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Appraisal Window December 2020 to March 2021

Jennifer L Brown16 December 2020

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As we have entered our new Appraisal Window, we would like to bring to your attention some changes for the upcoming cycle.

Appraisal form

During the current Covid-19 pandemic, colleagues in Library Services are asked to complete the abridged version of the UCL appraisal form.

The new format dispenses with Parts A-C in favour of a single document.

Appraisals and Covid-19

This has not been a ‘normal’ year. UCL’s position is that the appraisal write-up should include acknowledgement of any agreed adjustments to objectives, workload or working patterns, for individual members of staff. Where a barrier, such as the impact of COVID-19 or lockdown, may have impacted on an individual’s ability to meet agreed objectives from the previous year, it should not impact negatively on the individual in terms of demonstrating good performance over the past year. Nor should their revised working pattern/workload create a barrier to any learning and development opportunities which have been identified as part of the appraisal process.

See more information about holding appraisals this year.

How to manage the appraisal documentation


  1. The Appraiser and Appraisee should keep a signed copy of the appraisal document, in a confidential file/location, until the subsequent appraisal, when the document should be disposed of confidentially. (If the appraisee leaves the organisation, the paperwork should be disposed of confidentially at that time.)
  2. If revisions to the job description have been agreed during the appraisal process, please send an electronic copy to Library HR at lib-hrteam@ucl.ac.uk.

The LibNet appraisals page has been updated with information about the abridged appraisals process.

Developmental Conversations

The Developmental conversations approach allows for two-way conversation to take place which can enhance the appraisal experience through meaningful goal setting and personal development.

Further information on developmental conversations is available.

The recommended Developmental Conversations training module is available for staff to complete.

Appraisal Targets

In line with the Library Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action plan, all staff are required to have a target of engaging or undertaking at least one Equality, Diversity and Inclusion associated activity or event in the 2020/2021 academic session. For example contributing content to the Library Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) newsletter, engagement in wellbeing initiatives, attending a training session or team building exercises using the theme of EDI.

A discussion should take place regarding the Library Strategy and targets that link to the Strategic Key Performance Action objectives.

When developing the targets, consideration should also be given to the UCL Ways of Working and the indicators relating to the grade of the post that the employee holds.

Diagram: Ways of Working

4 dimensional (4D) goal setting:

UCL has introduced a goal setting framework based upon the following principles:

  • Discover my potential – 1 goal required
  • Deliver my role and alignment to UCL’s strategy – 3 goals required
  • Defer/Discontinue activities that hinder me from achieving my role’s purpose and focus
  • Demonstrate UCL’s way of working – 1 goal required

Further details about UCL’s 4 dimensional approach to goal setting are online.


Please ensure you review training completed in the past year and that any mandatory refresher training is set as a training objective.

There are 9 core mandatory courses:

GDPR refresher course completion required every two years.

Mandatory training for Managers

Managers should complete UCL recruitment essentials before participating upon recruitment panels.

UCL has a vast amount of training available for staff which can be found by visiting the Learning Academy.

Appraisal Guidance for Staff and Managers

ucylain11 February 2016

Dear colleagues,

We are well into the appraisal season where staff and managers are reviewing individual achievements of the past year as well as planning objectives for the coming year.

The appraisal process along with supplementary documentation is located within the Appraisal, Review and Development Scheme page on LibNet.

However, some queries have been raised where both staff and managers are unsure how to undertake the appraisals specifically during the current restructure of Library Services, as well as have general queries on the process.

Below are some FAQs that may help you:

Do I need to review last year’s appraisal when completing this year’s appraisal?
Yes, both staff and managers need to review the previous year’s objectives (part B) in terms of completion and level of achievement. You will also need to review the learning needs previously identified (part C) and state whether the learning events were undertaken and assess the impact on the Appraisee’s overall performance.

Are temporary agency staff or staff on fixed term contracts eligible for an appraisal?
As temporary staff are not employees of UCL Library Services, they are not required to undertake the appraisal process.  Other exceptions are colleagues who are still completing their probation periods, or those on long term leave from December-March (e.g. maternity, sickness, unpaid leave).

I do not have a copy of my staff member’s previous appraisal. Can I ask them for a copy?
Yes, you can request a copy from your staff member or request a copy from your designated Personnel Administrator from the Library Services Personnel Team.

