People Performance end-of-year performance ratings 2012-13

18 March 2013

 

Guidance for members.

Performance ratings must be fair

Every employee is entitled to a fair assessment of their performance and the award of a performance rating which they have achieved. The DWP People Performance end-of year rating process must not be misused to deliver predetermined quotas. Each employee’s performance over the whole reporting period must be individually evaluated on the basis of:

  • the ‘What’ (delivery of objectives) and
  • the ‘How’ (demonstration of behaviours, competencies and values) achieved by the employee
  • against known performance expectations, with equal weighting between ‘What’ and ‘How’ and assessed on three final ratings: “Exceeded”; “Achieved” and “Must Improve”.(Procedure 9.1)

The guided distribution ranges, Exceeded 20-25%, Achieved 65% and Must Improve 10% must not be misused to predetermine performance ratings.

The procedures for rating performance do not require managers to meet the guided distribution ranges but do insist that ratings will not be changed or forced simply to fit the distribution. (Procedure 9.3)

Known performance expectations

The performance management process must assess individuals against known expectations of performance. These performance standards for the achievement of objectives and demonstration of competencies should have been shared at the start of the performance year. The Performance Wave is a tool which shows how differing levels of achieving the “what” and “how” impact on the performance level. The Performance Wave can be used in performance discussions “to highlight where an employee is plotted within the span of the rating.” (Procedures 9.6 & 11.1 first bullet point)

Distribution ranges not quotas

Distribution ranges have been introduced but are qualified by the procedural instruction that ratings will not be changed or forced simply to fit the distribution. (Procedure 9.3). Guided distribution ranges provide a framework for setting known performance expectations or standards. People Performance has a procedural requirement that ratings must be consistent with known performance expectations (Procedure 12.1). There is no requirement to meet the distribution ranges.

DWP competency framework applies

The DWP Competency Framework applies for the end-of-year rating process for 2012-13. The new Civil Service Competency Framework will be used for People Performance purposes from 1st April 2013 for 2013-14.

Consistency checking

Countersigning managers will do a “light touch” consistency check of distribution ratings across the peer group and ensure the consideration of the employees’ performance is objective and consistent against known performance expectations.

They will ensure one person’s evidence has not been over-or under-estimated compared to that of other employees doing similar work.

Countersigning managers will also ensure that employees are not forced into a performance rating simply to meet the distribution. (Procedures 12.1–12.3)

Validation meetings

Ratings for staff in grades HEO to Grade 6 will be subject to a formal validation process following the countersigning managers “light touch consistency check”.

Outcomes will be reviewed in relation to the distribution ranges but unlike the Performance and Development System (PDS) and the Civil Service Employee Policy (CSEP) there is no procedural requirement to meet the distribution.

The Chair’s responsibilities include ensuring that:

  • the performance ratings of employees are justified on the basis of achievement of objectives and demonstration of competencies in relation to known performance expectations for the peer group
  • all decisions have been reasonable, fair and unbiased and non-discriminatory.
  • employees are not forced into a performance rating simply to meet the distribution ranges
  • the performance distribution outcome is explainable and the reasons recorded.

This process should provide outcomes that are transparent, justified and open to scrutiny. (Procedures 12.4 -12.6)

Must improve ratings

The terms of the “Must Improve” rating have been revised to clarify that this rating may be a proportionate response where performance has required improvement during the reporting period. The final revised version states that:

9.7 The Must Improve rating includes employees whose performance requires improvement and those employees who are being managed under formal unsatisfactory performance procedures. This rating may also be appropriate for others whose performance has required improvement during the reporting period, where this is a proportionate response. Mid-year and end-of-year ratings will always be based on a balanced consideration of the employee’s personal performance over the entire period and decisions must be transparent, fair and reasonable.

Balanced consideration of performance

Ratings must always be based on a balanced consideration of the employee’s personal performance over the reporting period. The use of the Must Improve rating as a proportionate response means that the rating is not predetermined where improvement has been required during the reporting period and it should not be an unfair, disproportionate response to a relatively minor or isolated issue.

Right of appeal

The right to raise a formal grievance and appeal under the normal Grievance and Appeal Procedures is available. It is usually best practice to try to resolve disagreements informally but there is no strict requirement to do so. (Procedures13).

Guidance for members

PCS guidance for members on discussing and agreeing objectives has been provided in Briefing DWP/MB/007/13 and on preparation for end-of-year reviews in DWP/MB/008/13. Further guidance will be provided.

Downloadable version:   039 People Performance end-of-year performance ratings
 

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