Employment code:

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 A6.11) including information about the Senior Management Review Group). 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. Please refer to the research council temporary promotion policy below for information. 

Temporary promotion policy

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There is also a process for the award of Performance Pay (see appendix A7.3).

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. You should be aware, however, 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 develop their role, for the benefit of the organisation, to a higher level through their experience, expertise and application of a particular set of personal skills.

In essence, Personal Promotion seeks to recognise that the post-holder has enhanced their job by their own efforts and is contributing at a level that consistently exceeds that expected at that Band. A yardstick by which suitability for Personal Promotion can be judged is that 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 wished to secure an equivalent level of impact and contribution.

When a Personal Promotion is awarded, it is made, as the name suggests, on a personal basis. However, personal promotion is awarded to individuals on a substantive basis - they are seen as fully meeting 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.

BBSRC does not operate quotas for Personal Promotion. The costs of the Scheme are justified by the higher outputs expected of individuals who receive promotion. However, the Scheme is rigorous and based on clear criteria and indicators that staff will be expected to meet before they can be considered. Equally, staff who are promoted to the higher level will be expected to maintain their performance at this 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.

While it is appropriate for such a dialogue to take place during APDRs, this is not the only time when discussion of promotion prospects is appropriate and it may be possible in exceptional circumstances for a nomination to 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:

If you consider that you meet the criteria for Personal Promotion, you should first seek the support of your line manager in the development of a nomination. If they are not supportive, you should seek to discuss prospects with your co-signatory or another more senior member of line management.

It is usual that cases for Personal Promotion will have the clear support of immediate line management. However, self-nomination is allowable and will be dealt with in an identical fashion to more regular nominations that are initiated by management.

It is also possible that as part of the process for the nomination of enhanced performance awards your line manager may discuss your suitability for Personal Promotion with you.

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2.3 Equality and diversity

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.

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 training within the last three years. This training will be delivered by the establishment for the PPP and local PIP, and 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 have the opportunity to speak to line managers of staff in under-represented areas of the establishment 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 the completion of a nomination form and supporting documentation by you and your line manager. The documents required are specified below, and, on completion they should be submitted to your local HR office by the announced deadline.

For staff seeking promotion to band F and above external references will need to be sought and an interview involving external members will also have to be arranged; consequently, arrangements for senior staff will take longer than for other staff. Your establishment will keep you informed of the progress of your nomination.

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2.4.1 Nomination form

A nomination form should be completed - see appendix A6.2

The nomination form comprises three sections, and asks you to provide a number of attachments to support your case.

You should read and carefully follow the guidance notes on how to complete the nomination form.

Section 1: This covers a personal career statement, including:

Job roles within BBSRC are very varied, and in order to help you ensure that your case is considered properly, guidance has been developed to help explain how to make the strongest case. This guidance is provided as part of the nomination form.

Section 2: Line management support

Section 3: Other supporting information

This section of the form lists a number of attachments which you may need to provide, depending on your role and seniority. It is important that you read the guidance in the form carefully, so that you can see which attachments are relevant. In some cases, further information and documentation is required to assess your nomination - for example, for scientists, your six most significant publications need to be identified and summarised.

The Personal Role Evaluation Form needs to be provided by all candidates, except those seeking promotion to band G or above. Your line manager should complete the form in appendix A6.3 to identify where your personal contribution has changed, compared to the normal expectations of your post. You will have the opportunity to provide any additional comments. In cases where you are making a self nomination without the support of your line management, you will also need to complete this form as well as your line manager

Your line manager (and yourself in the case of self nomination) should then send the completed form to the local Head of HR where it will be attached to your nomination

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2.5 How your nomination is assessed

Your nomination is considered by

a) a local Personal Promotion Panel (PPP) set up for your establishment (i.e. institute or Swindon office), and managed by your local Head of HR and if appropriate

b) the Individual Excellence Board (IEB) for promotion to bands G and above in science roles, which is organised by People and Development Group.

All applications will initially be considered by the PPP. Senior science roles will be those that fulfil the requirements of a research leader, and involve a significant proportion of science and innovation 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 is considered science or operational.

