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Performance Management and Development System (PMDS)  is the system used to set goals, review and strengthen the performance of staff.


Phase 1 Changes – for the 2012 cycle of PMDS

Following review and evaluation by this Department, which included feedback from both Jobholders and Managers, it was found that PMDS has not been working as well as it should.

A significant finding was that PMDS needs to be streamlined and simplified.

PMDS Evaluation

The first step in this process is the introduction of a new PMDS form. A single form replaces the three separate forms which have covered each stage of the traditional PMDS ‘cycle’ up to now.

This form has been agreed by the representatives of management and the staff unions on the General Council Subgroup on PMDS and follows consultation with Personnel Officers across the Civil Service.

The active management of performance is an ongoing process which happens throughout the year. It begins with the setting of performance and learning goals and is supported by regular and structured review and feedback on performance.

The aim of PMDS is to provide a tool to Managers and Jobholders which will help them to manage and improve performance.

The key elements of PMDS, i.e. goal setting, competency selection, learning goals and formal reviews of performance, are all fundamental aspects of managing performance.

Effective performance management requires constant and ongoing review and feedback on performance throughout the year.

The form is designed to be an aid to Managers and Jobholders in the management of performance. It should be a useful tool in helping Managers and Jobholders to:

  • Plan work goals
  • Identify learning and development needs
  • Provide an opportunity for constructive feedback on performance.

These Guidelines will help Managers and Jobholders to complete the PMDS form.


Guidelines for the completion of PMDS Form

Table of Average Salaries

Performance Management and Development System (PMDs)

Completion Rates by Departments

Completion Rates by Grade

Distribution of PMDs Ratings

Survey on 2012 PMDs Form


Phase 2 Changes – for the 2013 cycle of PMDS

Following on from the changes introduced under Phase 1, further changes under Phase 2 were agreed in principle by Civil Service management and unions on 26 July 2012.

The Phase 2 changes are designed to improve the effectiveness of performance management by strengthening fairness and consistency in how performance is evaluated across the Civil Service.

The main changes are:

  • a new Competency Framework, setting out the qualities and behaviours required for job performance
  • a  revised system of ratings – Evaluation of Performance – with improved descriptions of performance levels, including competency evaluation
  • Ratings will be decided by Calibration review, to be introduced on a phased basis, commencing with the grades of Assistant Secretary and Principal, prior to rollout to all grades. Under Calibration, managers at the same grade who are responsible for conducting performance evaluations meet to discuss staff performance with the aim of making sure that managers apply similar standards for all staff members and eliminate bias to the greatest possible extent.
  • Internal review of ratings up to Head of Division level will be available
  • Independent External Review of ratings will be available
  • A rating of ‘Fully Achieved Expectations’ will be required for the award of an increment.

The document ‘Performance Management and Development System 2013 Phase 2 Changes Overview of Revised System’ to give effect to the changes, and which includes a revised PMDS Form, has been rolled out to Departments and Offices in preparation for the start of the 2013 PMDS cycle in January.

Guidance Notes on Goal Setting and Goal Auditing have been provided.


PMDs 2013 Overview

Goal Auditing Guide for HR Units

Jobholder Guide Goal Conversation

Manager Guide Goal Conversation

Table of Average Salaries

Compliance with PMDS in 2012

Protocol on Calibration

Manager Guide to Calibration

Calibration FAQs Guidance for HR Units

Annual Evaluation of PMDS

Compliance Rates 2013

Assistant Secretary Competencies



PMDS Compliance Rates 2015


Why is this change being introduced?

Under Action 11 of the Civil Service Renewal Plan – strengthen the performance management process – the Civil Service Management Board decided that the current five-point PMDS rating system should be replaced with a two-point system.

The new rating system has been discussed and agreed with the representatives of civil service management and the staff unions at the General Council Subcommittee on PMDS.

What is the Two-Point Rating System?

Performance will be evaluated on whether or not the jobholder has performed to a satisfactory level.

What does it mean for PMDS?

The new ratings system aims to

  • continue the process of simplifying PMDS
  • take the focus of PMDS away from looking back at past performance and instead to looking forward towards the development of future performance
  • encourage the Jobholder and the Manager to focus on the ongoing management of performance rather than on the award of the rating
  • build and develop high performance
  • address underperformance where it occurs

What about Learning and Development?

Learning and development planning continues to be an important part of PMDS.

Jobholders and Managers need to identify the learning and development actions required for effective performance in their current roles and to enable future career development.

When does this come into effect?

The new ratings system will apply for the 2016 PMDS cycle.  Ratings at 2016 End-Year Review will be awarded under the new system.

Jobholder Guide

Manager Guide

PMDS Paper Form Two Ratings

Table of Average Salaries

Annual Evaluation of PMDS rates for 2016

2016 PMDS Compliance Rates