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The Performance and Development Review (PDR) is an annual process for all eligible professional employees.

After your annual review meeting, your manager will determine an overall assessment of your performance. To do this, they will consider your performance level across eight generic competencies.

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Competencies

The eight competencies reflect the level of skills, knowledge, experience, attributes, and behaviours that an individual needs to perform a job effectively:

  1. Knowledge and skills
  2. Teamwork and co-operation
  3. Organisation, planning, and self-management
  4. Problem solving / decision making
  5. Service to customers
  6. Initiative and innovation
  7. Leadership and people management
  8. Ngā taonga tuku / language and culture

Most competencies will be relevant to your role. For example, the ‘Knowledge and skills’ competency will normally align with the specifications and requirements in your job description.

However, some competencies may be less relevant. For example, the ‘Leadership and People Management’ competency may be more relevant for an employee with direct reports or in a senior role, compared with an employee with no direct reports.

The PDR competency tables (PDF) outline each of the eight competencies in detail.

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Performance levels

There are five performance levels for each competency:

Outstanding
Consistently achieves all their outcomes as described in the ‘outstanding’ performance descriptions. The key outcomes are recognised as exceeding the normal expectations for the role.
Exceeds expectations
Achieves some outcomes that are recognised to be beyond the requirements of the role as described in the ‘outstanding’ performance descriptions for key competencies, and balanced with outcomes achieved at the ‘fully competent’ level for other competencies.
Fully competent
Achieves all expected outcomes to a high standard as described in the ‘fully competent’ performance descriptions. Performance assessed at this level is considered as discussion normal expectations for the role.
Working satisfactorily towards full competence
Achieves some expected outcomes and demonstrates full competence in some areas as described in the ‘working satisfactorily towards full competence’ performance descriptions. Development is required in some areas of the role but progress towards ‘fully competent’ is evident.
Requires improvement
Does not achieve some expected outcomes; performance is as described in the ‘requires improvement’ performance descriptions. Development is required in some key areas of the role but improvement is not evident.

The expectation is that you will attain the level of ‘fully competent’ by progressing through the appointment steps within the appointment range, or be appointed at that level based on experience and expectations of performance. The number of appointment steps will vary depending on the level of appointment and initial placement within that range.

Once the level of ‘fully competent’ is achieved, it is expected that this will become the minimum standard of performance.

A useful comparison when considering ‘fully competent’ is to think what is meant when we consider a clinician (e.g. surgeon) as fully competent.

The performance level ‘exceeds expectations’ does not have its own set of descriptors within the competency framework. This performance level is achieved when the performance demonstrates a mix of relevant items in the ‘fully competent’ column and some of the relevant descriptions in the ‘outstanding’ column.

An overall assessment of ‘outstanding’ would apply to employees who continually achieve a high standard of outcomes and consistently demonstrate outstanding performance across a broad range of competencies. Normally an employee’s performance will be reflected by their placement on the salary scale. As an employee moves up the scale, the performance expectations increase.

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Overall assessment

Overall performance should be based on the performance of the previous 12 months. Performance issues should be addressed at the appropriate time and not be a surprise to the employee at the time of the PDR.

The process for making an assessment will normally take into consideration the following:

  • Outcomes set in the previous PDR
  • The importance and relevance of each competency
  • Which performance level best describes how outcomes have been achieved using the descriptors in the competency tables and the PDR discussion

The assessment period is the previous 12 months. Due to a range of reasons, there are likely to be variations to the overall assessment year on year. For example, someone assessed as ‘outstanding’ one year may be assessed as ‘exceeds expectations’ or ‘fully competent’ the following year.

After the discussion has taken place, your reviewer will complete the PDR form and provides it to you to check that the content of the form is a true reflection of the discussion. Then, you and your reviewer will agree on any changes, and sign the form.

You will receive a copy of the completed form by 31 October.

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If you disagree with your manager’s assessment

If a disagreement should arise between the parties during the review, they are encouraged to resolve it themselves as this allows them to keep control of how they manage their working relationship. They can draw on the PDR support options below or ask the senior manager to become involved. They could invite an appropriate third party to facilitate a constructive discussion to help both parties reach an agreement. This could be any person that both parties believe has the knowledge and personal skills to help resolve the disagreement and who is willing to assist in this way.

For other options including contesting the outcome, email hr.pdr@otago.ac.nz for more information.

You are also encouraged to refer to the Employment Relationship Problem Resolution Process outlined in your employment agreement.

Any contest of the outcome must be made before 14 December.

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Salary review

The pay scales have been created to reflect PDR performance criteria. The scales are split into two ranges: appointment range and merit range.

The merit range is split into two halves: lower and upper.

When considering PDR performance criteria, an employee who is new to a job and is still building up their knowledge of the job requirements, and would normally be employed on the earlier steps of the appointment range.

Standard increase

The standard increase in the Professional Staff Scale 1 is:

  • An increase of one step (i.e. steps 1–5, 5–9, 9–13, 13–17, etc.) within the appointment range for levels 1–8. 
  • An increase of three steps within the merit range for levels 1–3. An increase of four steps within the merit range for levels 4–8.

The standard increase for Scale 6 (Residential Colleges) is one step.

Accelerated increase

An accelerated increase is one additional standard increase (i.e. two × standard increases).

Appointment range salary review

The appointment range covers the salary points above the line on the salary scale (this may also be considered the development range). The top of the appointment range is the salary that the University of Otago considers appropriate for an employee working competently at that level or at the level of ‘fully competent’.

Employees assessed as ‘requires improvement’ will not progress on the salary scale and development plans and expectations will, if not already, be put in place.

