Annual interview regulations

Radboud University

Pursuant to the provisions of Article 6.7 of the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU), the employer shall establish subsequent rules with respect to the annual appraisal interview (formerly known as the performance appraisal interview) in consultation with the Local Council. The regulations included in this section are such subsequent regulations. Last amended in the Local Council of 4 March 2024, effective from 1 January 2024.

Article 1 Concepts

  • Employee: the employee as referred to in the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO).
  • Supervisor: the staff member to whom the employee is accountable for their work activities.
  • Annual appraisal interview: a periodic interview between the employee and their supervisor about the way in which, and given the performance in the past period, the employee will carry out their work during a future predetermined period, and about the conditions under which this should take place (Article 6.7 of the Collective Labour Agreement).
  • Job title: the sum of the work activities that must be performed by the employee in accordance with what is laid down in the job description. 

Article 2 Purpose and frequency

  1. The annual appraisal interview is a reciprocal discussion in which the points of view of the supervisor and the employee are exchanged. The purpose of the interview is to optimise the future performance of both the individual employee and the department/organisational unit, and to optimise employee development in relation to the organisational objectives.
  2. The supervisor and employee shall hold an annual appraisal interview once a year. The supervisor and the employee may both take the initiative for this discussion. The supervisor will be responsible for conducting an annual appraisal interview with each employee. 
  3. The Executive Board, the deans and the directors will be responsible for providing regular information to both supervisors and employees and ensuring that they have been trained to take part in annual appraisal interviews and that they have the skills that are required to achieve this objective.

Article 3 Participants and informants

  1. An annual appraisal interview is held between a supervisor and an employee.
  2. A. The supervisor may obtain prior information about the employee’s performance from other staff members for the purpose of the annual appraisal interview.
    B. If both the employee and the supervisor agree, the annual appraisal interview may be held with one other supervisor in addition to the hierarchical supervisor.
  3. The HR advisor may also attend the annual appraisal interview at the request of either the employee or the supervisor.

Article 4 Procedure

  1. The supervisor makes an appointment with the employee for the annual appraisal interview. The time between making the appointment and the actual interview should be such that it allows for sufficient preparation time.
  2. Both the supervisor and the employee may suggest topics for discussion before the interview.
  3. If there is a difference of opinion during or after the annual appraisal interview about the course that the interview is taking or has taken or about the outcome, the HR advisor may act as a mediator. If necessary, the supervisor’s superior may subsequently mediate. 

Article 5 Content

  1. Topics that should, in any event, be discussed during the annual appraisal interview include: 

    a. An evaluation of the agreements that were made during the previous annual appraisal interview; 

    b. Agreements on the results that should be achieved in the coming year and 

    c. Agreements on employee development.

    d. Agreements on employee well-being, including physical and mental health aspects and the issue of ‘realistic task assignments’. This involves defining the assigned tasks and ensuring that they align with the employee’s contractual scope. If this is not the case, actions will be taken by the supervisor, in consultation with the employee, to prevent (structural) overtime and excessive workload;

    e. Employability (including knowledge and skills) will be compared to future needs, career development, and personal growth. The necessary training options will be consideered as well as the timelines within which they should be offered.

    f. The aspect of motivation

  2. An evaluation of the agreements from the previous annual appraisal interview, as referred to in Paragraph 1, means that the employee must account for the extent to which he has achieved the agreed upon agreements during this year. The supervisor is accountable for the extent to which he/she has created opportunities and provided resources so that the employee could achieve these results.
  3. Making agreements about the results that are to be achieved in the coming year, as referred to in Paragraph 1, means that the employee and the supervisor will reach an agreement about the results that the employee will achieve in the coming year and about the opportunities that the manager will create and the resources that he/she shall grant the employee. 
  4. Making agreements about the employee’s developmental path, as referred to in Paragraph 1, means that the employee and the supervisor shall exchange ideas about the employee’s desired developmental path and the employee’s career over a three-year period, which is associated with the requirements that the changing organisation demands of the employee or will demand in due course. The employee and the supervisor shall subsequently make agreements about the mutual effort that they will make in the coming year in order to enable the employee to follow the desired developmental path.

