Appraisal tools and tips

staff in a meeting

The simplified knowledge and skills framework (KSF) – a practical guide outlines a simpler approach that makes a better link between appraisals and KSF, to improve appraisal rates. 

This page outlines the key steps in the appraisal process with a range of supporting tools, tips, templates and examples, that you can download and tailor, based on research with trusts.  It is not intended to be prescriptive but provide a range of materials that employers can adapt, along with simplified KSF, to meet local needs.

To help your appraisal planning, you can use our checklist to assess how well your organisation is doing on embedding an effective appraisal process.  


Key steps Tools 
Communicating the appraisal process - start the annual review process by reminding all staff about the timetable, the value and role of appraisals and what they should cover, the need to prepare signposting to the relevant support and guidance for line managers and staff. 

 are available in full in Appraisals - a guide for using the simplified KSF

Preparing for the appraisal meeting - once a date for the annual meeting has been agreed, both the line manager and staff need to invest time in preparing for the meeting and employers should allow some protected time for this.

Preparation would usually involve looking at information about the job and required skills and knowledge against individual performance, behaviours, development and achievements over the last year, and considering objectives for the following year.
Meeting for the annual appraisal - the opportunity for the line manager and staff member to review performance and development for the previous year, before agreeing objectives and personal development for the next year. The simplified KSF provides a useful tool to identify the required skills - focusing on the six core dimensions for every job - and development, to help staff do their job.
Doing the appraisal follow-up - finalising and agreeing the appraisal forms in line with the organisation's appraisal process. Usually a copy of the form will need to be returned to HR for their files.
  • See the template forms for 'Meeting for the annual appraisal' (above)
Meeting for interim/mid-year reviews - reviewing progress on objectives and any agreed training or personal development that has been agreed for the year.
Ensuing on-going discussions - these should cover progress against agreed objectives, individual performance and development as part of regular 1:2:1 discussions.
  • It might be helpful to refer to the appraisal form that outlines objectives and personal development for the current year.

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