The Professorial Appraisal Review process
- UCL uses four professorial bands with broad ranges for Professors on academic contracts. Salary progression within the applicable band is subject to individual performance and specifically, the achievement of stretching objectives agreed through the appraisal process. Appraisal for professors takes place annually and via the Professorial Appraisal Review (PAR) form which automatically draws data from other UCL databases regarding an individual's publications, research grants, research students, honours, awards and training and development activity during the appraisal period. Please refer to the Quickstart guide to the system, alternatively the full guide can be found here. The appraisal process is important and performance and future career development should be discussed as part of it.
- The PAR system must be used by all professors and their appraisers. It is the responsibility of Heads of Department to ensure that all professorial appraisals due are completed on time.
- Each year, the performance of professors scheduled to be appraised in the previous period 1 August - 31 July, will be reviewed by the Head of Department and the Dean and rated as either
Group A - those who have demonstrated sustained outstanding performance against a stretching set of objectives. Individuals will be considered for a pay award1, depending on UCL-wide budgetary constraints, in addition to receiving any nationally negotiated cost of living award.
Group B - those who meet stretching objectives and expectations. These individuals will receive any nationally negotiated cost of living award.
Group C – anyone whose achievements do not meet expectations. These individuals will move to a more regular review cycle and will not receive the next nationally negotiated cost of living award. Consideration should also be given to whether the capability procedure for academic staff should be instigated for any Professor who is C rated.
- Following the completion of performance ratings, those who are deemed by the Head of Department and the Dean to have exceeded a stretching set of expectations may be considered by the Dean for the award of a lump-sum payment or salary increase to recognise their outstanding contribution during the appraisal review period. HR can provide relevant salary information to Heads of Department and/or Deans to allow a consideration of relativities and support the consideration of awards. Any awards will normally be payable from 1 October each year. There is no guarantee that awards will be paid in any year to all or any A-rated professors. This decision will take account of UCL budgetary and equal pay considerations.
- Faculties should send completed lists of performance ratings to Mark Rice in the HR Division firstname.lastname@example.org, including details of any pay awards. This will allow any payments to be actioned.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why do we undertake Professorial Appraisal Review (PAR)?
Regular appraisal gives Professorial staff a clear understanding of their department's expectations and an opportunity for a detailed discussion of their contribution to the achievement of departmental and institutional goals. The outcome of the appraisal will have a bearing on any pay awards within the Professors’ current band (although there is no automatic entitlement to a pay award in any year). All professorial appraisals, including the setting of stretching objectives, must be completed once every year using the electronic PAR system.
The setting of carefully considered objectives (related to the banding criteria) can help a Professor to develop in areas which will give them the best chance of being successfully re-banded at a point in the future. Therefore the appraisal process should be seen as key for personal development and subsequent progression.
How does the PAR system work?
PAR is an electronic tool by which appraisal is undertaken and objectives are set. The system uses an electronic, interactive form, which automatically draws data from UCL databases regarding a Professor's publications, research grants, research students, honours, awards, and training and development activity during the appraisal period. The system is reliant on these other databases containing up-to-date data, therefore if there is inaccurate information the source database should be checked in the first instance. Further information about the PAR system can be found in this guide.
Who is responsible for the process?
It is the responsibility of Deans and HoD's to ensure that all professorial appraisals are completed, and new stretching objectives agreed and entered on PAR, within the one-year time period. It is the responsibility of individual Professors to use the PAR system and take ownership of their personal objectives. It is the responsibility of Deans and HoD’s to ensure performance against agreed objectives is discussed and recorded fully in each appraisal.