Guide for managers and staff
The Selection Matrix 4
How the Matrix is Delivered 5-6
How the Matrix is Scored 6-8
Post Assessment Calibration of Scores 9
Selection Matrix Template 10
Selection Matrices are now common place in the private sector and are used as a tool to assist in the recruitment selection process. Most often they are used during redundancy processes where there is a requirement for large numbers of staff to be evaluated within a limited timescale. A selection matrix is an alternative to a formal interview process but can be used to assess the same areas of skills and experience that would be tested at interview; it is simply that the data is collected in a different fashion. During a selection interview a candidate is expected to verbally present evidence against set criteria to demonstrate their suitability for the role in question. This is conducted in a formal environment with a panel or board that can often consist of three members posing direct questions to the candidate.
The Selection Matrix allows for the same evidence of skills and experience to be collated but this is done more along the lines of a one to one meeting between a staff member and their supervisor. This environment has far more in common with a PDR meeting than with the traditional interview scenario, without the need for direct questions to be put to the staff member with no opportunity for “right or wrong” answers to be given. The scores awarded will come out of a Matrix meetingbetween the supervisor and staff. Staff are not required to bring evidence to the Matrix Meeting. In some instances staff may be asked by their line manager to evidence their examples and would be required to obtain this during the course of the meeting. After the meeting the line manager will score the matrix and send this documentation to HR for moderation to ensure consistency and fairness therefore final results will not be made available until this has been conducted. Both scores from the line manager and HR moderation will be shared with staff at the same time via their line managers. Staff wishing to appeal this score would then be given 7 days to do so.
. This guide will provide advice for both staff members being assessed in this manner and for those scoringthe assessment. It covers areas such as what skills or other factors can be assessed, the environment in which the assessment is delivered, who is the correct person to scorethe assessment and recommends strategies to ensure a fair and concise application of the matrix.
The Selection Matrix
What criteria are to be assessed?
The Matrix to be used by the Constabulary is based on the Policing Professional Framework, which is also used as part of the Force’s recruitment process. This means that the areas of evidence required will be taken from the National Occupational Standards and Personal Qualities and are therefore linked to role profiles. These should be familiar to all members of staff that have had a Performance Development Review or have been through a selection process with the Constabulary over recent months. Unlike a PDR, evidence submitted for all categories except Discipline Record may be gathered from within the preceding three years.
Each Matrix has seven sections that staff will be assessed upon. Fourof the seven sections are generic and will be identical across the Force. The three further sections involves one Personal Quality and two National Occupancy Standards that are specific to the role being assessed.If it is felt by staff that any of the four generic assessment areas are not appropriate to their roles, this can be raised during engagement and consultation.
The constabulary has determined that there are two personal qualities that are applicable to every police staff role and these will be mandatory to every matrix. These areas are: Decision Making and Working with Others.
Three role specific performance criteria (one from Personal Qualities and two National Occupancy Standards) are also to be assessed and these are taken directly from part 3 of the role profile of the position that is being reviewed. Review Leads/Change Managers will decide with staff input which the most important for the position and to demonstrate the importance of these skills to the role itself these areas may have an increased weighting applied (see Scoring).
The selection of Personal Qualities & National Occupancy Standards that will be assessed in the matrix must be discussed with staff at the engagement period of a review and will also be consulted on fully with staff members and Unison during the Formal Consultation Period.
A staff member’s Attendance Management history is also a fair criterion to assess in these circumstances. A score can be awarded based upon a staff member’s sickness absence history and where their sickness levels sit in relation to the Force Trigger Point. Individuals with disabilities will have an amended trigger point as part of their reasonable adjustments and this must be taken into consideration. Any sickness absence related to pregnancy must be discounted from the process.
A staff member’s Performance Record is the final criteria that will be considered during the evaluation. This is the only category that is not based upon the last 3 years and will only consider current “live” unspent sanctions.
How the Selection Matrix is Scored
Who is the Assessing Officer?
