May 2019

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Changes to the Standard Appraisal Completion Form using ESR Supervisor Self-service

A Case Study by The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust


The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust employs approximately 3000 Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) working across the main hospital site in Harlow, outpatient’s services in Herts and Essex Hospital, Bishop Stortford, St Margaret Hospital Epping and Community hospital in Cheshunt.

In 2018 it was agreed that the Appraisal Process would be reviewed to ensure that the required information was being collated during Appraisals, to enable the organisation to report effectively on appraisal progress and impact.

The Project

There was a complete overhaul of the Staff appraisal process to increase staff engagement and compliance. With the MyESR Portal rolled out across the trust, it was logical for us to enable ESR appraisal functionality to record and report on AFC staff appraisals.  Previously Appraisal completion was recorded within ESR but via a manual administrative process. A local paper Appraisal submission form was completed by the Appraiser after the appraisal had taken place. This submission form was then sent via email directly to the training team, who were then responsible for manually inputting the appraisal dates onto ESR against the employee.

We wanted to expand on this though and make the process slicker and more beneficial to both the employee, managers and the trust as a whole. In order to capture personal development plans and training course requirements, it was decided that a local ESR Appraisal Template would be created to enable this. This was done within ESR Career Management functionality using HTML code to build a specific local questionnaire template.


To support the appraisal process and enable managers and employees to quickly adopt the new process, three years’ worth of appraisal completion data was uploaded against the ESR Employee record, with the support of the ESR Central Team.

The new local Questionnaire Template built using HTML code allowed managers to record exactly the same information on ESR directly as the original paper form. In addition it removed the need for the manager to send the form to our Training Team, and for the Training Team to process and manually enter on ESR.

The use of ESR appraisal functionality was successfully trialled in two of our directorates in June 2018, followed by a trust-wide roll out later in the year. 

A user guide has been produced and ongoing training provided, ensuring that the change has been met with a positive response from Supervisors / Managers, and employees.  

Key Benefits

Utilisation of the ESR Appraisal functionality through Supervisor Self-Service has enabled the organisation to;

  • Recreate the Appraisal Submission form within ESR directly
  • Remove data duplication by Managers and the Training Team
  • Reduce adhoc report requests as managers can see who is due an appraisal, saving both the HR and Training Team time and administrative effort
  • Managers have complete control over the process by logging the appraisals submission directly on to ESR. There is no confusion as to what has/hasn’t been completed and submitted
  • There has been an increase in appraisal compliance rate to 92% from 81% in August 2018
  • Details of development plans from the new appraisal submission form will be reported against, thereby enabling the Learning & Development Team to deliver the required training
  • Business Intelligence enables timely Appraisal reporting to be completed, along with the ability to easily filter staffs currently on maternity leave, long-term sickness or on a career break

Next Steps

We are on a journey to maximise the use of MyESR to support our employees, as well as improve organisational efficiency and productivity. We are currently progressing our use of Manager Self Service, to enable Managers to utilise additional functionality and take greater ownership over their team. It is expected this will help the Trust to reduce costs on admin based tasks and support local strategies around compliance, engagement and wider productivity and efficiency plans.

We are also looking to use the new Pay Progression Meeting templates within ESR to efficiently manage incremental pay progression, in conjunction with the Appraisal and Statutory Mandatory training processes already in place.

The introduction of electronic appraisal completion form has been a fantastic achievement at the Trust.  It has transformed the way we do appraisals.  Our people can now spend the more of their time having a quality appraisal conversation rather than filling in the paper form. Being on MyESR  not only is the system easily accessible 24x7 but has improved the accuracy of the management information  which is used effectively to support the further increases in our appraisal rates.

Ogechi Emeadi, Director of People OD & Communications

Further Information

For further information please contact Nathaniel Williams, Workforce Information & Systems Manager –


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