In light of the reductions to higher education and research funding, it is likely that academic performance assessment and enhancement schemes will be increasingly used by universities.
In many cases, however, the methods used by universities to assess the academic performance of their medical academics have been fundamentally flawed.
Between 2002 and 2004, many universities used such flawed performance management processes to select staff for redundancy.
The damage caused by job losses, enforced moves to the NHS and a demoralised workforce must not be inflicted again.
The Medical Academic Staff Committee (MASC) believes that universities must acknowledge the clinical work that their clinical academics undertake and its value to the institution when assessing their performance.
Their clinical contribution enables clinical academics to play a unique institutional role, but also results in less time within their job plan to conduct research.
This must be taken into account. As they are effectively part time employees, clinical academics are not usually able to generate the same volume of research and teaching output as their full-time non-clinical academic colleagues.
MASC believes that medical academics should not be subjected to multiple and onerous assessment processes, and that university employers should work through existing appraisal and job planning processes in order to assess the performance of their medical academic employees.
The committee also believes that when universities collect productivity data to analyse the performance of their medical academic employees, the doctors should be permitted to view their data and correct inaccuracies.
We advise that the clinical and academic employers should always ensure that their organisational aims are incorporated into the agreed medical academic job plans.