UCL Human Resources


HR Community of Practice project — Amazing Appraisals

The project aims to streamline and simplify the appraisal process and put the focus on recognition of high performance, and ensure colleagues understand how:

  • their role contributes to 2034
  • performance can be monitored
  • excellence can be recognised, rewarded, and lead to promotion.
Project leaders

Mary Giddens

Mary Giddens,
Amazing Appraisals lead and HR Officer, Institute for Clinical Trials and Methodology

Generalist HR professional with 10 years of experience working in various HR positions in HE and the public sector. I began my HR career in the NHS and have been in HE for 5 years, currently supporting the Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology at UCL. One of my primary strengths is the ability to use my initiative to find creative solutions and deliver positive outcomes. I have found great job satisfaction in streamlining processes throughout my HR career. I am currently organising a Mental Health Awareness week at the Institute of Clinical Trials while leading the HR COP ‘Amazing Appraisals’ project.

Specialist areas of HR: advising on UCL policy and procedure, project management, process design.


Anne-Marie Howard,
Amazing Appraisals lead and Senior Employment Policy Officer, UCL HR

I started my career as an HR Administrator for a large, national jewellery retailer and have since moved through several generalist HR positions in Leisure, Further and Higher Education.  I’ve been with UCL HR for 6 years now and no two days are the same!  Although specialising in policy, I love the variety offered by my current role, from clinical pay scales, through recruitment briefings to the UCL Staff Survey. 

Specialist areas of HR: Policy, Employee Relations, Recruitment and Selection, Employment Law

Project members

Dee Chambers, Gael Anderson, Hitakshi Tailor, Craig Orr, Bryony Webb

Outline of project

The project team will produce a report with recommendations for changes to the UCL appraisal process, which considers all of the points described in the HR Community of Practice Charter. The report will include:

  • feedback on existing processes
  • redefinition of what a good appraisal looks like at UCL
  • consideration of the differences between Professional Services and Academic roles
  • consideration of the benefits of introducing 360 appraisals
  • consideration of whether reward could be linked to appraisal.
MilestoneCompleted by
Form project team and hold first meetingEnd February 2018
Collect documents and feedback on local appraisal processes from team member’s departments9 March 2018
The first draft of the questionnaire19 March 2018
Collate and organise feedback from team member’s departments in a spreadsheet9 April 2018
Analysis of Staff Survey results from 2015 and 2017 and upload local documents to Office 36516 April 2018
Finalise questionnaire to discuss with other COP Project Leads and for testing at managers appraisal training14 May 2018
Research appraisal in other HE institutions18 June 2018
Finalise questionnaire and send to all staff4 – 18 June 2018
Analyse questionnaire responses and produce statistics and a conclusion for each question22 June 2018
Prep for HR COP Focus Group25 June 2018
Review articles on the direction of travel in the UK25 June 2018
The first draft of the report for discussion at project proposal meeting with HR COP Leads4 July 2018
Collate comments and feedback gathered at HR Cop Focus Group27 July 2018
Presentation for HR Conference3 August 2018
Measures of success

The Project Team considered the success measures laid out in the charter and considered these to be more long-term success measures for the following phases of the project as they are not compatible with the 6-month aims of the phase detailed in the HR COP Charter.

Success measureMethod of assessment

Proposals from a report taken forward by UCL HR Director.

The next phase of the HR COP ‘Amazing Appraisals’ is commissioned.

Interim suggestions contained in proposals report, taken forward within the next 6 months.

Completion rates improved in the next appraisal cycle.