Requestor has asked the following questions about the Home Office’s staff appraisal system:
1. Whether you operate a staff appraisal system based on relative assessment, with or without formal ranking, and with or without forced or equal distribution (“quotas”) and/or “bell curve” elements and, if so, when it was introduced;
2. If you operate such a system, the period over which it was introduced, beginning with the date on which it was decided to introduce such a system and ending with the date on which the system was implemented in full;
3. Whether you have previously tried and subsequently abandoned such a system, and if so your reasons for abandoning the system, whether set out in any “lessons learned” document or otherwise;
4. If you have tried and abandoned such a system, how long it was in operation;
5. The number of claims brought by or on behalf of civil servants in your Department to the CSAB, the Employment Tribunal and the courts arising out of the operation of forced or equal distribution systems;
6. The number of such claims brought arising out of your Department’s use of “pilot” schemes preparatory to the introduction of forced or equal distribution systems;
7. Of the claims brought in the CSAB, the ET and the courts, the numbers won by your Department and won by claimants or applicants, and the number settled;
8. The number of formal grievances brought citing the principle and/or the practice of your forced/equal distribution system, if applicable;
9. The numbers of formal grievances brought in the year immediately preceding the introduction and the year immediately following the abandonment of any staff appraisal system based on forced/equal distribution, respectively, if applicable;
10. If it is the case that you have at any point considered but rejected the possibility of introducing a staff appraisal system based on forced or equal distribution, your reasons for not adopting such a system.
The Home Office HQ and United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) piloted a staff appraisal system based on relative assessment in the 2007-2008 reporting year, for staff below SCS. It used the principles of ranking to assess the comparative performance of jobholders across teams. Staff whose performance was ranked in the lower 10% were provided with focused support to help them raise their performance, staff ranked in the top 35% were awarded a performance related bonus. The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Identity and Passport Service (IPS) do not operate a staff appraisal system based on relative assessment, they do not use formal ranking or forced/equal distribution and/or bell curve elements.
The Home Office HQ and UKBA committed to introducing a system of relative assessment in April 2007, the pilot took place in May/June 2008, this was followed by a full review of the pilot in August 2008. The principle of relative assessment as piloted is being continued, but there is no longer a requirement to identify formally those staff assessed as less effective.
Neither the Home Office HQ nor UKBA, CRB, IPS have previously operated an appraisal system based on relative assessment.
4, 6, 7 and 10 - No information held
- In regard to the number of claims raised for the pilot year, these are as follows:
Home Office HQ - 0
UKBA - 0
IPS - N/A
CRB - N/A
- In regard to the number of formal grievances raised for the pilot year, these are as follows:
Home Office HQ - less than 5
UKBA - 29
IPS - N/A
CRB - N/A
- During the period 1/4/2006 - 31/3/2007, the year immediately preceding the introduction of the current appraisal system, the total number of formal grievances raised related to the appraisal system was under 5 for Home Office HQ and 17 for UKBA. For IPS and CRB, this is not applicable.