My role is changing in the restructure, how can I plan objectives to my staff?
Both staff and managers can review the previous year’s achievements – Parts A and B – as it is an assessment of the year’s performance. In terms of objective setting and training needs, Appraisers are required to continue to establish objectives that are to be completed with the next 6-12 months. The appraisal will be revisited in terms of objectives and performance for staff within their new role. In many cases, there are minor changes to the roles within the restructure so future planning should not vary greatly from present planning.

Where can I find guidance on objective setting as well as identifying training needs?
Guidance on setting appraisal objectives is available.

Visit Organisational Development’s website for guidance on training events.

Explicit links should be made during the appraisal between individual staff targets and strategic Key Performance Action objectives. As part of the ongoing work under the Staff Equality and Diversity KPA, all managers are asked to ensure their team members have completed the UCL online Diversity in the Workplace training within the last three years, if it has not been completed in the last three years, please make this an appraisal training objective in 2016/17.

Feel free to contact your designated Personnel Administrator for further support and guidance, as well as visit Library Services Co-ordination of Apprsaisals web page.

I’ve been in post less than one year, do I need an appraisal?
Yes, you need to complete part A in terms of what you have achieved to date. You will need objectives setting for the year to come. If you are a manger of a staff member with less than one year’s service, it is advisable to go through the appraisal process with them in advance to ensure they understand their responsibilities in completing part A.

When does the appraisal need to be completed by?
Please submit your appraisal document to the Personnel Office once it is agreed by both Appraisee and Appraiser no later than 31 March 2016.

What happens to my appraisal when it reaches the Personnel Office?
Parts A and B of the appraisal document are filed in your Personnel file. The training needs identified in the part C section are collated and form a training and development plan for Library Services.

What if I disagree with the content of my appraisal?
It is recommended to discuss any outstanding issues during the appraisal discussion and there should not be any ‘surprises’ when the appraisal document is written. However, should a disagreement arise over parts B or C, it is advisable to discuss the content with the Appraiser before signing and agreeing to the appraisal document. In the event that a disagreement remains, part D is to be completed detailing the Appraisee’s concerns. This form will be reviewed with the Appraiser’s line manager and follow up where necessary.

I have a question, but it’s not listed here…
Please contact your Group Personnel Administrator in the first instance for support and guidance regarding the appraisal process.

Very best wishes,
Margareth and the Library Personnel Team

New UCL Induction and Probation policy

Danni Mclaren25 November 2015

The new UCL Induction and Probation policy came into effect for all new employees who commenced on or after 1 September 2015.

The broad aims of the Induction and Probation Policy are to focus on supporting all new employees to UCL, provide consistency of approach to staff induction and probation and align this policy with other UCL processes allowing clear progression to an annual appraisal cycle.

For managers, the policy has been streamlined and reformatted into a new common template. Policy is clearly identified and procedures and additional guidance, including flowcharts and forms, are appendices to the main policy document.

Policy provision

The new policy provides:

  • One policy and procedure for all staff groups, with variable length of probation periods
  • A one year probationary period for senior academic appointments
  • Guidelines for a structured Induction, applicable to all appointments new to UCL
  • The inclusion of UCL Information Security, including Data Protection and Freedom of Information and Green Awareness training as mandatory for all new appointments
  • Consistency of provision to manage issues of capability or misconduct during the probationary period

There is also supplementary guidance on holding effective and regular one to one meetings in addition to formal probationary reviews to support staff.

Transitional arrangements

Where staff are currently on probation under one of the existing policies, that policy will apply until the probationary period is complete.


The link to the Policy and Induction webpages can be found at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/docs/prob_procedure_links.php

Appraisal completion rate of 94% achieved for the 2013/14 session

Paul Ayris5 November 2014

I am writing to congratulate all colleagues on achieving a 94% appraisal completion rate during the 2013/14 session.  The UCL target for appraisal completion is 95% and I am sure we will exceed that target in the 2014/15 appraisal period (December 2014 to March 2015).

Ensuring all colleagues benefit from an annual appraisal is a priority for UCL Library Services. As explained in the UCL Appraisal Scheme, the appraisal provides an opportunity for each member of staff to discuss their contribution to our achievements and goals, to have a clear understanding of the expectations of UCL Library Services and to feel valued.

Please see https://www.ucl.ac.uk/libnet/personnel/appraisals for further guidance on the UCL Library Services appraisal process.

Well done!