An academic reviewer (or matrix dotted line reviewer) may also be included in the performance process.