UCL Human Resources


Appraisal review and development scheme resources

The UCL annual appraisal scheme applies to all staff who have successfully completed their probation period. It supports a two way discussion between you and your line manager, which reflects on your current role and performance while planning for your future development.

In January 2022, UCL introduced several improvements to the current appraisals scheme (applicable to all permanent staff, excluding professors who follow the Professorial Appraisal Review scheme, details further below). The changes were implemented to stimulate better-structured discussions between members of staff and their line managers - reflecting over the last year, looking ahead to the next 12 months, and setting meaningful goals to support your development and deliver organisational objectives.

What has changed?

Following the pilot launch of a new appraisal form, in December 2021, Organisational Development (OD) gathered feedback from staff across UCL, to understand if these changes supported appraisal conversations. 

Based on the feedback, we are implementing the following changes from January 2023:

  • Rolling out an improved appraisal form for professional services staff which provides a more focused structure, to facilitate better developmental conversation discussions and goal setting. 
  • Rolling out a new appraisal form for academic, teaching and research staff which follows the structure of the Academic Careers Framework, supporting conversations based on the way staff work and how they set objectives and measure their achievements. This form may also be suitable for use by technical staff whose roles are more hybrid in nature.
  • The addition of a checklist that allows staff to explore further areas for discussion, based on their individual needs.
  • Recording of appraisal completion on MYHR. An updated version of the MyHR user guide which includes recent changes to the system that should improve the user experience in MyHR, supporting staff to record appraisal completion. N.B. Appraisal forms will continue to be held locally not centrally.
  • Supporting central reporting with the People & Culture Committee reviewing termly reporting information, presented by OD, highlighting the appraisal completion rates across both academic and professional areas.

The new appraisal forms are now available to download, ready for the start of the UCL appraisal season in January 2023. 

Getting ready for your next appraisal?

We’re encouraging departments to adopt an annual appraisal season, that runs from January to April each year. Here are some things you can do to make sure you’re ready:

  • Familiarise yourself with the supporting resources 
  • Schedule appraisal meetings with your direct reports, to take place between Jan and April 2023 (UCL’s appraisal season)
  • Discuss the timing of your next appraisal meeting with your line manager, ideally this would take place between January and April (during UCL’s appraisal season) 
  • Complete the appraisals e-learning to prepare you as an appraiser or appraisee 
  • Complete Part A of the appraisal paperwork (and the checklist if appropriate) and share this with your line manager at least a week before your appraisal meeting

To fit in with the new season, some appraisals may need to be either brought forward or delayed by some months. If a member of staff had an appraisal this academic year, the line manager could arrange a review in April.  A record of the review should include an update on progress made against the objectives to date. They should also record any adjustments to the objectives or their completion timelines. A full appraisal could then take place in January.

If an appraisal took place last academic year, the line manager might consider doing a full appraisal in April.

What about Professorial Appraisal Reviews?

The following work is ongoing to the Professorial Appraisal Review (PAR) system:

  • Development to improve the reporting, management, and resolution of user issues.
  • Extensive consultation to understand user requirements of a replacement system for PAR, by January 2024, that will have the capacity to support all staff appraisals over an incremental timeline.
  • Ensuring the stability of links between PAR and MyHR to record PAR completion dates and enable PAR appraisal dates to be viewed within MyHR Employee and Manager self-service.
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    How to manage an appraisal

    A step-by-step guide for line managers on how to run an effective appraisal meeting.

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    Supporting resources 

    The materials, guidance and e-learning to support your annual appraisal.