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Performance improvement plan (PIP)

Use the Performance improvement plan template (DOCX, 53 KB) to help an employee improve performance if they’re not meeting expectations. This is a formal process that:

  • sets measurable goals
  • outlines support
  • highlights consequences
  • implements a timeline for improvement.

You should have informal discussions with the employee about their performance before you introduce a performance improvement plan (PIP). Discuss and address any personal circumstances affecting performance. Allow the employee some time to improve their performance before moving to the more formal PIP process.

Use the PIP checklist (PDF, 7.2 MB) for help.

See Positive management practices for more.

Employees must actively participate. They must agree to regularly meet with their manager to review their progress.

If they believe their agency has not adhered to the Positive performance management directive, they can appeal the PIP under section 194 of the Public Service Act.

If, at the end of the PIP, the employee is able to achieve and maintain the required standard of work, they can progress to a Performance and development agreement (PDA). If they cannot achieve and maintain the required standard of work, their manager can consider extending the PIP or proceed to disciplinary action.

You should normally set your employee’s PIP for 12 weeks. If the employee achieves and sustains their goals quicker, you may choose to end the PIP earlier. If the employee needs formal training that extends beyond 12 weeks, you might need to set a longer timeframe.

You can extend an initial PIP period if the employee has met some but not all their goals or has shown progress towards their goals but not quite met them within the initial timeframe. You may also consider extending a PIP if the employee has been absent (for example, due to illness).

You must clearly communicate why you are extending the initial PIP period and the new end date.

You must take prompt and appropriate action to address unacceptable employee work performance under the Public Service Act 2008.

You must arrange to meet with your employee regularly (usually weekly or fortnightly) to review their progress against the PIP requirements. Provide feedback on whether the employee has met or not met each requirement. Feedback should be specific with examples and evidence.

Where the employee has not met a requirement, consider the reasons and whether you could provide any additional support or training to help.

You must take notes and provide a copy to your employee outlining what you reviewed and the outcomes.

At the end of the PIP, if the employee is able to achieve and maintain the required standard of work, advise them and move them to a Performance and development agreement (PDA). If they cannot achieve and maintain the required standard of work, consider if you should extend the PIP or move to disciplinary action.

If an employee is not meeting performance requirements, you must undertake a PIP to help them. If they cannot achieve and maintain the required standard of work after completing their PIP, you can consider disciplinary action.

You can only consider disciplinary action without completing a PIP in circumstances of unacceptable conduct or performance (e.g. bullying, sexual harassment).

See the Discipline directive for more.

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