Performance management


DATE OF APPROVAL: University Council 20 March 2001

AMENDMENTS: 18 October 2005
July 2005
December 2006
May 2011 (Endorsed by SMG)
8 October 2014 (amendments Director Human Resources)

REFERENCE AUTHORITY: Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture; Senior Management Group

University of South Australia Corporate Plan
Applicable University Industrial Instrument
University of South Australia Occupational Health, Safety, Welfare & Injury Management Policy
University of South Australia Performance Management Guidelines
University of South Australia Study Assistance Guidelines for Professional, Document Services, Grounds and Security Staff
University of South Australia Anti-Discrimination Policies

  • Equal Opportunity Policy
  • Sexual Harassment Policy
  • Anti-Racism Policy
  • Inclusive Language Policy
  • Diversity and representation on Committees and Working Groups

Discrimination and Harassment Grievance Procedures Staff
Guidelines for the Professional Development of New Indigenous Staff Initiative


Policy statement

The University of South Australia is committed to effective ongoing performance management for all University staff.


Industrial Instrument - refers to the applicable Collective/Enterprise Agreement, Award, Australian Workplace Agreement, contract of employment or legislation.


The University's Performance Management Policy is guided by the following principles:

  1. All managers responsible for conducting performance management shall be appropriately trained and be mindful of unconscious bias, diversity, gender equity and non-discriminatory approaches to performance discussions and decisions
  2. A strong commitment to staff development
  3. Recognition that all parties are committed to quality performance management
  4. Recognition that quality performance management is part of quality management, resulting in enhanced performance
  5. Recognition that development and performance are linked
  6. Performance management implies the provision of adequate developmental opportunities that allow optimum performance
  7. Performance management must consider a staff member's personal goals and career aspirations and seek to integrate them into the overall goals of the University

Responsibilities and/or authorities

3.1 Vice Chancellor

The Vice Chancellor has the responsibility and authority to foster a culture in which performance management is an integral part of support, scholarship, education, research and consultancy within the University.

3.2 Senior Management

Senior Managers have the following responsibilities and/or authority with respect to the staff in their Division/Portfolio to:

  • establish consistent implementation and maintenance of performance management within the principles of the University's framework with at least one formal performance review each year
  • ensure all staff actively participate in performance management
  • ensure easy access to all relevant policies and guidelines
  • ensure they themselves are appropriately trained and skilled to manage the performance of their staff
  • ensure that the performance management process is consistent with the appropriate University policies and guidelines, including anti-discrimination and affirmative action policies
  • demonstrate good management practices and behaviour at all times
  • provide encouragement to all staff members, both as individuals and as team members to achieve the University's objectives and their own potential
  • use a co-operative and consultative approach in dealing with performance issues as they arise
  • take appropriate, positive and timely action where performance does not meet the agreed outcomes and standards
  • maintain confidentiality at all times with performance management information; and
  • consider use of 360 degree feedback processes as appropriate.

3.2.1 Heads of Organisational Areas (School, Division Office, Institute or Unit) and Managers/Supervisors

Heads of Organisational Areas and Managers/Supervisors have the responsibility and/or authority to:

  • develop and communicate their area's goals, priorities and performance indicators
  • assist staff to develop individual performance and development plans which document mutually agreed goals and performance expectations, with at least one formal performance review each year
  • demonstrate leadership in their commitment to performance management including an understanding of unconscious bias, non-discriminatory practices diversity and gender equity
  • ensure that the performance of all staff is managed in a structured way, in accordance with this policy and the guidelines which support its implementation
  • ensure all management staff within the organisational area are trained and competent in performance management processes and techniques
  • ensure that staff are assisted to meet and supported to continuously improve and exceed performance indicators
  • ensure that resources are available to support identified development needs
  • identify support mechanisms that will enable the effective implementation of performance management in larger schools and units; and
  • where appropriate and in accordance with University policies, guidelines and procedures, to develop criteria and incentives for rewarding innovation.

3.3 Staff

All University staff are expected to:

  • understand how their role contributes to the achievement of the University's objectives;
  • share responsibility for the development of their own performance development and management plan;
  • actively participate in discussions regarding performance goals and outcomes relevant to the objectives of their work area and the University;
  • adopt a co-operative approach to the review of their performance against agreed outcomes and ongoing self review of their performance goals and actions;
  • explore and implement strategies for continuous improvement
  • explore and access personal growth and development opportunities.

Managing Performance

The University is committed to ensuring optimum performance of all staff, and has policies and guidelines in place that support the reward of high performing staff. Such rewards shall be monetary or non-monetary in value.

Where there is unsatisfactory performance, this shall be managed in accordance with the University's Performance Development and Management Guidelines and the procedures in the applicable industrial instrument, as amended or replaced.


Disputes arising from the application of this Policy may be appealed through the University's Staff Appeals Policy (6.4) or through the disputes mechanisms contained in the applicable industrial instrument, as amended or replaced.


This policy and supporting documentation will be reviewed every two years.


The application of the performance management framework and assessment on the quality of outcomes will be evaluated every two years.

Further information or assistance

Management and staff may seek further advice regarding performance management from:

  • their immediate supervisor
  • the designated Human Resources professional in their area
  • People, Talent and Culture