Human Resources

All staff being reviewed

Information for all staff being reviewed

About Annual Review

Annual Review is mandatory for all staff, with some differences because of your role and any exceptional circumstances.

The University wants everyone to have a quality Annual Review as we believe it:

  • Provides a structure to review staff’s performance and development over the previous twelve months and discuss and agree objectives and development needs for the next twelve months, and for the longer term where appropriate
  • Provides role clarity; staff know and understand what is expected of them for their complete role and how this fits into the wider plans of the University.
  • Identifies contribution; objectives and priorities are clearly linked to the University’s mission and business unit goals and the discussion includes a review of staff’s contribution to achieving these goals. 
  • Encourages individual professional and personal development.
  • Supports staff to consider their career aspirations and realise their full career potential.

How the process works

Before the meeting

You are responsible for preparing for your Annual Review meeting. 

You can do this by:

  • reviewing your last year
  • gathering evidence of your achievements
  • reflecting on how you have been working. Refer to the Behaviours Charter to reflect on the behaviours you have been demonstrating.  
  • thinking about opportunities for your professional and personal development and performance. 

The mandatory completion of the pre-meeting documentation (approximately 1 week before the Annual review meeting date) will help you to do this. 

As an alternative, you may also want to look at our quick checklist to help you prepare for your Annual Review.

During the meeting

In most Annual Review discussions, you should find yourself doing more of the talking.

Normally, you will be given the opportunity to:

  • share your experiences from the past year relating to your work, achievements and development
  • input into your agreed objectives for the next year
  • discuss and plan your development

It is helpful if you take personal ownership of your role, and your specific development.  Your line manager or reviewer will also come to the meeting with role and career specific goals and objectives to discuss with you. 

After the meeting

The University asks that a record of the key points of discussion is made.

This includes:

  • previous achievements
  • behaviours demonstrated
  • agreed objectives
  • development goals

These are noted for reference by you, your line manager and the next level manager and to inform any future planning or to identify any themes to be addressed.  A form will be used to capture this information.

A record of the date of your Annual Review conversation will also be captured in Oracle.

Flow chart

Indicators of a quality review

  • Generates a clear understanding of role specific expectations and performance objectives; in line with the University mission and goals.
  • Individual personal and professional development needs are considered to support staff’s objectives and career development goals.
  • An update on the last year and a record of the agreed objectives and development needs will be noted in the completed paperwork.
  • Feedback must be honest, balanced and evidence-based. There should be no surprises.
  • The process includes flexibility to allow for local or role specific requirements (i.e. forms, timescales, low hour staff).
  • Effective feedback, including giving constructive criticism or acknowledging key achievements is essential and a fundamental part of the Annual Review.
  • Annual Reviews will be carried out in a fair and equitable way, in line with the University’s Equality and Diversity principles and the Dignity and Respect Policy.
  • Everyone involved must have the all the relevant information to carry out a discussion which is consistent and fair across staff groups.
  • The line manager/ Reviewer and the staff member will have a genuine, constructive, two way discussion.
  • All those involved must take ownership and play an active part to ensure that the conversation is meaningful, relevant and productive.
  • The conversation must not be viewed in isolation. It builds on regular discussions about work progress and/or feedback held throughout the year.
  • A staff member’s complete role or roles within the University is considered.
  • All parties involved must approach the discussion with mutual respect for the other person’s skills, abilities, knowledge and experience.


If you have any concerns with the process, or with the content of any of the paperwork please raise this with your line manager or reviewer.

HR and your next level line manager can also be consulted if you are not satisfied with your line manager/Reviewer's response.