Employees who are in the appointment range will receive a standard increase each year if their performance receives an overall assessment of ‘working satisfactorily towards full competence’ or higher.

Employees in the appointment range who receive a higher overall assessment such as ‘exceeds expectations’ may be considered for an accelerated increase - this is one additional standard increase (i.e. two × standard increases).

Movement from appointment range to merit range

If your salary step is close to the top of the appointment range, and a standard increase or accelerated increase would take you into the merit range, you will not receive an automatic salary increase.

A salary increase will be considered as a merit increase and would require an assessment of ‘exceeds expectations’ or ‘outstanding’ to move from the appointment range to the merit range in recognition of performance.

Merit range salary review

Employees in the merit range are paid beyond what the University expects to pay for that role in recognition of their performance.

An employee in the lower merit range may be eligible to receive a standard increase if they receive an overall assessment of either ‘exceeds expectations’ or ‘outstanding’.

An employee in the upper merit range must have an overall assessment of ‘outstanding’ to be considered for a salary increase.

An employee in the merit range who receives a higher overall assessment such as ‘outstanding’ may be considered for an accelerated increase – this is this is one additional standard step (i.e. two × standard increases).

Movement from lower merit range to upper merit range

An assessment of ‘outstanding’ is required to move from the lower merit range to the upper merit range.

Top of merit range

The University of Otago is privileged to have a large proportion of experienced employees at the top of the merit range, who are receiving the appropriate financial recognition for their level of sustained performance over time. The PDR can provide a platform to look at the career goals and development opportunities for that individual in the team and the wider University.

Development opportunities may include:

  • Building mentoring skills by developing other employees within the department (i.e. takes on a tuakana role for teina / less-experienced colleagues)
  • Learning new areas of specialisation and skills
  • Considering career pathways and identifying developmental requirements
  • Taking on a leadership role in projects within the department, and across the University
  • Bringing skills and knowledge to the wider University by participating in cross-functional committees
  • Taking courses, papers, attending conferences, or attending seminars
  • Undertake secondments or act in higher level roles
  • Job shadowing, job share, or job exchange

Other options for acknowledging and rewarding staff include flexible working arrangements, awards, public acknowledgement, and study support.

Requirements for movement within scale

Current salary scale position Overall assessment Options
Any level Requires improvement No progression – seek HR advice
Appointment range Working satisfactorily Standard increase
Fully competent Standard increase
Exceeds expectations Standard increase or accelerated increase considered
Outstanding Standard increase or accelerated increase considered
Movement from appointment range to merit range Working satisfactorily No increase
Fully competent No increase
Exceeds expectations Standard increase or accelerated increase considered
Outstanding Standard increase or accelerated increase considered
Lower merit range Working satisfactorily No increase
Fully competent No increase
Exceeds expectations Standard increase considered
Outstanding Standard increase or accelerated increase considered
Movement from lower merit range to upper merit range Working satisfactorily No increase
Fully competent No increase
Exceeds expectations No increase
Outstanding Standard increase or accelerated increase considered
Upper merit range Working satisfactorily No increase
Fully competent No increase
Exceeds expectations No increase
Outstanding Standard increase or accelerated increase considered

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Management Band salary review

The Management Band PDR follows a similar process to that of the Professional Staff PDR.  The overall principles and practices outlined in the Professional Staff PDR will apply. This includes a requirement for staff to have regular discussions with their Manager about their expected outcomes, development goals and how well they are achieving these.

The PDR discussion will occur between 1 August and 30 October 2020. As part of the PDR, Management Band staff salaries will be reviewed. Management Band employees appointed to their current position after 1 August 2020 are not eligible for a salary review.

It is recommended that reviewers have the PDR discussion with their manager prior to undertaking PDRs with their staff, so there is alignment with departmental / divisional cascading objectives.

  • A salary increase from the minimum of the salary range up to the scale mid-point is on the basis that appropriately challenging outcomes have been achieved and Full Competence has been demonstrated.
  • A salary increase from the scale mid-point to the merit range mid-point is on the basis that outcomes achieved are recognised as exceeding the requirements of the role as defined in the PDR competencies, and that an assessment of Exceeds Expectations has been achieved.
  • A salary increase from the merit range mid-point up to the maximum of the salary range is on the basis that outstanding outcomes have been achieved and an outstanding level of competence has been demonstrated. The performance expectation both in terms of outcomes and competencies will increase from the bottom of the salary range to the top of the salary range.
  • If the manager or reviewer believes that the employee is remunerated appropriately, considering their current salary and performance level, their salary will remain at its current level.

A salary increase of up to $2,000 may be recommended for those within the Management Band.  Any increases exceeding this amount will require approval from the Vice-Chancellor. 

Please refer to the 2020 Management Band Guidelines (Word) for further information.

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    Requirements for movement within scale (Management Band)

    Current salary scale position Overall assessment Options
    Any level Requires improvement No progression – seek HR advice
    Movement from Minimum up to Scale Mid-point Working satisfactorily No increase
    Fully competent Standard increase
    Exceeds expectations Standard increase
    Outstanding Standard increase
    Movement from Scale Mid-point to Merit Range Mid-point Working satisfactorily No increase
    Fully competent No increase
    Exceeds expectations Standard increase
    Outstanding Standard increase
    Movement from Merit Range Mid-point up to Maximum Working satisfactorily No increase
    Fully competent No increase
    Exceeds expectationsNo increase
    Outstanding Standard increase
  • Management Band salary scales (PDF)

Letters

If you are awarded a salary increase, you will receive a letter confirming your new salary by 1 December.

If you are not awarded a salary increase, you will not receive a letter.

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