1. Please refer to Circular 0031/2004 of 23 June 2004, Personnel Management Minute 0014/2005, and the procedure manual on SPMDS for public service personnel (levels 1 - 12).
2.1 Part VIII of the Public Service Regulations (PSR), 2001, stipulates that all Public Service departments must implement a system for performance management and development for its employees.
2.2 The SPMDS is result-driven, and entails a continuous process of ensuring that employees
  • know exactly what is expected of them;

  • are properly equipped to do what is expected of them; and

  • produce the results required of them.

It also involves performance appraisal.

2.3 A performance cycle extends over one year, i.e. from 1 April of a specific year to 31 March of the next year.
2.4 The interlinked phases attached to it can be summarised as follows:
2.4.1 Establishing an Individual Performance Plan and an Individual Development Plan, which is the result of consultation between the employee and the supervisor/line manager and which should reflect their mutual agreement on the results/outputs to be achieved within a specific performance management cycle
2.4.2 Continual monitoring by the supervisor/line manager of the employee’s performance and the provision of feedback on it, on the basis of evidence gathered, through quarterly reviews
2.4.3 Developing the employee's capacity to perform throughout the performance cycle
2.4.4 Annual appraisal at the end of the performance cycle (during March or April) in which an employee's performance in that cycle is assessed or measured
2.5 An annual review timetable should be set out at the beginning of each year and communicated to the employee.
3.1 The SPMDS was implemented in the WCED with effect from 1 April 2004 and its first performance cycle ended on 31 March 2005.
3.2 As a transitional arrangement, a shortened appraisal period of at least 6 months was applicable in the first cycle.
3.3 All supervisors/line managers were required to ensure that 2 performance reviews and an appraisal were done by the end of the performance cycle.
3.4 The WCED is now in its second performance cycle, viz. 1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006, since implementation. For this cycle, the full 4 formal performance reviews and a final appraisal process were applicable. However, with a view to the more practical application of the SPMDS, it has been decided to amend the performance review process as follows:
(a) If the employee’s performance is satisfactory:
  • two (2) of the four (4) reviews may be informal discussions.

  • all consultations/further actions that are jointly decided upon must be recorded in writing.

(b) If the employee’s performance is unsatisfactory:
  • the four (4) formal performance reviews must be held, that is, four performance review instruments must be completed.

  • all consultations/further actions that are jointly decided upon must be recorded in writing.

(c) Regardless of whether an employee's performance is satisfactory or unsatisfactory, two (2) formal performance reviews (instruments) must be done during the last six months before the employee’s annual formal performance assessment. One (1) should take place during October/November in respect of performance over the first six (6) months of a performance cycle and one (1) should take place during March/April in respect of the latter half of the performance cycle.
4.1 At this stage, supervisors/line managers should ensure that the following have been completed in respect of their staff:
  • An Individual Performance Plan (IPP)

  • An Individual Development Plan (IDP)

  • A tentative annual review timetable

  • The first formal performance review, if an employee’s performance has been satisfactory, or

  • Two formal performance reviews, if an employee’s performance has not been satisfactory.

4.2 Supervisors/line managers must ensure that IPPs and IDPs of their staff fairly reflect the requirements and level of the job. They can also discuss with other supervisors/line managers on an equal level the IPPs and IDPs of staff in similar posts. The generic job descriptions as set out in Circular 0033/2004 of 19 July 2004 could also be referred to for public service staff attached to educational institutions.
4.3 Throughout these processes, both the employee and the supervisor/line manager must check the employee's performance against the IPP and IDP regularly.
4.4 The supervisor/line manager must give the employee constructive and ongoing feedback which is focussed on improving performance.
4.5 The employee and the supervisor/line manager must collect evidence of the employee's performance in terms of the outputs, which can be presented during performance reviews and also be used to substantiate performance ratings at the appraisal phase.
5.1 The WCED, as an employer, pays an employee a salary to perform work on an acceptable/satisfactory level. Furthermore, an employee who has performed satisfactorily and who has completed 1 year's continuous service on a notch will receive a pay progression.
5.2 Rewards and incentives are granted for work that qualitatively and quantitatively surpasses the work that earns the pay. In other words, only the top performers who are contributing to the improvement of service delivery will qualify for rewards and incentives.
5.3 The expectation is that only 20% of the staff are above-average performers, viz., 15% performing at commendable (4) level and 5% at an outstanding (5) level.
5.4 For the cycle 2004/2005, it was found that most staff (54%) were incorrectly graded as above-average, which skewed ratings and left the further sifting of performance to be done by a moderating committee. Supervisors/line managers are therefore urged to be very fair and selective and only nominate their very top performer(s).
5.5 For cycle 2005/2006, each director at Head Office and the EMDCs will receive an allocation for the performance bonuses of his or her staff. He/she will have to ensure that pre-moderation is done and that only 20% of the staff is rated as performing at an above-average level and that, in this process, the performance of staff across all levels is acknowledged.
5.6 The staff attached to educational institutions will be pre-moderated in similar clusters as close as possible to the employee's service point. Clusters will be grouped to enable the immediate supervisor to present/defend the employee's performance level at a moderating meeting where the performance of colleagues at schools from a similar context will be moderated, for example, public service staff within a circuit, and the staff of FET colleges. More information in respect of these cluster groupings will follow after due consultation has taken place.
6.1 As an employer, the WCED has to ensure that the SPMDS is operative in the field and is also required to account to other public service monitoring bodies in this regard.
6.2 Hence, the implementation of the SPMDS at all levels in the WCED will be monitored over the remaining months of this performance cycle, either by way of surveys or random site visits. The co-operation of all role players will be appreciated.
6.3 All line managers are also requested to complete the attached certificate by 8 February 2006 and to submit it to the SPMDS Monitoring Officer, Directorate: Personnel Management (Public Service Staff), Room 10-19, Western Cape Education Department, Private Bag X9114, Cape Town, 8000.
7.1 Further queries concerning the above may be directed to the WCED's Call Centre at the above telephone number, or to the following officials at Head Office:
Mr M Apollis   e-mail address: mapollis@pgwc.gov.za
Mr RT Manasse  e-mail address: tmanasa@pgwc.gov.za
7.2 Your co-operation and adherence to time frames are much appreciated.
7.3 Kindly bring this circular to the attention of all public service staff under your supervision.

DATE: 2005:12:02

Annexure A  (size: 11 KB)