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Human Resources

Classified Performance Management Program

Colorado Community College System

Performance Management Program for Classified Employees

Revised 3-1-2022

I.  Introduction

The purpose of the Colorado Community College System Performance Management Program for classified employees is to promote excellence within the agency and optimize our potential to achieve individual, agency and system goals and objectives. This Program has been developed in accordance with Colorado Revised Statutes. This plan is effective April 1, 2022. Any deviations from this plan must be documented, approved by the applicable President or Chancellor, and posted for employees.

I. Performance Planning and Evaluation General Guidelines

Performance Management:

A system that has been implemented to ensure that the performance expected from employees is identified and rewarded. The Performance Plan should align with department and/or System goals and objectives.

Evaluation Tool:

CCCS has a standard Performance Planning and Evaluation Form. Individual colleges, based on technology platforms or business need may alter the form, provided the overall content remains consistent. Uniform core competencies as defined by the State Personnel Director, and aligned with CCCS fundamental competencies, have been incorporated into the Performance Planning and Evaluation Form.

Evaluation Period:

Classified employees shall be evaluated annually, or more often if deemed necessary by the supervisor or next level supervisor(s). Beginning August 1, 2023, the rating cycle shall be August 1 through July 31 of the following year. Plans shall be completed by August 31 of each year. For new employees, performance plans shall be completed by the supervisor within 30 days of date of hire. For new employees, the evaluation period will be from the date of hire to July 31 of the current performance year.

For one performance cycle only, to facilitate the adjustment to the rating cycle, the rating cycle shall be April 1, 2022 through July 31, 2023.

Planning Phase:

Supervisors are responsible for developing performance plans for each of their employees. The next-level supervisor is responsible for ensuring plans are established. If a supervisor has not developed a plan for their employee, the next-level supervisor shall do so. Supervisors are expected to involve employees in the planning process to the greatest extent possible and are encouraged to discuss professional growth and training opportunities and goals on an annual basis. When conducting the planning phase, supervisors should review the employee’s official Position Description (PD) to insure that the current description accurately represents the employee’s job duties. If the PD is inaccurate, the PD should also be updated and sent to Human Resources for review/update in the official files. Supervisors are encouraged to consider utilizing multi-source feedback tools in evaluating employee performance. Supervisors must communicate their intention to utilize a multi-source feedback tool during the planning phase of the evaluation cycle. For new employees, performance plans shall be completed by the supervisor within 30 days of date of hire.

Mid-Year Reviews:

By February 1, or as often as deemed necessary, supervisors shall meet with employees to review performance, coach and obtain feedback. This session shall be documented on the Planning and Evaluation Form. Supervisors are encouraged to meet regularly with their employees to provide informal ongoing coaching and feedback. New employees or those working under a performance improvement plan or corrective or disciplinary action, may require more frequent meetings.

Responsibility of Evaluation:

Supervisors are responsible for evaluating performance in writing for each of their employees and adhering to internal protocols for quality review. Supervisor ratings must be reviewed and the evaluation signed by the second-level supervisor prior to being presented to the employee. Supervisor’s ability to effectively manage the performance of their employees will be evaluated in their performance evaluation. Failure to timely complete the evaluation shall result in the next-level supervisor completing the evaluation. This process shall continue up the chain of command up to the Appointing Authority until the plan/evaluation is completed, as required by law. If an evaluation is not completed on a timely basis, the rating shall default to “Effective (Level 3)” until a final evaluation is completed. Supervisors must have a provision in their own performance plan that evaluates the effectiveness of their performance management of their employees.

Pursuant to CRS 24-50-104, absent extraordinary circumstances, failure to timely plan and evaluate in accordance with the system’s established timelines results in a corrective action and ineligibility for a performance award. If the individual performance plan or evaluation is not completed within 30 days of the corrective action, the rater must be disciplinarily suspended in increments of one workweek following pre-disciplinary meeting.


