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Topic: Appraisals, promotion and training

Assessment of potential for promotion
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Assessment of potential for promotion

Assessment of potential for promotion

Our assessment of potential for promotion is useful to help you decide which of your staff are ready to be promoted to the next pay grade or staff level. It doesn’t automatically mean they’ll be promoted if there aren’t any suitable vacancies, so make sure you manage expectations.


It’s good performance management procedure to appraise your employees on a regular basis and, in any event, no less than once per year. The aim of formal evaluation is not just to consider performance and conduct during the relevant appraisal period but also to set an agreed action plan of goals to be achieved, including identifying training needs and career development, during the forthcoming appraisal period. You can use our Appraisal Procedure and Form for this. However, another aspect to appraising performance in a business which has different pay grades, or staffing levels, is consideration of whether the employee is fitted for promotion to either the next pay grade or the next level of staff/management.  This is where our Assessment of Potential for Promotion comes in.

Fitted for promotion?

Our assessment should be completed at the same time as the annual appraisal, as that will form the basis of making the decision about whether the employee is suitable for promotion. It has three options:

  • not fitted at present for further promotion
  • not fitted at present but likely to become fitted within the next two years
  • fitted for promotion.

Of course, the fact that someone may be assessed as fitted for promotion doesn’t mean they will automatically be promoted - there may not be a vacancy available at the next pay grade or level or there might be other employees who are also fitted and therefore a competitive interview process needs to take place to decide the most suitable candidate. However, it does mean that you’re earmarking your high flyers as suitable potential supervisors or managers. Bear in mind that some employees have a tendency to over-estimate their performance and this could lead to dispute over the line manager’s assessment of promotion potential. Not everyone can be a line manager or at the highest pay grade. There’s room on the form for the employee to record their own comments.

Job experience

We’ve also included a section which is useful where the employee has displayed abilities which don’t make them suitable for promotion but which may make them a suitable candidate for a job at the same grade or level but in a different discipline or department - for example, the administrator who turns out to be an IT guru. Obviously, you can’t force an employee to move to a different job role internally, but it will help to identify possible sideways moves that could be to everyone’s benefit. Likewise, we’ve included a box to set out training needs or further career development that may fit the employee for promotion. 

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