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Performance and Development (Career Success) Procedure

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This procedure is being updated to reflect the new Enterprise Agreement and may currently contain out of date information. If you have any questions, please lodge an Ask HR ticket.

Section 1 - Key Information

Policy Type and Approval Body Administrative – Vice-Chancellor
Accountable Executive – Policy Vice-Chancellor
Responsible Manager – Policy Executive Director, Human Resources
Review Date 26 May 2026
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Section 2 - Purpose

(1) The University is committed to supporting a culture of high performance, and developing/retaining high performing staff. This Procedure outlines the University’s approach to performance and development via the Career Success performance and development cycle.

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Section 3 - Scope

(2) This Policy applies to:

  1. all staff

(3) New staff members are required to participate in the probation process as the first step in the Career Success annual performance and development cycle.

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Section 4 - Key Decisions

Key decisions/Responsibilities  Role
Not applicable  
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Section 5 - Policy Statement

(4) This procedure forms part of the Workforce Management Policy suite which governs its application.

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Section 6 - Procedures

Part A - Annual Cycle

(5) The Career Success performance and development cycle runs from 1 January each year and concludes on 31 December of the same year.

Part B - Career Success Annual Plan

(6) The Career Success Performance and Development Plan comprises of the following sections:

Performance Goals Goals and activities to be delivered over the performance cycle.
Goals should be aligned to the staff member’s Position Description, University strategy and the area’s Business Plan.
A University-wide goal may be assigned to all staff and managers.
Goals should include appropriate indicators and be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART).
A minimum of two and a maximum of 10 goals (total)are required.  The University-wide goal is included within the 10 total goals.
Capabilities Capabilities (skills) and proficiency level required for role success.
Staff and managers jointly select the relevant capabilities from the Capability Framework.
Managers provide rating of capability level required for role.
Staff provide self-assessment rating of current capability level (Capability Framework Self Assessment Tool).
Development Plan Development activities required to support the achievement of performance goals and bridge any identified gaps.
Development goals and activities to be supported through mix of on-the job experience, exposure (eg. coaching, mentoring, job shadowing etc) and education initiatives or workshops.
A minimum of one development goal is required.

Part C - Phases

(7) The Career Success performance and development cycle consists of the following key phases:

Phase Overview
Goal Setting (January-March) Discussing and ensuring that goals and associated behavioural indicators are robust, and strategically aligned to the staff member’s Position Description, University strategy and area’s Business Plan.
Clearly defining the expectations of the role and quality of output required.
Identifying the behavioural capabilities required for the role.
Agreeing development activities required.
Progress Review (May-July) Providing ongoing feedback regarding how on-the-job performance is tracking against the plan.
Recording and updating achievements.
Making any changes to the plan including amendments to goals where necessary.
Year End Review (October-December)
Reviewing overall performance for the year.
Giving and receiving performance feedback.
Assessing the quality of outcomes and results achieved during the period.
Celebrating achievements.
Parity (January-February of the following year) Ensuring fairness and objectivity in the overall performance process.
Leadership teams reviewing overall performance ratings for School/Division/Department/Team, ensuring alignment with local area performance.
Managers discuss rationale for ratings with leadership team members and consider any rating amendments.
Review and Complete (March) Approving final performance ratings for staff.
Managers discussing rationale for ratings with staff.
Ongoing: two-way conversations, and feedback conversations Ensure feedback and two-way conversations are conducted throughout all phases of the performance cycle. 

Part D - Roles and Responsibilities

Role Responsibility
Engaging with and in the Performance and Development (Career Success) process.
Drafting their performance and development goals and making any changes required.
Documenting progress against goals in readiness for the mid-year review and year end review phases.
Instigating and participating in feedback and two-way conversations throughout all phases of the Performance and Development Cycle.
Manager Ensuring plans are aligned with the area business plan and University strategy.
Guiding and supporting staff to develop their performance plan and in reaching their goals.
Regularly discussing progress, feedback and achievements throughout all phases of the performance and development cycle.
Providing final performance ratings and feedback to staff.
Academic Reviewer Providing oversight and feedback on an academic staff member’s performance.
Providing the line manager with any specific work related insights into work performance.
Does not have involvement in the assessment process.

Part E - Performance Rating

(8) Staff performance goals and Career Success performance and development plans will be assessed based on the following five point rating scale:

5 Outstanding Performance Performance consistently exceeds expected standards in all aspects of the role and is of an exceptional quality
4 Exceeds Expectations Performance consistently exceeds expected standards of the role in most areas
3 Success Performance consistently meets and at times exceeds expected standards of the role
2 Needs Improvement Performance meets expected standards of the role in some areas, and other areas require improvement
1 Unsatisfactory Performance fails to meet expected standards of the role

Part F - Exclusions – Performance Unable to be Assessed

(9) Staff who have been in the Career Success performance and development cycle for less than six months will be excluded from having their performance assessed as part of the End of Year Review process. This timeframe can be varied in consultation and agreement between the staff member and their manager.  Ratings should also be considered relative to opportunity, for example, staff with extenuating circumstances, long term leave, part-time employment.

Part G - Performance Pay

(10) Performance pay outcomes will be determined by the final overall performance rating outcome approved at the parity discussion and documented in a staff member’s Career Success Performance and Development Plan. Performance pay outcomes will be paid in accordance with the Remuneration and Benefits Procedure - Performance Pay.

Part H - Under Performance

(11) Where a manager is of the view that a staff members performance is not meeting the required standard, the manager will discuss and document areas for improvement and provide support as required. This can occur at any time during the year.

(12) If performance does not improve to the required standard within a reasonable time frame, the processes detailed in the Collective Agreement may be initiated.

Part I - Grievance Resolution

(13) If there is a disagreement between a staff member and their manager/supervisor about a performance outcome, or the performance process followed, there will be an attempt to resolve any disagreements between staff members and supervisors at the local level in the first instance. However, staff members also have access to the University’s Workplace Issue Resolution (Staff) Procedure.

Part J - Development & Support

(14) Training and support material will be provided to assist manager’s and staff carry out their responsibilities as part of the Career Success performance and development process.

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Section 7 - Definitions

(15) For the purpose of this procedure:

  1. Academic Reviewer: refers to someone who provides oversight, feedback and commentary on an academic staff member’s performance and Career Success Performance and Development Plan. Academic Reviewers are not line managers.
  2. Capabilities: refer to the core behavioural capabilities (skills) outlined in the La Trobe Capability Framework and applicable to all Academic, Professional, and Administrative staff.
  3. Collective Agreement: refers to the current La Trobe University Collective Agreement.
  4. Manager: refers to the immediate line manager/supervisor.
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Section 8 - Authority and Associated Information

(16) This Policy is made under the La Trobe University Act 2009.