1. The analysis of the outcomes of the SPMDS moderation process for the 2004/05 cycle indicated the following:
1.2 More staff on higher levels received performance bonuses than staff on the entry levels (1-6).
1.3 Moderation panels experienced difficulties recommending nominees based on the motivations received for commendable and outstanding performance. The motivations in general did not comply with the requirements of [Personnel Management Minute] 0014/2005. In some instances, the motivations received mirrored the reporting method used for the previous performance assessment system. In some instances, the motivations could not be matched with the agreed-upon outcomes of the Individual Performance Plans.
1.4 Post incumbents, supervisors and managers did not individually sign the SPMDS forms (ANNEXURES A-D), which impeded the processing of nominations.
1.5 There were numerous calculation errors in determining the final ratings, which translated into incorrect performance ratings.
1.6 The general quality of the documents reflected that line managers had not applied the system consistently throughout the performance cycle.
2. The following common errors of assessment should be avoided to ensure the fair application of the SPMDS and that those employees deserving of recognition are rewarded:
2.1 Ratings

Line managers who grant ratings that are inconsistent with the actual job performance of an employee create undue expectations in such employees, as they come to regard the granting of a cash bonus as a foregone conclusion. The moderation of ratings is an integral part of the assessment process, as the outcome of the moderation process determines whether an employee will be granted a cash bonus or not.

2.2 Central tendency

Many line-managers rate all of their employees as acceptable, regardless of their actual performance, in an attempt to avoid any confrontation. This tendency significantly contributes to the employees' lack of commitment and willingness to excel.

2.3 Halo-effect

The line manager gives everyone a high rating, regardless of the actual performance of the employees.

2.4 Recent assessment tendency

Line-managers do their review at the last moment and end up not taking into account the employees' work performance for the full cycle. Assessments done in this manner give a very skewed perspective of employee performance.

2.5 Emphasis on subjective performance criteria

Line-managers focus on the subjective criteria, such as personality and loyalty, instead of objective criteria, such as number of objectives/goals achieved, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

2.6 Relationship effect

Employees in high quality relationships with line-managers receive higher ratings, regardless of their performance, whereas those with low quality relationships receive a "below acceptable" or "satisfactory" rating.

2.7 Bias rating error

Line-managers allow personal feelings towards an employee to influence their ratings.

3. It is important to note that an employee receives his or her salary to perform work on at least a fully acceptable or satisfactory level. Furthermore, the following criteria, should be borne in mind with regard to qualifying for a cash bonus for the 2005/2006 cycle:
3.1 An employee must have completed one year's continuous service on his/her current salary level as on 31 March of a year.
3.2 Performance bonuses are granted for work that qualitatively and quantitatively surpasses the work performed at a fully acceptable or satisfactory level. In other words, only employees who have proven that their performance has contributed to service excellence should be considered for nomination for a cash bonus.
3.3 Only 20% of the staff are normally the top performers, viz., 15% performing at commendable (4) level and 5% at an outstanding (5) level within an organisation. The line managers must bear this in mind when assessing and rating performance within their components or educational institutions.
4. Submission of Performance Assessments
4.1 Line managers are requested to submit the completed assessment forms of their Public Service employees, i.e. Annexures A to D, including Appendix I (Motivation form), for staff assessed as having rendered a commendable or outstanding performance for the cycle 2005/2006.
4.2 The following checklist could assist in ensuring that the necessary annexures are submitted fully completed:

1Annexure A complete: signed, dated 
2Annexure B complete: signed, dated 
3Annexure C complete: signed, dated; 2 forms 
4Annexure D complete: signed, dated 
5Annexure E complete: signed, dated 
6Motivation compliant with prescriptions 
7Genuine attempt to identify performers (20%) 

4.3 The completed SPMDS forms must be submitted to the Head: Education, Western Cape Education Department, for attention: SPMDS officer, Directorate: Personnel Management (Public Service Staff), Room 10-11, Private Bag X9114, Cape Town, 8000, by no later than 20 April 2007.
5. Any line-managers requiring support regarding the application of the SPMDS can contact the helpdesk or direct such enquiries to the following official at Head Office:
Mr RT Manasse
Tel: 021 467 2426
E-mail address: tmanasa@pgwc.gov.za
6. Please bring this circular to the attention of all public service staff under your supervision.

DATE: 2007:03:23