Article 6 Reporting

  1. The supervisor is responsible for compiling a report of the annual appraisal interview, which contains a record of all of the agreements that have been made with regard to the three components as described in Article 5. If mutually agreed, other important findings may also be included in the report.
  2. The report must be compiled within three weeks after the annual appraisal interview has taken place.
  3. The report will be finalised when both the supervisor and the employee have signed off on it.
  4. The supervisor shall ensure that the report is sent to the dean or director (attn HR manager or HR advisor) so that it can be archived in the employee’s personnel file. Both the supervisor and the employee shall receive a copy of the report.
  5. The report shall be kept in the employee’s personal file in accordance with the usual conditions of confidentiality and due care. Annual appraisal reports are only accessible to the dean and/or director and the head of the Human Resources department and/or the HR advisor.
  6. Deans and directors are responsible for registering the number of annual appraisal interviews that are held in the personnel information system and are annually accountable to the Executive Board for these reports. 

Explanatory notes for the annual appraisal interview regulations

Article 2 Purpose and frequency

Together with regular progress meetings/staff meetings that should be held regularly in a department, the annual appraisal interview aims to optimise the performance of the employee and the department as a whole.

Annual appraisal interviews are defined by three important characteristics: they must have a reciprocal character and be result-oriented and development-oriented. Reciprocity means that during the annual appraisal interview, the supervisor and the employee shall both give their opinion on the employee’s performance during the past year, and that they shall reach joint agreements about the employee’s performance in the coming year. In addition, reciprocity means that the employee and the supervisor shall both give their opinion on the manner in which the supervisor has offered the employee supervision, preconditions and support in the past year and express their opinions on which agreements will subsequently be important for the coming year. 

Results orientation implies that the employee and the supervisor shall reach an agreement during the annual appraisal interview about the results that the employee should have achieved by the end of the coming year (if he/she performed well), and about the results that the supervisor should have subsequently achieved due to good leadership. In order to provide a solid basis, results should be formulated in such a way that they clarify who will do each task, the reason for carrying out each task and the point in time by which each task will need to have been achieved. In addition to this, it is vital that both the employee and the supervisors consider the designated appointment for the interview to be both important and feasible (in other words, the agreements must comply with the so-called SMART principles, i.e., they should be specific, measurable, acceptable, realistic and time-based). The results that are to be achieved by the employee and the department should be considered in relation to the objectives of the department and the faculty or service (especially as established in both policy and business plans).

Development orientation means that the employee and the manager should also ask themselves during the annual appraisal interview which developmental path the employee wishes to follow and will be able to follow and the level of development that the employee’s department and faculty or service requires (e.g. as a result of other demands made by educational and research institutes, or students or external clients, or because of new educational and research products, organisational changes, cutbacks, etc.). This also includes the commitments that the employee and the supervisor have agreed to in order to actually make the employee’s desired developmental path possible. This may consequently include: job enlargement, job rotation, training, individual coaching, secondment, sabbaticals, career orientation training programmes etc.

The differences between annual appraisal interviews and appraisals must be clearly distinguished. The first difference is that in an annual appraisal interview, the evaluation of the employee’s performance is a bilateral process (see above), while in an appraisal or performance review, the supervisor gives their unilateral opinion on the employee’s performance.

The second difference is that an annual appraisal interview is also future-oriented, while an appraisal is made over a period of time that has since lapsed.

The third difference is that annual appraisal interviews must be held annually, while there is no specific frequency for carrying out appraisals. According to the Appraisal Regulations (2004), an assessment is ‘always necessary in the case of a proposed decision regarding a permanent contract, classification in a higher salary scale, allocation of several extra salary increases and either the withholding of a periodic salary increase or performance-related dismissal’. In addition, these regulations allow an appraisal to be carried out if the employer deems it appropriate or if the employee so requests.

