Achievement relative to opportunity
In accordance with the University’s commitment to social justice and inclusion, and in recognition of the growing diversity within our talented workforce, Monash incorporates the principle of ‘assessing achievement relative to opportunity’ within all employment-related policies and processes. We recognise that our staff experience a range of professional, personal and other circumstances.
What is Achievement Relative to Opportunity? View
Achievement Relative to Opportunity (also known as 'Relative to Opportunity') is a positive acknowledgement of what a staff member can and has achieved given the opportunities available to them. It supports a more calibrated assessment of their performance.
Achievement Relative to Opportunity acknowledges diverse career histories, a range of personal and professional circumstances and working arrangements. It is not about providing special consideration, diluting merit or lessening standards of performance. Applying Achievement Relative to Opportunity principles facilitates more equitable decision-making and promotes fairness.
The profiles of many staff no longer match the traditional norms of full-time work hours and an uninterrupted career path. The framework expands our capacity to view profiles, outputs and achievements more equitably across the diversity of career pathways.
Examples where Achievement Relative to Opportunity must be applied:
- Academic promotion
- Academic probation confirmation
- Outside study program
- Performance development
- Internal grant opportunities
Examples of relevant circumstances View
Relevant circumstances typically represent disruptions, interruptions, non-traditional patterns of achievements or deviations from an established trajectory, sometimes also described as 'career hijacks'.
Examples of relevant circumstances may include (but are not limited to):
- career interruptions or disruptions caused by parental leave, major or prolonged illness/injury, carer responsibilities
- impairment, temporary or permanent disability
- personal trauma (for example bereavement, domestic and family violence)
- periods of part-time work, late or non-linear entry into academia, change in discipline focus, varied workload or relocation of a research laboratory or clinical practice setting or long-service leave
- country relocation or relocation of a research laboratory
- cultural or religious expectations
- impact of major events such as natural disasters (flooding, bushfires, storms, earthquakes), pandemics (such as the COVID-19 pandemic), war or political unrest
- other emergency situations, and/or
- other similar circumstances that impact productivity and success.
Tips for decision-makers View
Decision-makers need to seek to understand the impact of disclosed circumstances and endeavour to make appropriate assessments that take these into consideration.
Assessing Achievement Relative to Opportunity does not mean that you are ‘expecting less’ of the staff member. Instead, it considers a range of factors based on their own individual relevant circumstances, such as:
- the quality and impact of achievements
- the quantum or rate of productivity
- the opportunity to participate in certain activities
- the output produced over a defined period.
Statements addressing relevant circumstances are optional for staff. All disclosed information must be kept strictly confidential. Assurances are provided to staff that their information will be used for the purpose it is intended and will form the basis of a contextual and holistic assessment of the staff member’s achievement.
Achievement Relative to Opportunity webinar recording:
Malaysia campus only