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The Manager

Will normally be the employee’s line manager or a more senior manager and is responsible for ensuring that the employee is informed of standards of performance required. The manager should address underperformance issues when they become known and seek to resolve these at the earliest opportunity. The manager will collate the necessary information and may consult with HR to establish the nature and extent of the underperformance concerns. The manager will lead and direct informal and formal stage one and two capability meetings, and will work with the employee to develop a performance improvement plan, explain the standards set and support the employee in achieving them. The manager will review the evidence gathered to assess if further action is required and what this should be in accordance with the policy.

The Head of Institution (or nominated deputy)

Will lead and direct formal stage three capability meetings.

The Employee

Has a duty to perform their duties to an acceptable standard and to seek to improve where their performance falls below the standards required, including meeting the standards required under any performance improvement plan that is set. The employee will answer concerns raised under the Capability procedure. They will be provided with the opportunity to bring forward information and share their views at any meetings or appeal.

The Human Resources Representative

Will provide advice and guidance on the application of the Capability Policy and procedure. They will support the manager in the process of making an informed, fair and reasonable decision. They will ask questions at meetings and challenge evidence as required.

The Trade Union Representative or work colleague

May support and advise the employee, and may ask questions or make representations on behalf of the employee. They may not answer questions on behalf of the employee.


If Witnesses are called they may be asked to:

  • Provide a written statement in their own words of what they personally witnessed or had involvement with.
  • Attend a meeting and answer questions.
  • Describe any particular incidents that are relevant to the performance issue raised.
  • Specify any other persons who may have witnessed the particular incidents raised.

Witnesses must treat as confidential any information communicated to them in connection with a matter which is subject to a capability procedure.

A Note Taker

Will take notes at the meeting(s). These will be notes of key points and will not be a verbatim record. The notes will be provided to both parties who will have the opportunity to submit their comments. Where possible the note taker will be someone who is not involved in the case but will usually be from the HR Division. Meetings cannot be recorded by either side and recordings will not be admissible as evidence even where they exist.