As outlined on the appraisal landing page, you may recommence appraisals where divisions and directorates have capacity to hold these.

Support for line managers

We know some managers will feel confident and able to lead a conversation that focuses on appreciation, staff health & well-being and be able to encourage employees to reflect, talk and say what matters to them. Others may feel less confident and want to seek additional support and guidance. The following is available:

  • Individual Telephone coaching – to arrange a one hour coaching session email
  • Join a small group session ‘ Appraisal Information session for Managers’ at the Deakin Centre – dates and booking can be accessed via DOT
  • For any practical advice or information please contact or call 01223 257140 between 0800 – 1600 Monday – Friday.

The British Psychological Society (BPS) has provided an informative guide The Psychological Needs of healthcare staff as a result of a coronavirus pandemic. This includes a table that shows the psychological responses of staff that varies over the phases of a pandemic. We have added the table as a summary you can download; it may be of interest to you personally and for your role as a line manager.

Some practicalities – arranging and preparing for the appraisal conversation

  • You should discuss with your employee a mutually convenient date and time, ideally providing two weeks’ notice.
  • If your employee is working off site/shielding the conversation can be planned remotely but only if the employee is comfortable with this; where agreed consider the most suitable platform (zoom/web-ex/conference call etc.)
  • Let your employee know there is an employee’s guide available on HR Consult/Appraisal so that they can understand the key aims and focus, as well as being able to download the appraisal form.
  • Explain that the form helps the employee consider what they would like to discuss providing prompts for them to consider ahead of the discussion. If your employee wishes to forward a copy to you they can do so.
  • You are asked to use the form to prepare ahead of the conversation; read its content and consider how you will encourage discussion: Ask, listen and plan how you will do what matters most. Information contained in the Leading Appraisal Conversation suggested questions is available as a download on the right hand side.
  • Please do familiarise yourself with the support available for health and well-being for your staff and you; there is a link on this page; these have been extended/developed during COVID- 19 this provides Coronavirus CUH Staff Information Employee Support and Assistance – this provides information to internal and national support helplines and websites offering support and advice.
  • Do make sure you have anticipated and considered your employees personal/professional development ahead of the conversation. You may wish to familiarise yourself with what is available within CUH contained in the Learning Directory and the employee Development Opportunity Boards (summary of development opportunities specific for a range of job roles), there is more detail available on DOT
  • Please read further information below regarding the importance of promoting equality of opportunity below.
  • Do note that after the appraisal you are asked to confirm the conversation has taken place and to provide confidential information about the broad themes; in your preparation ensure your conversation enables you to be able to provide responses on the e-appraisal form .

Finally, please remember:

  • The appraisal form is there as a guide and to enable prompts for you and your employee, do not let the form dominate your conversation; use your skills to make this a quality conversation that is meaningful rather than it appearing a ‘tick box’ exercise. These conversations matter.

Education, training and development – promoting equality of opportunity

As a line manager you are in a position to be able to identify potential in your staff and support their progress and development. We know some employees are very confident and able to maximise routes to further training and development, others may be less able to do so.

This may be due to a range of factors that include: race, religion, age, disability, culture or family background.   Some cultures consider it inappropriate to ask for promotion/ training/development as they consider it is those in authority that should make those decisions, or they believe they have to be asked or wait their turn. This is clearly very different for other cultures. It is known that some staff will have had very different experiences and opportunities when they were at school and in their home life that has impacted on their confidence as well as those that have disabilities; some who may consider they have been restricted; and those that are younger or older may feel less inclined to put themselves forward for opportunities.

All these factors matter; at CUH our annual NHS staff survey results show that fewer of our BAME colleagues compared to white colleagues believe they have equality of access to education, training and development and opportunities to career progression.   Our CUH Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) action plan seeks to address this by ensuring for instance that all secondment and acting opportunities are advertised; you should consider giving all team members the opportunity to apply to undertake any stretch assignments/projects that the team need to undertake.

You are asked to bear all these factors in mind and be curious and interested in encouraging training and development opportunities for each member of your team; not only for the appraisal and development conversation but throughout the year and during regular 1:1’s with your staff/team.

Finally, we recommend if you have not done so already to undertake the Understanding Bias e-learning (Line manager essential) module (accessible via DOT); it will help you understand some of the issues highlighted above. You may also find the eLearning course on inclusive leadership helpful. Do check the wealth of reading material and eLearning courses available on cultural competence that will further enhance your knowledge and understanding – DOT is regularly updated.

General information for you and your employees regarding mandatory training, appraisal and pay progression – Changes during 2020-2021

  • Mandatory and essential for role training compliance.  This does not form part of the appraisal conversation this year but you are encouraged to ensure your staff remain competent and confident across all the mandatory and essential for role subjects. This can be discussed during 1:1 conversations (check in/catch ups). As mandatory training has been recommenced after the March 2020 pause, please encourage your staff to complete due training if the division/directorate has capacity to enable this.
  • Pay progression during 2020-21. There are very few staff eligible to pay step progression due to the national pay changes. All employees that are due a pay step progression (formerly known as incremental progression) will automatically receive this during 2020-21. There will be no withholding of this due to capability, disciplinary or non-compliance with mandatory training issues.
  • Pay progression during 2021-22. CUH will be making changes to its pay progression policy and practice that will apply from April, 2021. This will be worked through with staff side colleagues; there will be communication to you and your staff in early 2021.


  • Appraisal and Development Conversation formnew form to enable reflective conversation
  • e-appraisal formto record the outcome of your conversation
  • Leading Appraisal Conversation suggested questions – this can be used to support your conversation ensuring a reflective conversation takes place
  • Psychological needs of healthcare staffa table to provide you with a greater understanding of the psychological response phases that your staff may experience as a result of Covid -19
  • Learning Directory PDF – Summary of the training and development available at CUH. To view more detail and to book please go to DOT
  • Development Opportunity boards – These provide a summary of development opportunities available by role and are available on DOT and Connect.