Human Resources Management Policy
PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
NOTE: THIS POLICY, LIKE ALL OTHER
MUSC HUMAN RESOURCES POLICIES, IS NOT A CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT AND SHOULD
NOT BE RELIED UPON AS SUCH. THIS POLICY MAY BE CHANGED AT ANY TIME BY THE
MEDICAL UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
- It is the policy of the Medical University of South Carolina
to appraise the performance of covered employees annually, probationary
employees prior to the end of the one-year probationary period and employees
in a trial period prior to its completion.
- A covered employee is a full-time or part-time employee occupying a
part or all of an established full-time equivalent (FTE) position who
has satisfactorily completed the one-year probationary period.
- The objectives of the Employee Performance Management System (EPMS)
- Provide an accurate and objective method for evaluating employees;
- Improve work performance and encourage growth and development of employees;
- Support the accomplishment of organizational goals;
- Assist management in assigning work and delegating responsibilities;
- Provide documentation to support salary increases promotions, reassignments,
demotions and terminations.
- Performance appraisals should be conducted and documented by the employee’s
manager/supervisor (the rater) who had direct experience or knowledge
of the work performed. The appraisal should then be reviewed by the next
higher level manager/supervisor (the reviewer) prior to the appraisal
being discussed with the employee.
- Employees will be rated on job duties, objectives and performance characteristics
using the four rating levels of Substantially Exceeds, Exceeds, Meets
and Below Performance Requirements (See Section II.D., Pg. 9).
- Performance appraisal training will periodically be made available to
employees. New employees will be briefed on the performance appraisal
system during orientation.
- Performance appraisals shall become a permanent part of the employee’s
official personnel file.
- INFORMATION AND PROCEDURE
- Frequency of Performance Reviews
- Annual Performance Review
- The performance of all covered employees will be appraised
annually. This appraisal must be completed prior to the performance
review date, but no more than 90 days prior to the review date.
Additionally, the performance of employees not covered by the State
Employee Grievance Procedure Act should be evaluated.
- The performance appraisal should be conducted by the manager/supervisor
(rater) who has firsthand experience or knowledge of the work performed.
- The annual review date marks the beginning of a new review period.
If an employee does not receive an appraisal prior to the annual
review date, the employee shall receive a rating of Meets Performance
Requirements by default.
- Prior to receiving an overall rating of Below Performance Requirements,
a covered employee must receive an Official Warning Notice of Substandard
Performance. (See Section II.E., Pg. 9)
- Employees may receive periodic reviews with multiple sources of
feedback which may be used by the manager/supervisor (rater) to
conduct the annual performance appraisal. Team evaluations or a
committee review may also be conducted to assist the manager/supervisor
(rater) in conducting the annual appraisal.
- Probationary Period Review
- A probationary employee shall be rated prior to the completion of
one year of employment. This initial year of employment is called
a probationary period. The performance review date marks the beginning
of a new review period.
Should a probationary employee be promoted, demoted, reclassified,
experience an unclassified State title change, or be reassigned or
transferred to a new class or unclassified State title prior to
the end of the probationary period, the employee’s performance
review date shall be established as 12 months from the effective date
of the personnel action.
- If an employee is not evaluated prior to the completion of the probationary
period, the employee will receive a Meets Performance Requirements
rating by default and obtain covered status as a state employee.
- The probationary period may not be extended. If an
employee is not performing satisfactorily, the employee must be terminated
before the completion of the probationary period.
- A probationary employee who is terminated is not subject to the
"Substandard Performance Process" (See Section II.E, pg.
9) and has no grievance rights under the State Employee Grievance
Procedure Act. However, a probationary employee who is terminated
may request a review of the termination by the Director of Human Resources
Management or his/her designee.
- Trial Period Review
- The performance of a covered employee, who has been promoted,
demoted, reclassified, reassigned or transferred to a position or
experiences an unclassified State title change in which he/she has
not held permanent status, shall be appraised prior to the completion
of six months of service in the new class. This six-month period
is called a trial period. Once an employee has completed a successful
trial period and obtained permanent status in the class, an employee
retains permanent status in that class throughout the employee’s
- If an employee does not receive a performance evaluation prior
to the completion of the trial period, the employee will receive
a Meets Performance Requirements rating by default and obtain permanent
status in the new class.
