University of Canberra/Submission to the 2011 review of professional development review processes

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This page invites people to collaborate on a submission to the 2011 Review of the Universty of Canberra's Academic Professional Development Review process. The following email was sent to staff on 27 January 2011:

As noted in an all staff notice late last year it was proposed that we undertake a review and evaluation of the academic PDR process. The object of the review is to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of the current PDR policy, relevant procedures and systems issues and to make recommendations for improvements to ensure that the PDR process supports the University’s strategic objectives. This survey is the first stage of the review process. The survey instrument is on OPUS and is for all ongoing and fixed term (of 6 months or more) academic staff. Your responses will make an invaluable contribution to the PDR process. A second stage will involve an external facilitator who will convene focus groups to discuss emergent issues. If for any reason you are unable to either complete the survey or contribute to the focus group discussions, you are invited to submit written comments, suggestions and ideas addressed to the Director HR. Rest assured your views will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Requests for comment[edit]

Q15: The PDR process could be improved by (maximum 1000 characters allowed).

  1. In the 2009 PDR there was clear evidence of panels trying to coerce academic staff onto a teaching only track. This was not evident in 2010.
  2. There is a lack of specificity in the PDR guidelines about goal-setting (e.g., in 2010 I was told to be more specific; in 2011 I was told to choose fewer goals)
  3. The feedback structure for the PDR is top-down rather than 360 degrees
  4. There was a lack of consistency in feedback from the supervisory panel between 2010 and 2011 (in my case it was a different panel each time)
  5. HR continues to shift the goal posts on performance expectations - such changes should not be made during a 12 month review period when it is already underway
  6. HR have never responded to the feedback provided on the 2010 review in the Moodle site
  7. Until this review there has been no objective assessment of staff satisfaction with the PDR process
  8. The spreadsheet system in 2009 and online system in 2010 both had very significant limitations. Much could be done to improve this aspect.

Q16: Other ways that PDR could be improved in the future are ? (maximum 1000 characters allowed)

  1. The mapping of the university's 39 strategic steps directly onto PDR evaluation is somewhat primitive - e.g., how is performance in each of these areas to be weighted with regard to overall satisfactoriness? This is not made explicit anywhere, hence it is difficult to know what to prioritise as a staff member. It is also unclear how achievement of specific performance goals compared to performance on the performance expectations is in determining overall satisfactoriness. There remains much opaque, subjective judgement on behalf on the panel.
    • As a result, performance and goals for each of the performance expectations were not discussed in the 30 min meeting with the panel and only the bold expectations were discussed.