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A6: Main page

Page contents:

1. Getting promoted
2. Personal promotion scheme

1. Getting promoted

The success of BBSRC's mission depends on the contribution of staff who fulfil many different roles. Opportunities for career development and progression within BBSRC are open to all BBSRC staff, irrespective of race, religion or belief, age, sexual orientation, disability, sex, pregnancy or maternity, marriage or civil partnership, or gender reassignment.

There are a number of ways in which you can obtain promotion within BBSRC.

First of all you can gain promotion by applying for a post at a higher grade when it is created or becomes vacant. All vacant posts are open for applications from internal candidates and such applications are actively encouraged. It is a requirement that no posts in BBSRC are filled by a candidate employed at a lower Band without a selection interview.

Another possibility is Individual Grading Review (see appendix A6.9). In certain circumstances this may result in you effectively obtaining a promotion through your job being evaluated at a higher grade. When your post was created or at a time when it was significantly changed, it would have been graded using the analytical job evaluation system that BBSRC and a range of other public sector employers make use of; this is called 'JEGS' (Job Evaluation and Grading Support). If your post has changed, for example, as a result of a restructuring, it is possible for you or your manager to request that a re-grading is undertaken.

You will also come across opportunities for Temporary Promotion - for example, covering for a colleague who is on maternity leave or absent for another reason (see appendix A7.10).

Finally, there is a scheme for Personal Promotion - which results in a move to a higher grade on the basis of your performance and personal contribution to the positive impact that your current role has on the success of BBSRC. The Personal Promotion Scheme is open to all employees in all areas of work. However, you should be aware that Personal Promotions will always be exceptional within the organisation. Certain roles will offer less opportunity for an enhanced personal contribution than others, and it may be more appropriate for you to seek promotion through a different route (e.g. applying for an internal vacancy).

There should be no expectation of a Personal Promotion just because you have reached the top of your pay band, or are a long-serving member of staff, or have a particular track record of outputs.

Your local establishment (i.e. Institute or Swindon office) has a statement of local guidance regarding their use of the Personal Promotion scheme and how it fits into other available career progression opportunities.

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2. Personal promotion scheme

2.1 Introduction

The Personal Promotion Scheme aims to recognise and reward those staff who through their experience and expertise, develop their role to a higher level and contribute at a level above that of their current role, for the benefit of the organisation.

Normally, the individual's contribution and value to the organisation is such that it would be necessary to recruit at the higher grade if the organisation wishes to secure an equivalent level of impact and contribution.

When a Personal Promotion is awarded, it is made on a personal but substantive basis. Individuals will be working at the requirements of the higher band with the expectation that they will sustain this level of performance. For this reason, individuals will be expected to show that they have the overall requirements and adaptability expected at the higher level.

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2.2 Preparing a case for personal promotion

Following the annual appraisal and performance development review (APDR) round, your establishment will consider all staff and identify any potential cases for a Personal Promotion. Following this, your line manager may discuss the submission of a nomination with you. In exceptional circumstances a nomination may be accepted outside of the normal timetable.

To gain Personal Promotion you and your line manager will need to demonstrate clearly that your case meets the criteria listed in appendix A6.1. These cover:

  • Performance and achievements to date
  • Quality and output
  • Impact
  • Leadership
  • Citizenship
  • Potential

If you consider that you meet the criteria for Personal Promotion, you should discuss this with your line manager. If they are not supportive, you should seek the advice of your co-signatory or another more senior member of line management regarding a self-nomination.

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2.3 Principles

Nominations for Personal Promotion are welcomed from all staff irrespective of one or more of the 'protected characteristics' under the Equality Act 2010, namely: race, religion or belief, age, sexual orientation, disability, sex, pregnancy or maternity, marriage or civil partnership, or gender reassignment.

All individuals involved in the assessment process must act fairly and not discriminate unlawfully on the grounds of any of the above 'protected characteristics' or due to part-time working, fixed-term contract or trade union activities.

The membership of the Personal Promotion Panel, Promotion Interview Panels, Personal Promotion Board and Individual Excellence Board should, as far as is reasonably practicable, achieve a balance of genders and other diversity groups. However, applicants will be assessed by the individuals who are best able to assess nominations.

