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FAQs

When should the HPP process begin?

To coincide with the Business Planning process, in order to cascade the Business Plan objectives into personal objectives/tasks – the period from April to June (Q1) is the most appropriate.

What about new starters?

Probationers should have a total of 3 reviews during their probationary period - at 1, 3 & 5 months with further reviews at 9 & 11 months for those on a 12 month probationary period. They therefore would have had work objectives set during this period. Once probation has been completed, ideally a half-yearly review may be undertaken where objectives for the remaining time before the next cycle begins, can be set. After that they should fall in with the regular annual HPP starting in April.

If a new line-manager has not completed their probationary period themselves, are they able to still carry out the HPP process?

As part of their managerial role, a manager has responsibility for their staff’s development and how they are performing against given objectives. Therefore as part of their duties, irrespective of their own probationary period, carrying out HPP discussions with staff should still be carried out.

Do I have to wait for my HPP discussion myself before I can cascade the process down to my staff?

Ideally yes, but this should not be used as an excuse for not conducting HPP discussions with staff. Once Business Plans have been finalised and objectives for the coming year are known, these can be cascaded down to staff. Once a manager actually receives their HPP discussion, should there be a need to further cascade any other objectives down to staff arising from any additional objectives that have been set, this can be communicated and agreed with staff at that time.

What do we do with the front sheet of the HPP form?

The front sheet of the HPP form is a way of evidencing that the HPP discussion has been undertaken with a staff member. Periodically, random audits will occur to ensure quantitative analysis is accurate. It is also the mechanism to collate staff’s Personal Development Plans and any training needs arising from it. These sheets should be copied and sent onto a nominated divisional collator, who will co-ordinate a response for a divisional Learning & Development Plan.

What do I do if a staff member transfers from another department? Who conducts the HPP discussion?

Ideally on exiting a department a staff member will have a final review conducted by the outgoing manager. HPP information should remain confidential to the individuals concerned. HPP information is personal to the post not to the person! Therefore the information should remain where the post sits and shouldn’t transfer with the individual concerned. When a staff member starts in a new job role, their personal objectives change according to their new job responsibilities and new Business Plan objectives. Therefore new objectives need to be set for the individual in order to be carried forward into their new role.

What if a staff member refuses to sign the form?

On completion of the HPP discussion, if there has been some form of dispute during the process for whatever reason, a manager needs to try and resolve the problem as effectively as possible. By:

  • A manager should initially talk to the staff member concerned to establish what the problem is, to try and resolve it between them.
  • If no resolution has been established then the Countersigning Officer/impartial third party should intervene and help to resolve the problem by talking to both parties concerned individually.
  • If the Countersigning Officer is happy that the process was conducted fairly and does reflect accurately any performance issues, then the Countersigning Officer can sign the HPP form off without the jobholder agreeing. The decision of the Countersigning Officer is final. In this situation, the jobholder has got the option of a right of appeal. The appeal should be made in writing and within 14 days – two grounds for appeal: Unsubstantiated comments or abuse of process. If the Countersigning Officer having made a considered assessment of the appeal agrees that changes are justified then they can be reflected together with written confirmation as to why the changes have been made. However, should the Countersigning Officer feel unable to alter the HPP form then the reasons need to be recorded separately and all parties informed of the outcome.
  • If the staff member concerned is still not happy they may wish to take the matter further by invoking the grievance procedure.
  • If the Countersigning Officer is not happy that the process was conducted fairly then they can ask for the HPP meeting to be conducted again after speaking to the manager and jobholder individually.

Page updated: 26/03/2018 10:31:02