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PMDR FAQs for supervisors

Q: Is it mandatory for supervisors to conduct an annual PMDR review?
A: Yes. SCU expects supervisors to be able to conduct and manage the annual PMDR process for their non-casual staff. To support this expectation, all supervisors should be trained in the PMDR process and the skills required to lead the process in their work unit or team. The conduct of annual PMDR reviews by supervisors is monitored by Work Unit Heads across the University for compliance.

Further information is available from the PMDR policy and the University's current Enterprise Agreement.

Q: What if workload and time restraints prevent supervisors from undertaking the annual PMDR review process and conducting regular ongoing performance dialogues with their staff?
A: SCU views the PMDR review as a key responsibility of its supervisors and is essential in the effective management of people. Supervisors who have issues with time availability are advised to discuss their concerns with their respective Work Unit Head.

Q: Is the PMDR review relevant to staff on fixed, shorter term contracts and longer term casual employees?
A: In terms of the PMDR policy, PMDR reviews are to be conducted for all non-casual employees. However, supervisors are also encouraged to conduct PMDR reviews for casual employees.

Q: When does the annual PMDR review process take place?
A: Ideally, the annual PMDR review process commences after a work unit's planning. It is recommended that the PMDR reviews are concluded by the end of each calendar year, however, this time frame may vary depending on the operational timelines and planning cycles of each work unit.

Q: How is the PMDR process linked to academic promotions and the rewards program for professional employees?
A: SCU has the following specific programs that link directly to the PMDR process:

  • Rewards program for professional employees: Nominations for the rewards program require the professional employee's PMDR plan for the relevant year, identifying and demonstrating the relevant outstanding performance.
  • Academic promotions: Where an academic employee applies for promotion, applications must be accompanied by copies of the signed PMDR plans for the previous two years and, depending on the timing of the call for applications, the plan for the current year.
  • Special studies program: Decisions in relation to special studies program applications will take account information contained in the PMDR plans normally for the three years prior to the call for applications.

Q: How does PMDR assist supervisors to manage unsatisfactory performance or an underperforming employee?
A: The annual PMDR process is not intended as an opportunity to manage unsatisfactory performance or underperforming employees. Instead, supervisors are encouraged to address unsatisfactory performance when it occurs throughout the year. Supervisors are encouraged to refer to the Managing unsatisfactory performance procedure and obtain guidance on how to manage unsatisfactory performance issues from their Head of Work Unit and/or their relevant HR Consultant.

Q: What if a employee has a number of supervisors?
A: Every employee should have a designated primary supervisor. Where this is not clear, you should talk to the Head of Work Unit for guidance on who is responsible for undertaking the PMDR review. It is a requirement that the designated primary supervisor conducts the PMDR review, however an additional manager/supervisor who has worked closely with a particular employee during the review period, may be invited to participate in the review. If two supervisors are involved in a particular employee's review, consensus must be reached between the supervisors, prior to the review, of the conduct and content of the review.