- The new annual performance review date of an employee who has
successfully completed a trial period shall be established as 12
months from the completion date of the trial period unless the department
uses an approved universal review date.
- The trial period may be extended up to 90 calendar days upon approval
of the Department of Human Resources Management and a written notice
to the employee prior to the end of the trial period. When the trial
period has been extended, the performance review date will be advanced
one calendar day for each calendar day the extension is in effect,
not to exceed 90 days.
- An employee who is promoted and, prior to attaining permanent
status in the classified or unclassified position with a higher
State salary range, is subsequently demoted to the same class or
unclassified State title from which promoted, shall retain the original
performance review date which existed prior to the change in status.
- The Substandard Performance Process is not required to demote
or reclassify downward an employee in a trial status to the same
classification from which promoted or to a class of equal or higher
payband from which promoted, provided the demotion or reclassification
occurs before the end of the trial period. However, the employee
in a trial status may not be terminated or demoted for performance
reasons to a lower classification than previously held without
following the "Substandard Performance Process."
- A transfer is defined as the lateral movement to a different
agency by an employee from one position to another position having
the same State salary range or the movement of a position from one
agency to another which does not require reclassification. A reassignment
is the movement within an agency of an employee from one position
to another having the same State salary range or the movement of
a position within an agency which does not require reclassification.
- A covered employee who is transferred or reassigned to a position
in a different class shall have the performance review date
established six months from the date of the transfer or reassignment.
- An employee who is reassigned to a position in the same class
shall not have the review date reestablished, but instead shall
retain the current review date. Prior to an employee being reassigned,
the losing department should perform the employee’s performance
appraisal if the reassignment occurs within 90 days of the employee’s
- A covered employee who transfers to the same class from another
State agency, within six months or less of the employee’s review
date, shall have the performance review date advanced six months
from the date of the transfer to the new agency.
- Universal Review Date
With approval from the State Office of Human Resources, clearly separate
organizational units of the Medical University may adopt a universal
review date for all performance appraisals within the unit. Requests
for a universal review date must be justified and submitted to the Department
of Human Resources Management for approval prior to implementation.
Requests will require a separate EPMS policy be developed for the separate
organizational unit requesting a universal review date. Each separate
EPMS policy must be approved by the State Office of Human Resources.
Employees in probationary status shall be subject to an initial year
of probationary review. The performance of covered employees who have
been reclassified, promoted, demoted or transferred to a different classification
will be appraised prior to the completion of a six-month trial period.
A new review date will be established in accordance with the department’s
universal review date policy. Refer to the department policy for additional
- An Employee’s Review Date Shall Change for the Following Reasons:
- Leave of Absence Without Pay
An employee on an approved leave of absence without pay for more
than 30 consecutive workdays shall have the performance review date
advanced one calendar day for each calendar day the employee is on leave
without pay in excess of 30 workdays. Any day for which an employee
is paid will not be counted in determining the number of workdays the
employee is on leave without pay.
- Warning Notice of Substandard Performance
A covered employee who within 30 calendar days of his performance review
date receives a "Warning Notice of Substandard Performance,"
shall have the performance review date advanced one calendar day for
each calendar day the "Warning Notice of Substandard Performance"
is in effect.
- Changes in Personnel Status
An employee’s performance review date may be adjusted due to promotions,
demotions, reclassifications, reassignments, transfers, or unclassified
State title changes.
An employee who is promoted or reclassified upward, prior to attaining
permanent status in a class with a higher State salary range, or unclassified
State title with a higher State salary range or level of responsibilities,
and is subsequently demoted to the same class or unclassified State
title from which promoted or reclassified, shall retain the original
performance review date established with the position from which promoted
- A covered employee who, within six months or less of his/her review
date, transfers from a State agency to a position at MUSC in the same
class shall have the performance review date advanced six months from
the effective date of the transfer.
- An employee’s annual performance review date will be adjusted when
a department adopts an appropriately approved universal performance
review date policy. Employees whose departments have a universal review
date should refer to the department’s university review date policy
for additional information.