It is a requirement that all members of the establishment's local Personal Promotion Panel (PPP), Individual Excellence Board (IEB) and Promotion Interview Panels (PIP) have undergone relevant diversity and unconscious bias awareness briefing within the last three years. This briefing will be delivered by the establishment for the PPP and local PIP, by People and Development Group for the IEB and associated PIP.

The Personal Promotion Panel and Individual Excellence Board also have the right to access relevant career based information (such as qualifications, promotion history, publications) and to seek additional data from establishments where particular groups are under-represented to assure itself that all staff are afforded fair treatment and opportunity.

Staff who believe that they have been discriminated against have recourse to the Research Council grievance policy.

2.4 Submitting your nomination

The assessment of your case for promotion will require you to submit the following:

  • an application form using the template at appendix A6.2, which includes the line manager and co-signatory/director supporting statements. Guidance on the criteria for personal promotion are at appendix A6.1
  • for science roles a list of publications submitted during the current role
  • for applications to promotion to band F and above a list of proposed referees (see below).

If you are submitting an application without line management support the supporting statement section will be left blank. In such cases where you are making a self-nomination you will need to provide the case for organisational benefit yourself.

Considerable importance is attached to the role and independence of referees. They can provide useful insight into all aspects of an employee's work and are especially important in assessing the individual's wider contribution, including scientific impact in research and development. Referees should not be collaborators or supervisors of the applicant. Referees will be required as follows:

Science roles

Non-science roles

To band F

Three external referees of which at least one should be an active member of an internationally recognised non-UK research group

Three referees from outside the establishment (e.g. other institutes, Research Councils, HEIs) who have relevant specialist knowledge

To band G

Four referees of which at least two should be an active member of an internationally recognised non-UK research group

Four referees from outside the establishment (e.g. other institutes, Research Councils, HEIs) who have relevant specialist knowledge

To PC2 and above

Six referees of which at least five should be an active member of an internationally recognised non-UK research group

Six referees from outside the establishment (e.g. other institutes, Research Councils, HEIs) who have relevant specialist knowledge

The PPP and IEB will review the suggested referees and may identify alternatives. The establishment Director may also be asked to suggest referees. The referee's report form and guidance are given in appendix A6.5.

All documentation should be submitted to your local HR office in accordance with the timescales provided at your establishment.

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2.5 How your nomination is assessed

A summary of the process is set out in appendix A6.8.

All nominations are considered initially by the establishment Personal Promotion Panel (PPP).

If the case is for promotion to band G or above in a science role (see below), the PPP will refer it to the Individual Excellence Board (IEB). The IEB will assess the case against the criteria in appendix A6.1 and decide whether to:

  • 1. arrange a Promotion Interview Panel (PIP) to discuss your case for promotion with you
  • 2. not to progress the application further (e.g. where on consideration there is not a strong enough case for promotion to a higher grade or insufficient/incomplete information is provided)
  • 3. recommend consideration of an alternative route (e.g. JEGs)

In the case of 2 and 3 above, the chair of the IEB will complete a promotion panel feedback form (appendix A6.6), which will be shared with the individual.

Senior science roles will be those that fulfil the requirements of a research leader, and involve a significant proportion of science, innovation and measure of esteem which are vital to the establishment's remit. They will also have additional responsibilities in leadership, funding, outputs and contribution. The local PPP will be responsible for deciding whether a role in considered science or operational.

Further information on the IEB is set out in appendix A6.4.

For promotion to all other bands (including to band G and above in operational roles), the possible outcomes from the Personal Promotion Panel are:

  • 1. arrange a promotion interview panel to discuss your case for promotion with you (more information on the membership of the PIP is in appendix A6.3)
  • 2. recommend promotion without interview; this will only be considered where a strong and evidence based case is submitted which the PPP collectively agrees meets all the criteria for promotion
  • 3. not to progress the application further (e.g. where on consideration a case has not been made or insufficient/incomplete information is provided)
  • recommend consideration of an alternative route (e.g. JEGs)

In the case of 2, 3 and 4 above, the chair of the PPP will complete a promotion panel feedback form (appendix A6.6), which will be shared with the individual.

