POLICY

Peer review policy & procedure

The purpose of this peer review policy and procedure is to support all employees of the Project to achieve and maintain their maximum (reasonable) contribution to their role at the Project. It is an opportunity for all employee members to have some time to reflect on their role, to think about how their day-to-day work…

Contents

  1. Policy
    1. Introduction
    2. Principles
  2. Procedure
    1. Peer Review Meetings
      1. How a meeting happens and when:
      2. Who is in the meeting
      3. What happens in the meeting
      4. What happens after the meeting
    2. The six month review
    3. What happens if performance expectations are not being met?
    4. Confidentiality
  3. Definitions
    1. Peer reviewee
    2. Peer review partner
    3. Poor Performance
  4. Appendix A
  5. Appendix B

Policy

Policy

Introduction

The purpose of this peer review policy and procedure is to support all employees of the Project to achieve and maintain their maximum (reasonable) contribution to their role at the Project. 

It is an opportunity for all employee members to have some time to reflect on their role, to think about how their day-to-day work is going and what the issues are, in a held space. It’s a chance to have someone else engaging with their job, listening to them and supporting them with anything they need help with, and supporting them to grow and develop within the role. 

This document has been developed based on a training run by Maria Franchi with BBP employees. 

Principles

  • Peer to peer, non-hierarchical review meetings
  • Support and encouragement rather than blame and shame
  • Maximising everyone’s contribution to the coop
  • Ensuring everyone is doing the best role for them and the organisation

Procedure

The peer review policy will be carried out through the process of peer review meetings.

Peer Review Meetings

How a meeting happens and when:

The Volunteer and Member Coordinator (VM Coordinator) facilitates the administrative side of the peer review process. They keep a calendar of when each employee is due their review meeting and holds the process in terms of admin. Each employee’s first review will be at the end of their three month probationary period, and then yearly after that. Employee reviews will be spread as evenly as possible throughout the year. 

The VM Coordinator will contact each employee via email when their review is due, giving them two weeks to choose and get consent from a peer review partner (see ‘who is in the meeting’ below). The VM Coordinator then needs to be informed once a peer review partner has been agreed. The VM Coordinator will chase the peer reviewee if this is not agreed within three three weeks or if they have not been informed.

Once the peer review partner has been agreed, the VM Coordinator will communicate with both people to agree on a date, time and place for the review meeting to be held. They will also send both people the supporting documents: the peer review meeting template (see Appendix A), the peer review role description (see Appendix B), the reviewee’s job description and this document. Both people should look at these documents before the meeting (and the reviewee can write out answers if they like).

If the reviewee would like feedback from the team, they should ask the VM Coordinator and the peer review partner to gather this at this stage. 

Who is in the meeting

The review meeting is a one-to-one meeting held by the peer review partner, with the peer reviewee. The VM Coordinator can be present if asked, to take notes, not to hold the meeting (unless they have been chosen as the review partner). 

The peer review partner is someone chosen by the reviewee to facilitate their peer review meeting, their six month review (held six months after their peer review meeting to see how the action plan is going) and to support them with their action plan for one year from the date of the review meeting. It should ideally be someone from a different team to the reviewee’s, but that may not be possible in all cases, and the reviewee is also able to choose someone from their team if they feel that person will be able to best support them with this process. The reviewee should ask their chosen partner if they are willing to be their review partner, and must gain consent form them before putting them forward to the VM Coordinator. 

Any employee asked to be a peer review partner may refuse if they feel a) they are not the best person for the role in this case, b) their workload does not currently reasonably allow it. If they feel under-qualified, they can ask the VM Coordinator for mentoring and support. Any employee is not limited to being the peer review partner to just one person, and may review two or more people if they have capacity. 

What happens in the meeting

The meeting will last one hour and it is the responsibility of the peer review partner to keep to timings. The peer review partner is there to facilitate the meeting by: maintaining a warm and listening presence, encouraging the reviewee to reflect honestly on their wellbeing and performance in their role, helping them set realistic goals in their action plan, note-taking and time-keeping. If the reviewee has asked for feedback from the team, the reviewee and review partner can agree at what point the feedback is given together. 

In the meeting, firstly the reviewee will reflect on how their role is going and any issues they may be experiencing. 

Then the reviewee will think about what goals they would like to work towards within their role. 

If the reviewee has asked for feedback from the team, the reviewee and review partner can agree at what point the feedback is given together. 

After this reflection process, the reviewee will assess if their job description actually describes what they do in their role, and suggest changes that would mean the job description reflects their actual role. These will then go through the VM Coordinator and the HR director for approval. This should take 10 – 15 minutes.