- Preparation and Maintenance of the EPMS Form
- Planning Stage
- The Planning Stage should take place no later than six
weeks after the employee has begun to work or following the completion
of the most recent review. Prior to meeting with the employee, the
reviewing officer and the rater should discuss the requirements
for the upcoming rating period.
- With participation from the employee, the manager/supervisor (rater)
should discuss the essential job duties indicated on the position
description. This information is to be typed or written under Section
I of the EPMS form. (If the position description is not up-to-date
or there is no position description, one should be prepared and
submitted to the Department of Human Resources Management.)
All employees whose duties involve evaluating others are to be
rated on conducts evaluation(s)/EPMS timely, properly and fairly.
This is preprinted on the form.
- Success criteria should be defined for each job duty and objective
and should describe in clear and concise terms how a job is to be
done. Success criteria establish a level of performance required
to obtain a Meets Performance Requirements rating and should be
measurable in qualitative or quantitative terms.
- The Objective(s) Section under Section II of the EPMS form enables
supervisors to document special projects, initiatives, or programs.
It should be discussed during the Planning Stage and success criteria
included. This section is optional.
- Performance characteristics directly related to the employee’s
job, and their definitions, should be written or typed on the EPMS
form. (A sample listing of performance characteristics and definitions
is available through the Department of Human Resources Management.)
- All employees, including supervisors, are to be rated on
the characteristic "Exhibits a spirit of service and cooperation."
This performance characteristic is preprinted on the standard
- All supervisors and managers must be rated on "Promoting
equal opportunity." This performance characteristic is
preprinted on the standard form.
- Managers/supervisors should ensure appropriate objectives are
indicated when needed to comply with DHEC, OSHA, and other regulatory
- The Planning Stage document should be signed by the reviewing
official and the rater before it is signed by the employee. The
document should remain in the department until the performance review
- If the duties and responsibilities assigned to an employee change
significantly during the review period, the Planning Stage should
be revised to reflect the changes.
- It is recommended that the manager/supervisor (rater) and employee
review the employee’s performance periodically to assess progress
to date and to foster open communication.
- Additional sheets may be added to the Planning Stage document
to enable listing of additional duties and objectives when necessary.
- Evaluation Stage (Performance Review)
- The Evaluation Stage should be completed prior to the
end of the review period. The rater should circle/indicate the appropriate
rating levels for the duties, objective(s) (if applicable), and
performance characteristics or competencies. (See Section II.D,
pg. 9, for performance level ratings.)
- In addition to circling/indicating the rating levels, written
comments should be made in the designated area(s) to summarize the
actual performance of the employee relative to job duties and the
objective(s) (if applicable).
- The Summary and Improvement Plan is used to identify major accomplishments,
comment on performance strengths or areas in need of improvement,
and to recommend steps to prepare for an improved performance in
- The appraisal should be reviewed and signed by the next higher
level manager/supervisor (reviewer) prior to the appraisal
being discussed with the employee. The reviewer may change the appraisal
rating completed by the rater.
- The completed EPMS form should include signatures of the rater,
reviewer, and employee and be forwarded to the Development and Performance
Management Section of the Department of Human Resources Management
prior to the end of the review period. If an employee refuses to
sign the appraisal, the manager/supervisor should note on the document
that the employee refused to sign. Another manager/supervisor should
sign as a witness. The witness’ signature verifies that the employee
was given the opportunity to sign and received the document.
If the manager/supervisor fails to complete the appraisal by the
review date, the employee will receive a Meets Performance Requirements
rating by default.
- Employee Comments
This section provides the employee with an opportunity to comment
on the appraisal. The employee should be asked to complete this section
at the conclusion of the review session. Additional sheets may be attached
and the employee should sign each additional sheet.
Employees may also submit a written rebuttal to a performance appraisal.
The rebuttal should be signed by the employee and manager/supervisor
and be attached to the completed performance appraisal.
- Distribution of Copies
The original appraisal is to be sent to the Department of Human
Resources Management and will be maintained in the employee’s official
personnel file. A copy of the completed appraisal should be given to
the employee and another copy placed in the departmental personnel file.
