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Assessment of contribution made should be clearly related to University, School or Faculty/Department objectives and should recognise achievements and reward behaviours and activities likely to contribute to the future success of the University.

Judgements should be based demonstrably on objective evidence and, if appropriate, recognise teamwork.

Managers should ensure that they periodically review the contributions of all of their staff, in order to bring forward for consideration all cases that meet the criteria.

Criteria for assessing contribution must be applied fairly and consistently.

The Staff Review and Development Scheme, whilst remaining a separate and independent mechanism for appraisal, could be used to inform the recognition and reward process including where applications should be considered under the Contribution Reward Scheme.

The following more general principles must also be applied through the process in order to achieve fair and proper consideration of proposals:

8.1 Natural Justice

‘Natural Justice’ is defined as ‘due process of law’ or the ‘requirements of procedural fairness’. There are two principles:

  1. No person may be a judge of his/her own cause
  2. The person must have the opportunity to be ‘heard’ fairly

Accordingly, all persons involved in the procedure and in the consideration of proposals should be fully conversant with the guidance contained in this document. They should undertake their roles in a manner which is scrupulously fair in relation to proposals that have been submitted, whether or not the guidance makes explicit provision for all circumstances.

8.2 Fairness and declaration of interest

If any person involved in the preparation, presentation of documentation, or in the consideration of proposals has a personal interest that may affect the impartial consideration of proposals, or be perceived by others to do so, they should declare this to the person with overseeing that part of the process. If that is the person who has declared an interest, s/he should be prepared to withdraw from the relevant section of the proceedings, handing over responsibility to another person for that item of business.

With regard to Committees, all members should be aware that:

  • a systematic approach in forming a view of a proposal is desirable
  • the process of evaluation is a collective activity and all decisions should be arrived at collectively. (If a member is unable to be present, he/she may provide a written statement of their view but such written views should be accorded less weight than those expressed in open discussion since written statements provided in absence cannot be challenged in committee)
  • If all members agree immediately on the same overall assessment, this can be accepted without discussion. Differences in individual members' evaluations should be discussed and a consensus reached. Detailed discussion will in most cases lead to collective agreement on the assessment

8.3 Equal opportunity

The University's statement of policy is as follows:

The University of Cambridge is committed in its pursuit of academic excellence to equality of opportunity and to a pro-active and inclusive approach to equality, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups, promotes an inclusive culture, and values diversity.

The University is therefore committed to a policy and practice which require that, for students, admission to the University and progression within undergraduate and graduate studies will be determined only by personal merit and by performance. For staff, entry into employment with the University and progression within employment will be determined only by personal merit and by the application of criteria which are related to the duties and conditions of each particular post and the needs of the institution concerned.

Subject to statutory provisions no applicant for admission as a student, or for a staff appointment, or student, or member of staff, will be treated less favourably than another on the grounds of sex (including gender reassignment), marital or parental status, race, ethnic or national origin, colour, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or age. For students, ability to meet the requirements of the selection criteria for competitive admission and for staff, ability to perform the job, will be the primary consideration.

If any person admitted as a student or appointed as an employee considers that he or she is suffering from unequal treatment on any of the above grounds in his or her admission, appointment, or progression through the University, he or she may make a complaint, which will be dealt with through the agreed procedures for complaints or grievances or the procedures for dealing with bullying and harassment, as appropriate.

The University will take active steps to promote good practice. In particular it will:

  • Promote equality of opportunity
  • Promote good relations between people of different racial groups, between women and men, and between disabled and non-disabled people
  • Have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination on grounds of race, sex, disability, and all other grounds set out in the statement on equal opportunities
  • Subject its policies to continuous assessment in order to examine how they affect all under-represented groups, especially ethnic minority students and staff, women, and disabled students and staff, and to identify whether its policies help to achieve equality of opportunity for all these groups, or whether they have an adverse impact
  • Monitor the recruitment and progress of all students and staff, paying particular attention to the recruitment and progress of ethnic minority students and staff, women, and disabled students and staff
  • Promote an inclusive culture, good practice in teaching, learning, and assessment, and good management practice, through the development of codes of best practice, policies, and training
  • Take positive action wherever possible to support this policy and its aims
  • Publish this policy widely amongst staff and students, together with policy assessments and results of monitoring

The University will meet all statutory obligations under relevant legislation and, where appropriate, anticipate future legal requirements signalled under EU Directives.

8.4 Disability and allowance for special circumstances

Consideration should be given to any special circumstances which may have resulted in a lack of opportunity for any applicant or group of applicants to perform to their full potential, e.g. disability and time away from work because of family responsibilities for bringing up children or caring for relatives or for illness. Initially, the case put forward should be assessed objectively and on the same basis as other applicants before considering whether it would be appropriate to make an allowance. Those making the decision must record whether or not an allowance was made and the reasons behind that decision, as well as indicating the exact nature of any allowance made. Further advice should be sought from the relevant HR Business Manager Consultant.

In the case of a member of staff who is known to have a disability, account should be taken of:

  1. the nature of their disability
  2. how they believe it has constrained performance
  3. and, if appropriate, the effectiveness of any adjustments to their workplace or employment arrangements in overcoming these problems

Full details of the University's Disability and Employment policy can be found on the web.

8.5 Confidentiality and the Data Protection Act, 1998

Members of the Committees and University staff involved in the procedure should note that the process of consideration is confidential and that certain documentation in the guidance may not be disclosed to applicants or other persons who are not members of Committees or otherwise appropriately involved in the process.

The University's policy in relation to the Data Protection Act, 1998 is to respect confidentiality of information provided by referees in so far as this is compatible with the requirements of the Act and other relevant legislation.

8.6 Procedural adjustments and interpretation of guidance

The Chair of the Human Resource Committee shall have authority, on behalf of the General Board and Council and in consultation with the trade unions, to make any reasonable change or adjustment to the procedure, interpret aspects of the guidance mentioned in the document where doubt arises as to its meaning, or take other action that may be necessary to ensure the fair and efficient management of this and any subsequent promotions exercise.