Performance Development and Management

Performance Development and Management (PDM) provides support to build the knowledge and skills of our people and performance. The success of our people is vital to the effective operation of the University and we depend on all members of staff to contribute their best. Performance management and development is about working in a way that will enable continuous performance improvement in line with the University’s direction, and will at the same time increase staff innovation and job satisfaction.

In line with the University’s Performance Management Policy and Enterprise and Collective Agreements, PDM training is compulsory for all supervisors responsible for conducting performance management. Nominated supervisors, yet to undertake training, will be contacted directly with further details.

A number of guides are available to assist supervisors and staff to determine and prioritise developmental needs. These include:

For further information about UniSA PDM Framework contact your local PTC team.

The following documents may also be useful for managing performance and development.

Supporting documents


Staff new to the University are subject to a period of probation. For academic positions, on commencement of employment with the University, staff members will be engaged on an initial probationary period of up to three (3) years. Professional staff probation varies for periods up to 12 months.  Please refer to the applicable industrial instrument for the principles on performance management and probation. Additional policies and procedures are also provided on this web site. If more information or clarification is required, please contact the People, Talent and Culture (PTC) Professional in your local area.

Let's Talk – People Management Series

The following resources have been produced to assist supervisors and managers in planning and leading a range of people management conversations. This first series cover performance development and management conversations with Academic staff.

Topics include:

  • Fostering Academic Excellence
  • Performance Development and Management Conversations
  • Supporting Senior Academics (Senior Academic staff focus C – D)

While the University has a range of guidance materials for staff on this topic, these largely include written materials and sample templates such as the PDM Framework, policies procedures and guidelines. We trust these resources go some way to filling a gap with regards to opportunities to observe ‘better people management’ in practice. The resources can be used in a variety of ways, such as a preparatory tool for staff required to lead PDM conversations for the first time, to promote group discussion in existing training programs and or stand-alone viewing to complement the existing support materials.

The idea behind developing these short video vignettes is to provide some examples of applying our ‘policies in practice’. This first series focuses on managers / leaders talking about their approach to preparation for Performance Development and Management (PDM) conversations, followed by some role play snippets, demonstrating segments of the conversations with staff around the University’s Performance Development and Management Framework. This first series focuses on the Academic staff context.

Each of the ‘packages’ below follow a formula of:

  1. A Q&A conversation with a Professor on their approach to preparing for PDM conversations.
  2. Role play snippets of conversations demonstrating the points raised in the Q&A in practice.


Professor Wendy Lacey

Fostering Academic Excellence (Academic focus A – B)

TRANSITION to role play snippets – So how do you do it? Conversations in practice

Professor Lee Parker

Supporting Senior Academics (Senior Academic staff focus C – D)

TRANSITION to role play snippets – So how do you do it? Conversations in practice