ANU Performance


The Focus performance cycle has been developed to replace the current Performance Development Review (PDR) system over the course of 2024.

A soft launch pilot of Focus commences today, allowing teams to opt into the new process or continue to use the PDR system until active processes are closed out. Feedback from this pilot launch will inform refinements to the process and approach. All staff will be expected to use the new process from 2025.

Moving to the Focus performance cycle

An online version of Focus is being designed using the University's HRMS system and will be available in mid-2024.

In the meantime, staff are encouraged to move to the new process using a Word template for Stage 1 - Goal-setting. Separate Word templates have been created for Academic and Professional/Technical staff, and are available using the links at the right-hand side of this page. These Word templates use the same format which will be applied in the new online tool.

Also at the right, linked PDF documents show how the performance cycle will work for Academic and Professional/Technical staff, including consistent timing of cycles for all staff.

The online version of Focus will be available for use at the first check-in point, which will be mid-2024 for Professional/Technical staff and later for Academic staff. At this stage, the goals set in the Word document can be copied and pasted into the online tool.

Information and resources

A Sharepoint Page - Focus - has been created with relevant resources including a recorded information session.

Transitioning from PDRs

Between now and the end of 2024, staff will have the option of continuing to use the PDR system or moving across to Focus. Following are some of the options available for different scenarios over this period:

Staff with an existing PDR in eforms:

  • Continue current PDR until finished, for the next cycle transition to Word document (up to June 2024) or online system (from July 2024)
  • If current PDR finishes late in 2024 (eg from October onwards) wait until January 2025 to commence the next cycle as part of the new standard cadence

Staff with PDR due for completion:

  • Close out PDR with manager review
  • Use Word document to set goals between now and April 2024, then transition to online process from the mid-cycle check-in, with goals from the Word document copied into the online template.

Staff with no existing PDR:

  • Use Word document to set goals between now and April 2024, then transition to online process from the mid-cycle check-in, with goals from the Word document copied into the online template.


  • Use the existing PDR system in eforms for probation in the first half of 2024, with a new process to be developed from July 2024


The Focus performance cycle has been designed around the following principles, informed by current best practice in performance management:

  • Emphasis on regular feedback rather than once or twice-yearly performance discussions
  • Forward-looking with a focus on future development in addition to reflecting on progress against goals
  • Emphasis on goal-setting with support for how to do this effectively.

The aim is to keep the process as simple as possible, and emphasise equipping supervisors and staff to have effective feedback and development conversations. Training and other resources will be provided to support this aim as part of the implementation.

Why this change?

The most recent ANYOU Survey (March 2023) highlighted opportunities to improve our performance development approach. In the survey:

  • 65% of respondents agreed that their job performance is evaluated fairly;
  • 58% of respondents indicated that they receive appropriate recognition for good work; and
  • Only 28% of respondents agreed with the statement ‘When it is clear someone is not delivering in their role we do something about it’.

Survey respondents also provided relevant written comments, highlighting issues such as never having completed a PDR at ANU (or not for several years) and supervisors not being equipped to provide useful feedback. This feedback is consistent with findings and recommendations from an external review of the Performance and Development Review (PDR) undertaken in 2019.

Additionally, the current PDR form and process has to be replaced as the platform supporting the current form (eForms) will be discontinued at ANU after December 2024.

Any questions can be directed to your local HR contact or the People and Culture team:

Page owner: Human Resources