The fourth difference concerns the legal protection (the provisions and appeals procedure) against decisions made by the employer. The Appraisal Regulations provides for an objection procedure, whereby the employee can lodge an objection with the assessment authority against the appraisal that has been made by the assessor. In addition, if an appraisal results in a unilateral decision being made by the supervisor and/or unit management (dean/director) in accordance with the Employee Disputes Regulations, the employee may submit a written request for handling a dispute to the Executive Board.

Reciprocal agreements that have been made during an annual appraisal interview are not unilateral decisions and are not eligible for the Disputes Regulations. However, if an annual appraisal interview does result in a unilateral decision being made by the supervisor or management, the employee shall have the right to appeal to the Disputes Regulations.

Article 3 Participants and informants


Paragraph 1

The supervisor is responsible for conducting the annual appraisal interviews. This does not alter the fact that in certain situations, such as in large departments, the supervisor may instruct another staff member to conduct the annual appraisal interviews (with some staff members) (e.g. a professor may instruct an associate professor (UHD) or an assistant professor (UD) to conduct annual appraisal interviews with certain staff members.

Executive Board members are responsible for conducting the annual appraisal interviews with the deans and directors. The dean is responsible for conducting the annual appraisal interviews with the vice deans, professors, the education and research directors, the manager/operational manager and with other staff members who fall within the dean’s direct remit. The dean may also instruct the vice-deans, sub-faculty chairs or the departmental chairs to conduct the annual appraisal interviews with the professors. Agreements about this shall be made by each faculty.

Employees with a temporary contract may also have an annual appraisal interview with their supervisor. 

Employees who are entitled to career advice according to the CLA (Article 6.5 of the CLA) may indicate this during the appraisal interview.

Paragraph 2

Professors may obtain information from education and research directors about the current performance of an academic staff member and their desired performance in the future. This information must also either be known to the employee or be made available to the employee in advance of the annual appraisal interview. If the dean decides that this information should automatically be obtained from the education and research directors, subsequent agreements about this should be made within the faculty.

An employee may have various tasks that cannot be found in one job profile but are extensions of one another and, for this reason, they may be supervised or managed by people from various quarters. In theory, an academic staff member will teach and carry out research and may have to deal hierarchically or functionally with other supervisors in both of these areas. In such cases, it may be advisable for the employee’s annual appraisal interview to be held with both their hierarchical supervisor and another of their managers.

Article 5 Content

The content of the annual appraisal interview is derived from the employee’s job description. With regard to academic staff members, this will usually pertain to: teaching, research, social work (societal impact) and managerial tasks (see below). With regard to support and management staff, these tasks and subsequent topics of discussion will contain more variation.

Working conditions will be discussed with both academic staff members and support and management staff. These conditions may include: workload (realistic task assignment), collaboration with colleagues, management style, communication within the department, the available facilities, sickness absence, secondary activities, etc. When it comes to teaching tasks, topics may include: course implementation, tutor and thesis supervision, course development, the quality of teaching materials and assessment, student evaluations, didactic and ICT skills, the division of tasks within the department, collaboration with other lecturers, results of assessment procedures, future developments, etc.

When it comes to research tasks, topics may include: publications, the development and acquisition of research projects, the supervision of junior researchers, the division of tasks within the department or group, conference visits, results of assessment procedures, future developments etc.

When it comes to tasks that relate to social work (societal impact), topics may include: contract education and contract research, network participation, etc.

When it comes to managerial tasks, topics may include: a vision of the department’s future developments in relation to the environment, the supervision, management and coaching of individual department employees or the team as a whole, and the contribution to networks and administrative fora within and outside of the institution.

Article 6 Reporting

The report may be compiled by either the supervisor or the employee. It is also possible that the report will have already been compiled during the interview.

In certain cases, supervisors and/or employees may prefer to compile a more extensive report for their own use and then make a summary of this report for the personnel file. Deans and directors will need to make further written agreements within their faculties and services about the reporting format that will be used in the personnel file. In all cases, the agreements that pertain to Article 5 will need to be added to the personnel file.

Annual appraisal interview reports shall be kept in the employee’s personnel file for no longer than two years after the employee's employment has been terminated and, after this time, shall subsequently be destroyed. This takes into account the General Data Protection Regulations, as adopted by the Executive Board on 12 November 2019.