- Levels of Performance
All employees shall be rated on job functions, objectives and performance
characteristics using the following four levels of performance:
- Substantially Exceeds Performance Requirements
Work that is characterized by exemplary accomplishments throughout
the rating period; performance that is considerably and consistently
above the success criteria of the job.
- Exceeds Performance Requirements
Work that is above the success criteria of the job throughout the
- Meets Performance Requirements
Work that meets the success criteria of the job.
- Below Performance Requirements
Work that fails to meet the success criteria of the job.
- Substandard Performance (Consult with Department of Human Resources
Management prior to proceeding.)
To ensure that employees are given adequate notice of substandard
performance and the opportunity to improve performance prior to the formal
evaluation, the following procedures are to be followed:
- If during the performance period an employee is considered Below Performance
Requirements in any essential job duty or objective which significantly
impacts performance, the rater shall provide the employee with a
written Warning Notice of Substandard Performance. The Warning Notice
shall provide for an improvement period of no less than 30 calendar
days and no more than 120 calendar days prior to a covered employee
receiving an overall rating of Below Performance Requirements. The
Warning Notice must be signed by the employee.
The warning period may not extend beyond the employee’s review date
into the next rating period. However, if the Warning Notice is issued
less than 30 days prior to the employee’s review date, the review date
will roll forward a calendar day for each calendar day the warning period
is in effect.
- The Warning Notice will include a statement indicating that a rating
of Below Performance Requirements will result if performance is not
brought up to expected requirements within the specified period of time.
A copy of the current Planning Document must be attached to the Warning
Notice. The manager/supervisor should confer with the Department of
Human Resources Management before initiating this procedure.
- Official Warning Notice
An Official Warning Notice must be in writing and should
include the following:
- Addressed to the employee;
- Labeled as a Warning Notice of Substandard Performance;
- List job duties/objectives from the planning stage which are considered
Below Performance Requirements with an explanation of the deficiencies
for each job duty/objective;
- List ways of improving deficiencies (the rater and employee should
participate in drafting the work improvement plan, which should
include a list of ways to improve the deficiencies and other appropriate
performance related recommendations);
- Establish a plan for regularly scheduled meetings during the warning
period when the manager/supervisor will counsel the employee on
the status of his/her performance. (An example would be once a week
on Tuesday afternoons);
- Indicate a time frame for expected improvements (no less than
30 days and no greater than 120 days);
- List consequences if no improvement occurs (i.e., termination,
demotion or reassignment);
- Include signatures of the manager/supervisor and employee. (If
the employee elects not to sign the letter, a notation should be
made at the bottom of the letter and signed by a witness. The witness
is not privy to the contents of the letter.) A copy of the Warning
Notice should be given to the employee and another copy sent to
the Department of Human Resources Management for inclusion in the
employee’s official personnel file.
- During the warning period, the manager/supervisor is to meet regularly
with the employee and provide appropriate training or information that
will help the individual to improve. These meetings are to be documented
and signed by the employee and manager/supervisor. The original signed
documents should be forwarded to the Department of Human Resources Management
to be included in the employee’s official personnel file. A copy should
be given to the employee and another copy placed in the departmental
- If, at the end of the warning period, the employee earns at least
a rating of Meets Performance Requirements on all essential job duties/objectives,
which significantly impact performance as noted in the warning notice,
employment will continue.
If the employee, at the end of the warning period, is rated Below Performance
Requirements on any essential job duty or objective which significantly
impacts performance as noted in the official warning notice, the employee
will be removed from the position immediately (i.e., terminated, reassigned
- Once a specific time frame for improving substandard performance has
been given, the employee must receive a written appraisal within the
specified time or the employee will receive a Meets Performance Requirements
rating by default.
- If an employee has been issued two warning notices within a 365 day
period and performance drops to a substandard level on any essential
job duty/objective, which significantly impacts performance for
a third time within a 365 day period, the employee shall be removed
from the position upon the third recurrence by issuing a Below Performance
Requirements appraisal. A warning notice is not required on the third
- Establishing and Maintaining Performance Review Dates for Employees
in the Executive Compensation System
Upon the completion of a probationary or trial period, the performance
review date of a covered employee in the Executive Compensation System shall
be established as July 1.
Office of Human Resources SC State Budget & Control
Human Resources Development, Performance and Records
May 15, 2002