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Adviser Performance Assessment Note

Adviser Performance Assessments (APA)assess how well individual advisers are delivering the services required under aid agreements against up to six criteria over a 12-month period. This helps to improve the performance of advisory inputs at the activity level. APAs must be completed for all specified advisers, regardless of agreement value.

The APA process consistently reinforces expectations and assesses performance to identify opportunities to improve individual advisers' performance. It acknowledges where their performance is satisfactory (or better) and identifies where performance is unsatisfactory. This helps to ensure that value for money is being achieved.

APAs are to be completed for each adviser annually (such as on the anniversary of the start date) and on completion of the contract. Performance discussions should be held at least biannually, the APA can form part of this process. APAs and any written statements from advisers in response to APAs are valid for five years.

Managing Contractors are responsible for APAs for advisers on their books. DFAT investment managers are responsible for APAs for advisers hired directly by DFAT. APAs should be filed with program documentation in EDRMS. All APA's (even electronic ones) must be endorsed with a date and a name before filing. All APAs with a rating of three or below, along with written adviser responses, must also be sent to

Information contained in APAs may be used for official Australian Government purposes to inform DFAT's operations, and for internal and public reporting. DFAT may also uses past performance information from APAs during tender and grant evaluation processes.

Notes for Completing the APA Template:

  1. An Adviser Performance Assessment (APA) is undertaken on completion of an adviser contract, or annually for engagements longer than one year in duration.
  2. APAs should be completed for all Long Term and Short-Term Advisers.
  3. DFAT or its implementing Partner may seek the views of Partner Government officials involved in the activity when completing the APA.
  4. Where underperformance is identified in an APA, practical steps to rectify the performance issues must be put in place.
  5. Advisers are required to sign the completed APA within 15 working days of receipt and may include a written response with the APA to address any issues raised.
  6. Adviser responses must be returned electronically to the party conducting the APA (i.e. DFAT or Managing Contractor).
  7. Failure by the adviser to respond within 15 working days of receipt is deemed as acceptance of the APA.
  8. Final signed versions of the APA should be provided to the adviser.
  9. Completed APAs are held by the Managing Contractors and remain valid for five (5) years.
  10. All APAs must be signed with a date and a completing officers? Whose name? name before filing. APAs that are disputed may be filed with other documents but this must be noted on the original form in the comments field.

Australian Aid – Rated Performance Criteria

Rate each statement on the template using the following six-point scale as a guide.


Point scale




Very good; satisfies criteria in all areas



Good; satisfies criteria in almost all areas



Adequate; on balance satisfies criteria; does not fail in any major area



Less than adequate; on balance does not satisfy criteria and /or fails in at least one major area

Less than satisfactory


Poor; does not satisfy criteria in several major areas

Less than satisfactory


Very poor; does not satisfy criteria in any major area

Less than satisfactory

Issues to consider under each rating and to inform discussion:

  1. Deliver Lasting Results and Impact – Is the adviser achieving the agreed deliverables?
    1. Achieves results and delivers on time; ensuring deliverables are of high quality, accurate and meet the defined requirements.
    2. Progress in capacity building and knowledge transfer to key counterpart(s), as per the defined requirements.
    3. Demonstrates effective leadership and management, as per the defined requirements.
  2. Demonstrated effective, ethical, efficient and economical use of resources – Does the adviser demonstrate Value for Money principles in their approach to the defined requirements?
    1. Delivers defined services within budget.
    2. Applies lessons learnt to enhance value for money.
  3. Collaboration, Communication and Responsiveness – Does the adviser work collaboratively, communicate effectively with stakeholders and respond effectively to emerging issues
    1. Demonstrates professional conduct and cultural sensitivity by communicating effectively, working collaboratively and building effective relationships
    2. Demonstrates appropriate flexibility and responsiveness to DFAT (and/or its implementing partner) and the Partner Government's requests.
    3. Addresses problems/issues openly and constructively.
  4. Risk Management – Does the adviser effectively manage risk and operate in a manner consistent with DFAT policies?
    1. Effectively manages risks and informs DFAT of any risks or issues that may adversely affect timing, cost or quality of services.
    2. Takes appropriate account of DFAT policies including on Child Protection, Environmental and Resettlement safeguards; Gender Equality and Disability Inclusive Development.
  5. Other Contract Specific Measurable(s)

Revised APA Pathway for completion

APA outcome Signature process Lodged (where filed)
Managing contractor – Performing well – 4 or above Signed by MC
Signed by Adviser
Signed by DFAT Program Manager
Filed with the program/project.
Managing Contractor to retain.
Managing contractor – Requires improvement – 3 or below Signed by MC
Signed by Adviser
Signed by DFAT Program Manager
Forwarded to Aid Business Engagement for lodging on performance register.
DFAT Direct engagement Performing well – 4 or above Signed by Adviser
Signed by DFAT Program Manager
Filed with the program/project.
DFAT program area to retain.
DFAT Direct engagement –
Requires improvement – 3 or below
Signed by Adviser
Signed by DFAT Program Manager
Forwarded to Aid Business Engagement for lodging on performance register.

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