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We promote an environment where all our people are supported to perform at their best.

Sometimes, however, there are occasions when colleagues may struggle to perform to the expected levels and standards or find it difficult to develop to their full potential in their role. When this happens, we encourage colleagues and line managers to work together to develop ways to improve capability.

What next?

Resolving capability informally

When a capability issue is identified, in most cases the first step to manage minor concerns is via day-to-day capability management, regular 121s, and informal discussions.

However, when a colleague’s capability continues to be an issue, a Personal Improvement Plan (PIP) will be agreed.

A PIP will include:

  • details of responsibilities, required standards, and objectives;
  • action to be taken by the member of staff to attain them and any required timescales;
  • action to be taken by the manager to support the member of staff;
  • any necessary training and development requirements;
  • a reasonable timescale and process for review.

Resolving capability formally

If the informal route doesn’t result in improved capability, then a more formal route will be taken.

This process includes a formal hearing, where the colleague will have the opportunity to respond to the issues presented. A line manager may also issue an improvement notice to the colleague outlining the actions/objectives agreed and a clear timescale in which to achieve them by.

If you need advice and support, in the first instance speak to the Employee Relations team or your People & OD partner

Frequently asked questions

I am a member of staff. Can I be accompanied to the formal capability meetings?  

Yes, you can be accompanied by either a trade union representative or a workplace colleague.

I am a member of staff. Can I appeal an improvement notice?

Yes, an appeal can be made at the end of each stage.

I am a line manager. What help can I get when managing someone with capability issues?

Your People & OD Partner can provide you with advice. You can also get support from Learning and Organisational Development on addressing training and development needs. 

I am a line manager. What happens if following informal discussions there are no improvements?

The next stage would be to move to the 'Formal Procedure – Stage 1 Improvement Notice' which can be found in the Capability Policy and Procedure. Each situation will be different, and your People & OD Partner can advise.  

I am a line manager. I am concerned a member of staff will react badly. What should I do?

It isn’t unusual for someone to get upset or even angry in these circumstances.  Present the issue calmly, in private (allowing plenty of time for the discussion), and use examples.  If the individual becomes very emotional, suggest adjourning the discussion for another time. 

The Employee Assistance Programme offers all staff free and confidential advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week and may be useful to both parties.