Appraisal Form Guidance Notes on how to fill in the form



Since the Appraisal Form is completed online by the Job Holder, his or her Reporting Officer and the Countersigning Officer, there are likely to be several electronic versions of the Appraisal Form in circulation. It is important to remember that under current Data Protection guidelines only the Job Holder and the Human Resources Office should retain a copy of the Form, and Reporting Officers may only keep a copy if they inform the Job Holder that they are doing so. Multiple or old versions of forms should not be stored. Countersigning Officers should not keep copies of Appraisal Forms.


  • Agree Job Role, main tasks and "smart" objectives with your Reporting Officer and record on the form
  • Agree the Job Skills/Behaviours Profile (these are likely to remain largely the same from one year to the next although they may be altered to allow for a different emphasis as priorities within the business area change from one year to the next) and record on the form


In keeping with Records Management and Data Protection principles, the following file naming convention is suggested:

The third part of your pay reference (i.e. first and last letters of your surname and first initial), Appraisal Form, Year and Month (numerical).

e.g. NLM Appraisal Form 201004

1. Right click and select “save target as” to save the form to your H: drive before typing in any details.

2. Most of the personal details section on the top part of the form will automatically populate with details of your name, post, Reporting Officer etc. You will however, be able to overwrite this information if required and you may also have to manually complete any blank sections. These will be self-explanatory. You should also enter the details of your role next to My Role Is at the top of page 3.

3. Enter your SMART objectives in the "To have fulfilled my role I will have" column of the Job Roles and Objectives table. As noted in the “Job Role and Objectives” guidance you are required to have at least one objective each relating to Equalities, Environmental Performance and Health and Safety in order to signify the importance the SPCB attaches to these three areas. The form will be pre-populated with any mandatory training requirements in these areas for the forthcoming year as a reminder to ensure you do this training.  If relevant, also complete the "And I will also have" section.

4. Move down to the Skills and Behaviours table (ignore the Performance Assessment boxes for now). Select your agreed 4 – 6 skills and behaviours from the dropdown menus (Parliamentary and Political Awareness is pre-populated as it is mandatory for all staff) and select your agreed level against each one from the dropdowns under the Agreed Level column.


Mandatory In-Year Review (more discussions may be held during the course of the year)

  • Review tasks and objectives and adjust if necessary on the Appraisal Form to reflect changing priorities etc.

You are not required to complete an Appraisal Form at this point in the performance management year although the Job Holder and Reporting Officer should keep some form of written record of the discussion. Many staff and managers will find it useful to simply record a note of the discussion on the Performance Appraisal Form to assist them in formally completing it at the End-Year Review.

During this period you should ensure that you update your PDP so that you can send a copy to the Human Resources Office by the end of October.  You can find more information about the PDP here.    


In advance of the End-Year Review, should complete a draft Appraisal Form and send it to your Reporting Officer in time for him or her to review it before your End-Year Review


End-Year Review

  • Discuss, review and assess performance over previous full year.
  • Set tasks and objectives for the year ahead.

Please note that there is no need to print the Form off in hard copy as it does not require to be physically signed. Instead, the relevant parties should electronically “sign” the form to confirm that they have seen/endorsed it. In line with our Environmental Performance objectives we would discourage you from printing off hard copies of the Form (or any other documents for that matter) unless absolutely necessary.



1. During the End-Year Review, the Job Holder and Reporting Officer will discuss whether or not objectives were met. The outcome should be recorded in the "Were my objectives met?" column.

2. Whether or not the objectives were met, any learning that has resulted from the experience should be recorded at What can we learn? If any objective was not met, it may also be appropriate to transfer any learning to the PDP form.


1. Review and finalise the Comments to support whether or not objectives were met. As outlined in the “Job Role and Objectives” guidance, there is no need to write large amounts of text under the “Comments” section of the form. A simple note of whether the objective was achieved and if not, the reasons for this, is all that is required. For this reason and in order to ensure that staff do not expend disproportionate amounts of time and effort in the completion of the form, the number of characters that can be entered in each box in this section has been limited to 500.

2. At Performance Assessment, select whether performance in achieving objectives was acceptable or not.

3. Complete Comments to support overall Performance Assessment. Again, there is no need to provide large amounts of text in this section and in order to ensure that staff do not expend disproportionate amounts of time and effort in the completion of the form, the number of characters that can be entered in this section has been limited to 750. Navigate to the Skills and Behaviours table.

4. Review and discuss the agreed 4 – 6 Skills and Behaviours from the dropdown menus (bearing in mind that Parliamentary and Political Awareness will already be populated as it is a compulsory skill/behaviour for all staff)

5. Review and finalise the Comments and Evidence to support each Skill or Behaviour. Do not leave this blank.

6. Assess and complete the rating for each Skill or Behaviour. To select an assessment rating for each Skill or Behaviour, click on the Assessment drop down and select the appropriate response.

7. Record the Job Holder's overall performance rating together with any comments to back the assessment up in the Comments from Reporting Officer and overall assessment section. Remember that an overall performance assessment of “clearly exceeds requirements of role” would not be expected unless the Job Holder had an acceptable performance against their objectives and at least 3 Exceptional marks against their selected skills and behaviours.

8. Return the Appraisal Form electronically to the Job Holder.


1. Add your own comments in the Comments from job holder section and navigate down to the Job Holder section at the bottom of the report. Enter either I have seen this report or I have seen this report and I wish a JAR with my Countersigning Officer as appropriate.

2. Do not mark the tick box to confirm that you have electronically “signed” the form at this point.

3. Save the file and then forward it electronically to your Countersigning Officer.


1. If you do not think you can endorse the report, you should discuss your reservations with the Reporting Officer before making any amendments. If the report is to be amended, click on the radio button I endorse this report as amended by me. Navigate to the comments section and make any amendments you think are required in track changes mode. (Existing text can be deleted, overtyped etc if the report is to be amended in any way).

2. Complete the Comments section.

3. Electronically “sign” and date the form by clicking the tick box next to “Confirmed” and return it to the Job Holder by email, copying in the Reporting Officer.


1. Electronically “sign” the report and then email it to your Reporting Officer who should electronically “sign” and date it before passing it up through the Head of Office (and Head of Group where this is not the same person).


1. .Electronically “sign” and date the form to confirm that it is consistent with reporting standards within your Office/Group before emailing the completed form to