Performance Management Standard


The performance of all employees is fairly assessed to achieve the work-related requirements of the public sector body while paying proper regard to employee interests.

The Standard

The minimum of merit, equity and probity is met for performance management if:

  • an employee is informed about how their performance will be managed and the results of their performance assessment.
  • a proper assessment of the employee’s performance takes into account both the work-related requirements of the job and identified employee interests.
  • processes, decisions and actions are impartial, transparent and capable of review.

Explanatory notes

The explanatory notes are a guide and are not part of the Performance Management Standard.


The Standard applies to the performance management of all employees in the public sector, irrespective of level. It assists public sector bodies to establish processes by which employees can achieve their potential and the employing authority’s business needs.

The Standard does not apply to sub-standard performance or disciplinary action. While performance management processes may identify performance deemed below the level required, and could result in disciplinary action, specific legislative or common law provisions apply to substandard performance and discipline.

Work-related requirements

Work related requirements are the skills, knowledge and abilities required for the job, which may include the business needs sought by the employing authority.

Employee interests

Although the Standard requires the employing authority to identify employee interests, it does not oblige the employer to assent to them. They assist the employing authority to make an informed assessment about employee performance by taking such interests into consideration.

Employee interests could include:

  • career considerations
  • professional development needs
  • personal circumstances.


An employing authority may use several methods to assess and manage performance, depending on the specific needs of employees or occupational groups. Whatever methods are used, they should be capable of identifying various levels of performance.

Employees must be informed about how their performance will be assessed and recorded. Once a method is adopted, it must be applied consistently to that employee or occupational group.


Information produced during the performance management process is kept in trust and divulged only to those with a need to know, with due regard to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 1992.


Documentation about an employee’s performance should describe clearly and concisely the grounds upon which the assessment is made.

Public Sector Management (Breaches of Public Sector Standards) Regulations 2005

The process used to manage an employee’s performance is subject to the breach of Standard procedures. Employees have up to 10 working days from first becoming aware of the reviewable decision to lodge a breach claim, or 30 days after the decision was made, whichever period expires first.


The Standard does not override specific requirements applicable to performance management in the public sector, which may include:

  • Commissioner’s Instructions issued under the Public Sector Management Act 1994
  • sub-standard performance procedures, as specified in Part 5, Division 2 of the Act
  • any other sub-standard performance process specified in an applicable award or industrial agreement.


Reviewable decision A decision made by a public sector body as a result of the completion of a process to which a Standard applies.
Registered employee As provided for by the Public Sector Management (Redeployment and Redundancy) Regulations 1994.
Job Reference to job in the Standards refers to an office, post, position, item or function in a public sector body, department or organisation.
Proper assessment A genuine and thorough examination that takes into account all relevant facts and circumstances that are reasonably available and known at the time of the decision.

Page last updated 25 September 2012