Your local Head of HR will seek nominations each year, but the PPP may also agree to consider nominations made at other times where there are exceptional circumstances.

2.5.1 Personal Promotion Panel and Individual Excellence Board

The role and membership of the local Personal Promotion Panel is set out in appendix A6.3, and the Individual Excellence Board in appendix A6.4.

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2.5.2 Promotion Interview Panel (PIP)

Interviews are carried out by a Personal Interview Panel (PIP)

The chair of the PIP will complete a promotion panel feedback form (appendix A6.6) for the chair of the PPP or IEB as appropriate.

2.6 Progress of your nomination

Your local HR office, or People and Development Group for cases referred to the IEB, will keep you informed of the progress of your nomination.

2.7 The outcome of your nomination

The Personal Promotion Panel (PPP) or Individual Excellence Board (IEB) will consider the recommendations made by your Promotion Interview Panel, and decide on whether a case for Personal Promotion has been successful.

In the case of promotion to band G and above in non-science roles the recommendations of the PPP must be ratified by the BBSRC Personal Promotion Board (appendix A6.7).

If your nomination is unsuccessful, you will be notified in writing and provided with a copy of the personal promotion feedback form, which will be copied to your line manager to ensure that you can identify development opportunities and how to improve your case for promotion where possible. There will usually be a period of two years between nominations in order to give the applicant time to incorporate the recommendations of the panel and develop their performance and contribution to the organisation, unless the PPP/IEB recommends an alternative period of time.

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2.8 Successful nominations

If your promotion nomination is successful, the effective date of your promotion will normally be the deadline for nominations (usually 1 July each year). Where it has been agreed to consider a nomination outside of the normal timetable, the effective date of your promotion will be the date you submitted your full and complete nomination.

2.9 Appeals

Staff who are dissatisfied with the outcome of a Personal Promotion nomination should submit a written appeal within one month of being notified of the outcome to either:

  • the Head of HR who will arrange for it to be reviewed by the establishment Grading Panel, or
  • for promotion to band G and above to the Institute Director (or if they have had prior involvement to the BBSRC Chief Executive Officer).

The Panel/CEO's decision will be final.

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2.10 Continuing your Performance

After you have been successful, you will be expected to continue to perform at the higher level, and your performance will be subject to the usual formal appraisal process (APDR).

If your performance subsequently becomes unsatisfactory when judged against the expectations for your higher grade, you may become subject to the Research Council Capability Policy. Ultimately, if your performance remains unsatisfactory, your Personal Promotion status can be removed, and your Band may return to the lower level.

2.11 BBSRC Personal Promotion Board

The role of the BBSRC Personal Promotion Board (PPB) is to help ensure consistency and equal opportunities in the Personal Promotion process across BBSRC and to ratify recommendations for promotion to Band G and above in non-science roles. It meets once a year. The PPB will have summary documentation from the local Personal Promotion Panel, including outcomes from Promotion Interview Panels (appendix A6.6), with access to the full documentation. The PPB will also receive a copy of the summary report from the IEB for information; the PPB may comment on the process but not the outcomes from the IEB.

The PPB will report its findings annually in a joint report with the outcomes of the IEB to the Chief Executive of BBSRC and Institute Directors.

The role and make-up of the Personal Promotion Board is given in appendix A6.7.

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2.12 BBSRC Individual Excellence Board

The role of the Individual Excellence Board is to consider promotions to science roles at band G and above, ensuring maintenance of high standards across BBSRC and consistency across BBSRC.

The outcomes from the IEB will be shared with the PPB. The IEB will report its findings annually in a joint report with the outcomes of the PPB to the Chief Executive of BBSRC and Institute Directors.

The constitution and terms of reference for the IEB are set out in appendix A6.4.

2.13 Timetable

A flowchart of the whole process for the Personal Promotion scheme with the timescales is given in appendix A6.8.

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Last updated 19/06/2015
Amendment 183 - June 2015