Employees shall be rated based on five possible qualitative rating levels: Unacceptable (Level 1), Needs Improvement (Level 2), Effective (Level 3), Highly Effective (Level 4), and Exceptional (Level 5). Employees shall be rated based upon their overall performance and not upon quotas of a number of ratings in each of the five performance levels. No quotas or forced distribution processes for determining the number of ratings in any of the five performance levels shall be established. The core/fundamental competencies must be taken into consideration when determining the final, overall rating for the employee. Evaluations must be reviewed by the next higher level supervisor before being communicated to the employee. Furthermore, any evaluations resulting in a rating of Unacceptable (Level 1), Needs Improvement (Level 2) or Exceptional (Level 5) will be reviewed by Human Resources for adequate support in the written evaluation and to assist with any applicable corrective or disciplinary actions required.

Unacceptable (Level 1):

At this level, employee performance and/or behavior do not meet minimum job expectations of the position. The employee does not meet key goals and/or does not demonstrate competence in critical job skills. Immediate and sustained performance improvement is needed.

  • An overall performance rating of Unacceptable (Level 1) must include a corrective or disciplinary action. Individual factor ratings of Unacceptable (Level 1) may result in a performance improvement plan or corrective action.

Needs Improvement (Level 2):

At this level, employee performance and/or behavior do not consistently meet minimum expectations of what is expected of the employee’s position. While the employee shows capability and willingness to progress, they may require development in a key skill area(s) to be fully effective in the role.

  • An overall performance rating of Needs Improvement (Level 2) may include a performance improvement plan or corrective or disciplinary action. Individual factor ratings of Needs Improvement (Level 2) may result in a performance improvement plan or corrective action.

Effective (Level 3):

Employees at this level reliably and consistently meet all the expectations, standards, requirements, and objectives of the employee’s position. They demonstrate organizational values, along with a willingness and ability to grow for the benefit of the department. At this level, performance meets expectations in terms of quality of work, efficiency, and timeliness with the most critical goals being met.

Highly Effective (Level 4):

Employees at this level demonstrate highly effective performance by making significant contributions and impact on the goals of the Department. The employee consistently models organizational values to others and performance at this level exceeds the expectations of their position. Colleagues rely on these employees for advice on process or subject matter expertise. All goals, objectives, and targets are consistently achieved above the established standards.

Exceptional (Level 5):

Employees at this level consistently make extraordinary contributions through superior performance on key goals, serve as a role model of organizational values, and contribute significantly to the mission of the Department. Peers, immediate supervisors, higher-level management, and others recognize and depend upon the employee’s level of performance. An extraordinary level of achievement and commitment in terms of quality and time, technical skills and knowledge, ingenuity, creativity, and initiative is exhibited at this level. The employee demonstrates exceptional job mastery in all major areas of responsibility and their contributions to the organization are of marked excellence.

Record Keeping:

The Human Resources Office shall be the official custodian of record for performance evaluation forms. Reminders of the three stages of performance planning and evaluation shall be sent electronically from Human Resources to all supervisors and employees. As each of the three stages is completed, the supervisor and employee must sign and date the form indicating the completion of planning, mid-year and final evaluation. Final evaluations, with documented completion of planning and mid-year meetings, must be submitted to Human Resources within 30 days of the close of the rating cycle. When notification has not been received by the required process due dates, follow up will occur with the supervisor responsible for the delinquent report. Failure to receive the requested information within plan timelines will result in Human Resources notifying the next level supervisor and the Appointing Authority for need of issuance of a corrective action. The Human Resources Office shall also be responsible for reporting required information to the Division of Human Resources by specified deadlines.

Quality Review Process:

Human Resources will review performance evaluation documentation of all employees for adherence to policy guidelines, distribution of ratings, and quality and consistency of ratings. Human Resources will ensure review of the evaluations in accordance with internal protocols for adequate justifications for Unacceptable, Needs Improvement and Exceptional ratings, prior to those ratings being provided to employees.

Notification of Awards:

The supervisor shall be responsible for informing the employee of their final rating, after being notified by second-level supervisor that the employee’s given rating is acceptable, per the standards established by the quality review process listed above.

II. Dispute Resolution Process

CCCS colleges and the system office shall adhere to the Colorado Community College System Performance Management Dispute Process for Classified Employees. The Process is an open, impartial review process that is not a grievance or an appeal and allows the parties an opportunity to have issues reviewed objectively. The Performance Management Dispute Process shall be available on CCCS’s intranet.

III. Training

CCCS colleges and the system office will provide training regarding performance management and our internal process to all employees. Additionally, supervisors will attend at least one training session regarding the CCCS Performance Management Program.