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

2.5.1 Personal Promotion Panel and Individual Excellence Board

The role and make-up of the local Personal Promotion Panel is given in appendix A6.4, and the Individual Excellence Board in appendix A6.5

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2.5.2 Referees

For more senior promotions (to band F and above), the Personal Promotion Panel or Individual Excellence Board will seek the views of referees on your nomination. The Panel will look at the list of referees provided as part of your nomination form, if this is relevant to you, but may also choose to approach other referees in addition to these. The referees will be contacted by your local HR office or People and Development Group (for promotion to band G and above in science roles), and will also be responsible for chasing for responses, if necessary.

The referee's report form and guidance are given in appendix A6.6

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2.5.3 Promotion Interview Panel (PIP)

i) For promotion to bands B to F, the Personal Promotion Panel will decide whether or not to convene a Promotion Interview Panel to discuss with your case for promotion. In the majority of cases, a Promotion Interview Panel will be convened, the constitution of the Panel depending on the seniority of the candidate. Promotion Interview Panels will be convened as specified in appendix A6.4, which also contains information on when an interview may not apply.

The Promotion Interview Panel will be required to make a report to the Personal Promotion Panel setting out its conclusions and recommendations. The form which the chair of the Promotion Interview Panel is required to complete is in appendix A6.7

ii) For promotion to band G and above in science roles the Individual Excellence Board (IEB) will convene a Promotion Interview Panel, which will be chaired by a member of the IEB. The composition of the PIP will be determined by the IEB and will include at least two people from outside BBSRC, one of whom will have knowledge/experience of the role being considered. The Promotion Interview Panel will be required to make a report to the IEB setting out its conclusions and recommendations. The form which the chair of the Promotion Interview Panel is required to complete is in appendix A6.7.


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2.6 Progress of your nomination

Your local HR office or People and Development Group (as applicable) will keep you informed of the progress of your nomination, including:

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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 successfully been made. In the case of promotion to Band G and above in non-science roles the recommendations of the PPP will also be required to be ratified by the BBSRC Personal Promotion Board (see appendix A6.8). The chairs of the PPB and IEB will meet to review the cases for promotion to band G and above in all areas for consistency.  

If your nomination is unsuccessful, you will be provided with the summary report form from your interview, together with any feedback from the Personal Promotion Panel/Individual Excellence Board on the strengths and weaknesses of your nomination. This will be copied to the nominating Line Manager so that you can discuss with them development opportunities. 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 a shorter period.

The PPP/IEB secretariat will also notify the chair of the PIP of the outcome of the nomination, if they are not a member of the PPP/IEB.

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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 date for nominations in the annual round in which you submitted your nomination. This date is specified in appendix A6.10. 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.

Normally a successful nomination results in an ongoing Personal Promotion - subject of course, to continuing performance commensurate with your new band. Exceptionally, the Personal Promotion Panel/Individual Excellence Board may stipulate that the promotion is subject to a review after a specified period (e.g. two years), before confirming the promotion.

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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 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). There is no separate periodic review process for Personal Promotions, once your promotion has been confirmed. However, as stated in 2.8, the Personal Promotion Panel/Individual Excellence Board may stipulate that the promotion is subject to a review after a specified period (e.g. two years), before confirming the promotion.

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.

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2.11 BBSRC Personal Promotion Board

The role of the BBSRC Personal Promotion Board (PPB) is to help ensure consistency and equal opportunities in Personal Promotion assessments across the whole of the BBSRC. All nomination documentation submitted to local Personal Promotion Panels, including Promotion Interview Panel report are scrutinised by the PPB, which meets once a year.

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 A6.8.

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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 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 A6.5.

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2.13 Timetable

A flowchart of the whole process for the Personal Promotion scheme with the time scales for each stage is given in appendix A6.9.

An annual timetable of dates for the Personal Promotion scheme is issued by the People and Development Group in Swindon office. The current timetable is in appendix A6.10.

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Last updated 31/03/2014
Amendment 173 - March 2014