As a preference first line managers will be the most likely to deliver the matrix assessment to their staff. This is appropriate as a first line manager will have the most familiarity with their staff member and will be able provide constructive input into the process. It is appreciated that a first line manager may not always be available for a process and therefore Review Leads / Change Managers have been granted the flexibility to determine assignment of Assessing Officers as part of their Selection Strategy. As with the choice to use the matrix itself the type of Assessing Officer assigned will be bespoke to a Review and its components, so within a departmental structure is likely that some variance will exist across different roles. This flexibility is appropriate where a rationale exists behind the selection choice, as long as the rationale is applied consistently across an individual role’s redundancy pool. For example if 8 Archive Clerks are being assessed to reduce staff numbers, all 8 matrices must be applied in an identical fashion with the assessing officers being of an equal grade.
Where first line managers are unavailable or a rationale exists that dictates a more appropriate person to deliver the matrix, 2nd line managers or peer managers will be available as an option, either to assume the line managers role or to co-deliver the assessment. Similarly Review HR Advisors may (when resources allow) be able to be present at delivery to provide quality assurance and oversight to the process. This oversight will be provided centrally to a selection process on occasions when this is not possible.
Method of Delivery
As with a formal interview process, candidates will be given a minimum of a week’s notice prior to their assessment date and be entitled to a minimum of 7.4 hours during work time to prepare. It is expected that the Matrix Meetingwould last for an average of an hour and will be delivered in a one-to-one environment in a similar fashion to a PDR meeting between the assessor and the employee.
Employees will then have the opportunity to discuss their examples presented in the matrix document across each of the seven areas.
It is the expectation that staff will prepare for the assessment and provide the required evidence (completing the evidence section within the matrix) without prompting. However, line managers may request staff to present further information where they feel a specific area examined has not been evidenced fully. This may only occur a maximum of once per area.
Staff may wish to prepare for the assessment by compiling examples of work that are suitable to evidence the performance criteria (for each personal quality or NOS) being assessed. Staff must demonstrate an evidential example where they have displayed the performance criteria in question and will not score as well if they provide a generic statement without a corresponding example. One evidential example that demonstrates the performance criteria is all that is required to successfully score for that indicator. A maximum of 3 examples may be used per area (1 or which can be external to work if applicable). Quality of examples - not quantity - are what should be aimed for. Staff and Assessing Officers should be open and honest throughout the process.
The Matrix meeting is an opportunity for line managers to review the information submitted with their staff member and contribute their own further suggestions of evidence where they feel opportunities exist. Managers are only able to prompt a staff member a maximum of once per competence area.
This meeting is not an interview process, it is solely an opportunity for managers to enhance staff scores where appropriate. The meeting is very similar to an informal PDR meeting with a manager, and staff do not need to bring any further information with them than that provided in their competed matrix.
The matrix will be scored by the Assessing Officer immediately after delivery and passed onto HR for moderation. Scores will be made available to staff after HR moderation..
Assessing Officers must keep detailed notes of their reasoning and should record what performance criterion were displayed in the evidence presented. These details should be attached to the matrix and kept confidentially until submitted to the HR Advisor and Review Lead.
How the Selection Matrix is Scored
Scoring of Personal Qualities/National Occupancy Standards
Use of the performance criterion, as provided by the Policing Professional Framework (PPF), allows for a consistent evaluation of staff to be made across the Constabulary. The performance criteria within each Personal Quality/National Occupancy Standard provide a list of core component skills that together evidence the wider behaviour. The Selection Matrix will be marked on the amount of performance criterions, per each Personal Quality/NOS, that have been evidenced during the assessment. This allows for the objective evaluation of an employees skills and experience that can be compared consistently against their peers.
The matrix template includes the Personal Qualities (two mandatory and one role specific) and the two national occupancy standards. The matrix will include a description that allows Assessing Officers to assign a score based upon the evidence provided. Marks can be awarded from a range of 1-10. The guidance provided indicates the amount of evidence required to achieve a related score allowing for high or low end evidence.
For example if a candidate “Displays few of the performance criterion from the personal quality/NOS” an assessor is free to grade the candidate between a 1 and a 3 for that area depending on their level of achievement, the exact number will be demonstrated on the selection matrix template.
It is important that the Personal Qualities and National Occupancy Standards definitions and performance criterion used during the matrix are taken direct from the specific role profile for the post that is under consideration. This is because the personal qualities/national occupancy standards are specific to a role and its level of responsibility. Therefore the performance criteria for Decision Making at a senior manager level would be more strategic and differ from those of a lower grade.
