Downing Centre & John Maddison Tower bulletin - Listening meeting - Performance Management Framework - Public Service Association

Downing Centre & John Maddison Tower bulletin – Listening meeting – Performance Management Framework

Bulletin to members at the Downing Centre and John Maddison Tower – Listening meeting – 28 July 2015 (PDF version)


The Government Sector Employment (GSE) Act (Section 67) requires all NSW public sector departments and agencies to implement performance management systems.

Your union, the PSA, sees the value in agencies basing performance management systems on the prerequisites of the Public Service Commission’s Capability Framework which would provide members with a common foundation to negotiate performance agreements and engage in performance reviews. However, as not all agencies have introduced new role descriptions based on the Capability Framework, there is potential for unfair and inequitable performance management systems to be created within and across agencies.

The PSA is consulting with members through “listenings” so that members can identify their concerns and have input into addressing them.

Members’ listening meeting

Your union, the PSA, conducted a second “listening” with members at the Downing Centre on Wednesday, 22 July 2015. Members from the District Court of NSW, Reporting Services Branch and Multimedia Unit attended.

Thank you to all the participants. Members considered the following questions:

  • How can we ensure learning and development is undertaken in a fair and effective way?
  • What does a fair and reasonable performance management system look like?
  • To successfully resolve unsatisfactory performance, an employee must have…….(finish this sentence).


In summary, members determined that a fair and equitable performance management system must:

be consistent for all employees, with equal access to learning and development and the allocation of appropriate budgets;
incorporate into learning and development programs a recognition of specific skills, be tailored to the role and relevant to the role;
provide opportunities for role progression/advancement;
recognise that training should not be undertaken for the “sake” of training – e-learning is not a genuine skill development tool and should not be included as part of learning and development;
provide an independent review of training applications;
have an agreement between employee and management on the expectations required to fulfil a role – therefore, role descriptions need to be developed in consultation with the employee;
be “weighted” towards development and acknowledge achievement;
provide coaching and guidance to achieve expected and understood levels of performance;
recognise limited advancement opportunities in areas where very specific skills are required and address that anomaly appropriately;
have objective assessment standards;
set fair benchmarks;
unsatisfactory performance must be managed as it occurs with ongoing constructive feedback, well-defined work objectives, appropriate support and training where necessary and clear definitions of unsatisfactory and satisfactory work performance;
an independent person should be involved in managing any identified unsatisfactory performance with the clear-cut identification of problems and resolution;
feedback should be regular and constructive and acknowledge strengths as well as weaknesses.

The information collected will be used in the development of the PSA’s position paper on the Performance Management Framework. The PSA’s position paper will be provided to all members when it is completed.


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