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Human Resources


Capability refers to an employee's ability to perform the work expected of them to the standard required. This may be assessed by reference to an employee's skill, aptitude, health or any other physical or mental quality in relation to the job that he or she is employed to do.

The purpose of the Capability Policy is to provide a framework for managing underperformance in a fair and consistent manner. The Policy differs from the Disciplinary, Sickness Absence and other policies as its primary focus is that of improving performance to the standard required. The Policy establishes guidelines for managers and staff when an employee's work performance falls below the standard appropriate for the role due to underperformance.

The University has a responsibility for setting realistic standards of performance, for explaining these standards carefully to employees and for supporting employees to achieve the standards set. Please see the induction and probation guidance for further information. The Capability Policy will not be invoked during any probationary period.

All members of staff are required to perform their duties to an acceptable standard. Whilst the majority of staff meet or exceed the standards required of them, performance problems may arise. All managers should be aware of the terms of the Capability Policy and ensure that their line reports understand its nature and scope. It is a manager's responsibility to identify underperformance and to seek to address this at the earliest opportunity.

It is recognised that capability problems may result from underlying work problems or personal issues that may be outside the employee's direct control. Consequently there is a need to treat all capability issues with care and sensitivity and to identify and (where appropriate) address the underlying causes.