Change Managers will select one from the remainder Personal Qualities and two National Occupancy Standards from Part 3 of the role profile that are considered to be a high priority for the role/s in question. A National Occupancy Standard can have up to 30 performance criterion.
To reflect the importance of these skills, this section may be weighted to allow scores to be issued out of a total of 20 rather than 10. In some applications Change Managers may decide that score weighting is not relevant however this will be made clear during consultation.
Staff and Change Managers can access the Personal Qualities and National Occupational Standards by locating the relevant role profile via the PPF intranet site or by following this link:
PPF- Role Profiles
Scoring of Attendance Management History
A maximum of 10 marks is achievable in this section where an employee’sabsence record is compared to 5 performance levels.
HR Advisors will be available to Change Managers to assist with this comparison of absence data and ensure that it is fairly and consistently applied. As with current policy pregnancy related absence must be discounted and disabled members of staff must have their amended triggers(if applicable) used. Please consult the Attendance Management Policy (FPP 33001) for guidance on what other types of absence history are also eligible to be discounted from this process. Staff on flexible working agreements may often have individualised trigger points, see Attendance Management Policy.
Assessors will have the ability to mitigate scores in this area where they feel that an absence period is anomalous and not a fair representation of an individuals availability for work. This will only be applicable in upgrading a grade of 6 “Reached or exceeded trigger” to a 8 “Below trigger” in cases where a single unprecedented absence impacts on an otherwise acceptable absence history.
The 3 year record of a member of staff is as follows:
Year 1 – 2 periods totalling 4 duty days
Year 2 – 3 periods totalling 13 duty days
Year 3 – 1 period of 1 duty day
There are no maternity or disability related issues with the record. As the person has exceeded the force trigger in year 2 but not in the other two years then they would fit in the matrix definition ‘reached or exceeded trigger in the last three years’ and would be scored as a 6.
The 3 year record of a member of staff is as follows:
Year 1 – 1 period totalling 2 days
Year 2 – 3 periods totalling 8 days
Year 3 – 3 periods totalling 6 days
There are no maternity or disability related issues with the record. The person is below force trigger for the 3 year period. The person has had two years where they have had 3 periods of absence totalling 6 and 8 days respectively therefore they would be scored as a 8.
The 3 year record of a member of staff is as follows:
Year 1- 1 period totalling 2 days
Year 2 – 2 periods totalling 6 days
Year 3 – 1 period totalling 40 days (broken limb)
There are no maternity or disability related issues with the record. The person would have been below force trigger point consecutively were it not for the anomalous period in the 3rd year. It would be suitable on this occasion for the assessor to decide to award a grade of 8 on this occasion with a rationale provided.
Scoring of Disciplinary Record
For the purposes of the matrix only Unsatisfactory Performance will be considered, cases of misconduct will not be included. When considering a discipline history the Assessing Officer may only include discipline cases where the sanction is currently “live” and unspent. Similarly only formally recorded discipline processes may be referred to, as outlined in the process guidance even an informal discussion with a member of staff on a potential matter of discipline must be recorded at the time.
In cases where the last 1/6th of a sanction duration exists and assessors / line managers feel that the required improvement has been made and continuation of the discipline process is unlikely, the sanction can be discounted at the assessors discretion with a recorded rationale.
A maximum of 10 marks is available here for a clean and satisfactory record.
Post Assessment Calibration of Scores
The aim of the Selection Matrix is to allocate an assessment mark to an employee via a fair, efficient and consistent process that removes the need for an interview. To ensure consistency within a departmental remit or redundancy selection pool there is a requirement that a further tier of oversight exists within this selection process.
When all matrices for a particular role or pool have been completed they will then be passed on to a second team whose purpose is to review all assessments for quality assurance and to ensure consistency of application across that pool. This team may contain a second line manager or peer manager and/or the HR Advisor to the Review.
Via this control mechanism inconsistencies in marking or anomalous results will be identified and mitigated prior to final selections being made. This may often cause a minor delay in between Matrix Meetings and the deliveryof final scores; however it is an essential process to a fair and equitable system. All efforts will be made to complete this process in as short a timescale as possible as it is understood that this is a difficult time for staff that will be waiting on the information.