Policy University Management Performance, Development and Recognition Policy

Performance, Development and Recognition Policy

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The continuing success of the University relies upon the knowledge, capabilities, performance and engagement of our staff and their appropriate recognition.

This Policy provides the framework for the management of staff performance, development, and recognition to support a high performing and diverse workforce consistent with the University Plan.  In accordance with this policy and relevant procedures, staff, supervisors, and senior management are required to participate and engage in performance, development and recognition processes and practices, including mandatory compliance training, as specified.


This Policy applies to all continuing and fixed-term staff as well as long term casual staff covered by the James Cook University Enterprise Agreement.

This Policy encompasses the University's suite of performance, development and recognition initiatives and programs for staff and supports and informs key stages of the Employee Lifecycle including Induction, Probation, Performance and Development Planning, Secondment and Promotion.

The broader Policy framework includes, but is not limited to, opportunities and programs for staff such as:

  • Learning, development, and training
  • Staff recognition and reward
  • Developmental and career progression
  • Staff Study Assistance

Procedures pursuant to this Policy outline the applicability of these programs and initiatives to eligible Staff.


Except as otherwise specified in this policy, the meaning of terms used are as per the Human Resources Policy Glossary

Career development

Refers to the process of enabling employees to plan their careers and engage in career development activities that will improve their career prospects and job progression or promotion.

Compliance breach or failure

An act or omission whereby the University has not met its compliance obligations, processes, or behavioral obligations.

Employee Lifecycle

Refers to the different stages a JCU staff member advances through during their employment, as well as the role HR plays in optimising that progress.

Long term casual staff

Casual Staff Members with more than 18 months service are eligible to elect to participate in the Performance and Development Plan discussions.

Staff Code of Conduct

The policy establishing the standard by which we conduct ourselves towards others and perform our professional duties on behalf of the University.  The reference to the code of conduct refers to the published version relevant to the time of the promotion application.


JCU is committed to enabling effective, sustainable performance by all staff to support the achievement of the University’s Plan and Strategic Intent, to enhance workplace engagement and to advance and support career and professional development. This commitment is supported by an integrated framework of Performance, Development and Recognition processes and programs available throughout the Employee Lifecycle.

This framework provides:

(a) staff, supervisors and senior management with a formal performance and development process, which requires regular conversations, feedback, review and recognition;

(b) a requirement that all supervisors and staff participate annually in performance and development discussions;

(c) clarity of roles and responsibilities through the setting of objectives and work outcomes, aligned to the University's strategic goals and area plans;

(d) support for staff to identify and achieve their professional development goals, broaden their experience, and enhance their future career opportunities;

(e) programs and initiatives which enable, support, and recognise the development, commitment, and achievement of its staff.

(f) eligible staff with assistance for completing an award qualification at JCU.

Compliance with this policy and associated procedures will be monitored periodically to ensure the required participation of all eligible staff while meeting obligations under the Enterprise Agreement and relevant legislation.

1. Principles

This policy and the Performance, Development and Recognition Framework are underpinned by the following principles, which are to be observed by all staff, supervisors and senior management:

(a) staff performance, development, and recognition activities and outcomes are aligned with the University Plan, JCU Values, JCU Leadership Behaviours and the Academic Performance and Development Framework, where relevant;

(b) a ‘grow our own’ approach through professional development and workforce planning, enabling our staff to realise their potential is at the centre of the Performance, Development and Recognition Framework;

(c) the responsibility for identifying, planning, and undertaking relevant professional development is shared between staff, supervisors and senior managers;

(d) values of mutual respect, trust, and accountability will inform implementation of the Framework;

(e) staff members will be supported in achieving their career goals and performance expectations through transparent processes of conversation, reflection, review, and decision-making;

(f) the principles of assessing Relative Opportunity and Performance Evidence (ROPE) will be followed in determining equity of access to professional development programs and resources as well as assessing performance outcomes;

(g) staff will be recognised for exceptional work performance, service, and contribution through both informal and formal mechanisms.

2. Responsibilities

Heads of Work Unit

Responsible for:

  • Implementing and enabling this policy and its procedures within their work units
  • Modeling a culture based on performance, trust and accountability
  • Actively supporting and engaging in workforce planning and development and training within their work unit
  • Ensuring work unit’s strategic objectives and priorities are communicated to staff for work planning and   alignment
  • Supporting staff to undertake their roles and responsibilities

Senior Staff

Responsible for:

  • Following and enabling this policy and its procedures
  • Modeling a culture based on performance, trust and accountability
  • Managing and supporting staff performance through effective engagement
  • Facilitating annual performance and development discussions with staff
  • Supporting staff to undertake their roles and responsibilities
  • Encouraging appropriate training and development activities including access to Staff Study Assistance support
  • Providing timely feedback on staff performance – direct reports

All Staff

Responsible for:

  • Participating and engaging in the required discussions with their Supervisor to review performance, identify work and career goals, and develop plans to meet these needs
  • Actively seeking opportunities to maintain and enhance skills, knowledge and qualifications relevant to their   responsibilities

Related policy instruments

Special Studies Program Policy

Academic Promotion Policy

Conflict of Interest Policy

Professional and Technical Staff Probation Procedure

Academic Staff Probation Procedure

Staff Study Assistance Procedure

Performance, Development and Planning Procedure

Related documents and legislation

JCU Enterprise Agreement

The University Plan 2018-2022

Academic Performance and Development Framework

JCU Values

JCU Leadership Behaviours

Academic Performance Framework – Learning and Teaching Indicators

Achievement @ JCU Performance and Development Workbook Academic

PDP Template Professional and Technical

PDP Template Academic Staff

Guidance note – Assessing Relative Opportunity and Performance Evidence (ROPE)


NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainUniversity Management

Policy Sub-domain

Human Resources

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services & Resources

Approval Authority

Vice Chancellor

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval date

Approved by

Implementation date



22-101/09/2022HR Committee06/10/2022Policy updated to include reference to Staff Study Assistance; existing Staff Study Assistance Policy to be disestablished.Director, Planning, Performance and Analytics



HR Committee


Policy established to set requirements for management of staff performance, development, and recognition.

Organisational Development Specialist


Performance review, probation, PDP, Development, Career, study assistance

Contact person:

Manager, Industrial Relations and Policy