Finally, the reviewee will create an action plan including: what support they need for any issues they may be experiencing and what actions the reviewee and review partner will take to achieve this support. (This could include training, mentoring and/or regular check-ins with the review partner).

What happens after the meeting

After the meeting, the review partner needs to send the suggested changes to the job description (if applicable), and the filled-in meeting template to the VM Coordinator. These will be stored confidentially on the drive to which the VM Coordinator and the Community Coordinator have access. The peer reviewee and peer review partner will be given access to the folder so that they can edit the notes as they complete the action plan. 

The peer review partner should check in with the peer reviewee (or vice versa) according to what was arranged in the action plan, throughout the course of the year.

The VM Coordinator will contact both people to let them know when the six month review is due.

The six month review

This is a meeting between the peer reviewee and peer review partner six months after the initial peer review meeting to check in on the progress of the action plan. There is a section for this in the peer review meeting template which should be filled in with comments about how each action is progressing. This should be sent to the VM Coordinator after the meeting.

What happens if performance expectations are not being met?

People usually know if they are not reaching expectations. It is the role of the review partner to facilitate the review to honestly reflect on this, and support them not to be too self-critical (as can be the case for people with certain social conditioning) or, on the other hand, too self assured. 

If the expectations in the job description are not being met, this should be reflected in the peer review notes and clear actions outlined to support the reviewee to be able to meet these expectations. The reviewee and review partner should set a reasonable time-frame within which the actions are to be achieved. This could be things like training, finding a mentor on the team, and/or continued support from the peer reviewer. 

If BBP has done everything possible to provide an employee with everything they need to fulfil their job description, and they are still not fulfilling the expectations outlined, this becomes poor performance. 

This falls into two categories. 

  1. Not (i.e. ‘won’t’) fulfilling your job description → disciplinary route 
  2. Unable (i.e. ‘can’t) to fulfil your job description → capability route 

In both these cases we would get advice from Coops UK and have an external person come in to hold the proceedings. For more information on the disciplinary procedure and the various categories of poor performance, see the disciplinary policy. 

Confidentiality

All parties involved will be asked to maintain confidentiality. The contents of the meeting will remain confidential to attendees of the meeting and anyone involved with HR processes within BBP, or external people asked by BBP to provide support in cases of poor performance. The information needs to be accessed by HR to support the procedure and the responsibilities of the organisation i.e. to check that an action plan has been made and that it is being followed. The people who need access to peer review information will have access to it but the information is owned by the person being reviewed.

BBP retains the right to breach confidentiality (and will inform the employee of this intention) should it be believed the client is a) in danger unto themselves or anyone else, or b) the client is operating beyond the law (extreme circumstance).

Definitions

Peer reviewee

Person who is the subject of the peer review process i.e. the person who is being supported to review themselves.

Peer review partner

Person chosen by the peer reviewee to conduct their review (who has consented to be the peer review partner). The peer review partner will: facilitate the peer review meeting, the six month review and support the reviewee with their action plan for one year from the date of the review meeting. It should ideally be someone from a different team to the reviewee’s, but that may not be possible in all cases, and the reviewee is also able to choose someone from their team if they feel that person will be able to best support them with this process.

Poor Performance

Poor performance is when BBP has done everything possible to provide an employee with everything they need to fulfil their job description including, support, training, mentoring, etc., and they are still not fulfilling the expectations outlined.

Appendix A

BBP Peer Review Meeting Template

Name of reviewee: 

Name of review partner: 

Date of review:

Review Questions Answers/notes
1. Reflection How is your role going/what’s going well? 
Are there any issues? 
What support do you need to work through those issues? 
Can you see how your work relates to the overall objectives of BBP? 
2. Goals What new goal(s) do you want to work on? 
Are there any issues with that/what will get in the way? 
How does what you want to do fit in with the overall objectives of BBP? I.e. can anyone think of an example of a goal that wouldn’t be possible for someone to work towards because it’s not in line with BBP’s objectives? 
What support do you need to work on your goal(s)? 
3. Review job description: Does it accurately describe what you do in your role? If not, please suggest changes that include as much detail as possible. (The edited JD needs to be sent back to Volunteer and Member Coordinator along with this filled in meeting template). 
4. Action plan What are my next steps? 
ActionTime-frame
  
  
5. Feedback from the team (if requested by the reviewee) Add feedback in this box.Add comments/thoughts/reactions/feelings about it in this box
6 month review check in How is the action plan progressing?(Record comments on each action – add new rows if needed) 

Appendix B

Peer Review Partner Role Description

*to be written collaboratively during review partner training

Discussion