FDA leading the way as the DfT redesigns performance management

Friday 28 April 2017        

The FDA has worked hard to secure changes to the civil service performance management system since its introduction in 2012, arguing that PMR in its current form eats up time and resources, disproportionately impacts staff with protected characteristics, and gets in the way of quality conversations between line managers and their workforce.

That's why we welcomed the Cabinet Office’s announcement late last year that departments would be given greater freedom to design new performance systems that were fit for the future - something the Department for Transport is now working on, with the FDA playing a key role.

The DfT has already set up a PMR Project Board, which will work up proposals for a new performance system in time for the 2018 PMR year. James Conway, convenor for the FDA’s DfT branch, is leading the way on the union side, and is taking the seat for the unions on the board.

Throughout this experience, the DfT has been taking into account the valuable experience from its trial of PMR changes at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. Unions have also discussed the core elements that they would like to see in the new system when it is introduced.

These include an end to box markings, relative assessment and guided distribution. Unions instead want to see a focus on good quality conversations, development, a link to competencies where this drives promotion, and the ability to tailor the system to operational business units.

The department is already holding monthly meetings with the TUS to discuss the new performance reporting system. These meetings are considered a sub-group of the Project Board, so its views are directly fed up to the board itself. There are also plans to formally consult unions on the changes, with this part of the process expected to take place in the autumn.

We will aim to keep FDA members in the DfT informed as the Project Board’s work continues. In the meantime, you can read more about the civil service-wide changes to performance management in the latest issue of Public Service Magazine.