appraisalAs I have now worked a full calendar year with the NAO it is time for my first annual appraisal. The NAO’s appraisal system builds from our progress reviews and other work, into an overall summary for the year. The appraisal will give both me and my managers a clearer idea of how I am performing compared to my peers, and also identify areas where I can improve.

What happens during the appraisal process?

The appraisal process includes a meeting with my line manager followed by my self assessment. After submitting the latter I won’t be able to see the results of the appraisal until it is formally disclosed. In the mean time my manager will add his comments and provide an indicative performance rating (one of five grades: Unacceptable, Needs Development, Good, Strong and Outstanding), and the appraisals will be moderated across both departmental teams and clusters to ensure fair feedback. All this before the outcome is disclosed by 13 March at the latest!

To kick off the appraisal process, I met with my line manager back in January. The meeting included a discussion of how I felt I performed over the year, what I believed I did well and where I thought improvements could be made. Prior to the meeting I considered my strengths and weaknesses and chose examples of my work that reflect the criteria in the ‘Competency Framework. The framework sets out both the core behaviours expected of all staff and grade specific behaviours. These core behaviours then helped me structure my responses when writing my self-assessment.

During the meeting with my line manager I made sure to also mention any non-audit work done during the year, as this generally shows wider working. For me this included attending a graduate careers fair, sitting on the NAOSSA (NAO Sports and Social Association) committee as the trainee representative and the graduate blog!

What you can do to prepare yourself

The tips below I hope will go a little way toward helping your appraisal process run smoothly:

  • During the year keep track of any non-audit work you do, if you try to list them only once a year it is likely some activities will be forgotten!
  • Try to relate your experiences during interim and final audit to your objectives.
  • During the year keep your eyes open for opportunities which can help you demonstrate the key competencies for your grade.
  • At interim audit be proactive and ask leads how you can improve for final, this will give you a better base to be able to impress them.
  • Finally, don’t worry about it too much, after all by this point you will have already done all the hard work!

Apply now – applications close 31 March

If you want to apply for our 2015 graduate training scheme, you can still do so until Tuesday, 31 March 2015. Head over to our graduate recruitment site for further information.

If you’ve got any questions around the application process, please leave a comment below. You can also contact our recruitment team by email, via our Facebook page, or on Twitter.

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