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Viewing appraisals

Users who can access an appraisal will progress through the same workflow, regardless of their role. Differences occur within individual questions or elements of the appraisal.  For example one question may require a role to respond, while a response may be optional or not allowed on other questions.

To view appraisals, hover over Appraisals in the main navigation menu and select either Latest Appraisal or All Appraisals.

The tabs displayed will depend upon the role and permissions of the logged in user. Select the appropriate tab to view the appraisals that have been assigned.

Appraisal tabs


TabDescriptionNotes
My AppraisalsLists the current user's own performance and development appraisals.This will appear for all users with an assigned active or closed appraisal.
As ManagerDisplays to users who have been assigned as another user's manager on their user profile and who have appraisals assigned to be completed by a manager.Please see Managing Job Assignments for more information on assigning managers to users.
As Manager's Manager

This tab is displayed to users who have been assigned as the manager on the user profile of a user who has also been setup as another user's manager and who have appraisals assigned to be completed from the manager's manager perspective.

The manager of a staff member's manager is designated as the Manager's Manager.
As AppraiserThis tab is displayed to users who have been assigned as the appraiser on the user profile of a user who has an appraisal to be completed.Please see Managing Job Assignments for more information on assigning appraisers to users.

The overview for each appraisal includes:

ItemDescriptionNotes
NameThe individual for whom the appraisal has been created.Please see Creating Appraisals for more information on creating and Assigning Appraisals.
AppraisalThe linked name of the appraisal you can select to access the appraisal.-
Start DateThe date the appraisal process begins.Users cannot edit the appraisal form before this time.
End DateThe appraisal due date, as it is when the appraisal is expected to be completed by.If the appraisal has not been completed by the End date then it can still be done and will be shown as Overdue.
StatusThe current status of the appraisal. Active means that the appraisal is actively available for completion. Closed means that the appraisal has been ended early by an administrator and does not require completion, but can be viewed.-


Select the linked appraisal name to view it. If you have multiple job assignments, the first time you view the appraisal, you will need to select the appropriate job assignment related to your appraisal before you can view the appraisal content.

Select appraisal job assignment

Once you have selected a job assignment, the stages of the appraisal are displayed and others users assigned with the relevant roles will gain access to it. Note that only one stage will be available; the other stages will be made available automatically based on the start dates setup in the appraisal settings.

Appraisal job assignment selected

Each stage will have a completion date listed. You may receive notifications on your dashboard and via email when a new appraisal is available, if a stage due date is coming up, or if a stage is overdue.

Managers, manager's managers, and appraisers, are granted access to view and respond to appraisals for learners. One appraisal element may require responses from all roles while another only requires response from the learner and learner's manager.

In this case, a Manager refers to the user who is setup on the your user profile in the Manager field for the appropriate job assignment. The Manager's Manager is the manager of your manager. The Appraiser is the user setup on your user profile in the Appraiser field for the appropriate job assignment.

Saving or printing an appraisal

To save a copy of your current appraisal, including responses to elements so far, select the Save PDF Snapshot button. A PDF copy of the appraisal will be saved and will be displayed under the name of the appraisal on the All Appraisals page. You can also download a copy by selecting the Download now button.

To print a copy of the appraisal, select the Print button. You will be prompted to select which stages will be printed. Check the checkbox next to Leave space on print-out to write comments to include additional space under each element on the page for writing in comments by hand.

Select the Print now button. The browser's printer dialog will appear. The options available for printing will depend upon the browser you are using.

Save or print an appraisal

Viewing appraisals for team members

You can access your team members' appraisals by going to the Team tab on the navigation menu and selecting the Appraisals link for a learner.

View an appraisal via my team tab

Alternatively, choose Performance > All Appraisals from the navigation menu and select the As Manager tab to view a list of appraisals for all your team members.

View an appraisal via the performance tab


You will not be able to view your team members' appraisals until they have selected the relevant job assignment related to it.

For each appraisal, the manager can view:

itemDescriptionNotes
NameThe individual for whom the appraisal has been created.Please see Creating Appraisals for more information on creating and Assigning Appraisals.
AppraisalThe linked name of the appraisal you can select to access the appraisal.-
Start DateThe date the appraisal process begins.Users cannot edit the appraisal form before this time.
End DateThe appraisal due date, as it is when the appraisal is expected to be completed by.If the appraisal has not been completed by the End date then it can still be done and will be shown as Overdue.
StatusThe current status of the appraisal. Active means that the appraisal is actively available for completion. Closed means that the appraisal has been ended early by an administrator and does not require completion, but can be viewed.-

Selecting the linked appraisal name will open the appraisal for viewing and/or completion.

Completing an appraisal


To begin working through an appraisal, go to Appraisals > All Appraisals on the top navigation menu.

To begin completing an appraisal, select the Start button in the current highlighted stage of the appraisal. Only one stage of an appraisal is available at any time; the next stage will become available after the previous one is completed.

If you have already selected an appraisal stage to view it, but have not completed it, the button text will say Continue.


Incomplete appraisal stage

The pages of a stage appear as tabs and the elements that need to be completed appear under the selected tab. Elements are the questions or pieces of information that are displayed in the appraisal.

Element types include:

Element typeDescriptionNotes
QuestionQuestions are elements that require a response from the user.This could include selecting a multiple choice value, using a slider on a numeric scale, uploading a file, or typing a text response.
Review questionReview questions allow you to pull data from another area of Totara Learn as part of the appraisal. This includes goals, as well as elements of a learning plan, such as courses, competencies, objectives, and other evidence.Some review questions will allow you to enter the rating or status for the item, such as a competency or goal, just as it would be marked on a learning plan.
Non-question elementNon-question elements are used to display information in the appraisal such as re-displaying questions, aggregating questions, a fixed image, text, or information from the user's profile.These elements are used to convey information, such as the learner's name or position and do not require a response.


Select the Next button to move to the next page of the stage. If no elements required a response, then selecting the Next button will mark the page as complete. A stage is complete when all required questions are answered and a tick is displayed in the check box next to the page name.

Question elements

Question elements will display the question, followed by a way to select an answer. This could take the form of a dropdown, radio buttons, check boxes, sliders, or text boxes, depending upon the type of question.

If your role has permission to answer a question, you will see a Your answer label with a method for selecting the answer next to it. If answering a question is required for your role, then a red asterisk will appear next to Your answer. You will not be able to move on to the next page until the required fields on the current page are completed.

Your answer may be visible to users in other roles. The list of roles will be displayed under the Your answer label. The answer provided by users in other roles may be visible to you. Answers that you have permission to view will be displayed below your answer.

Review questions

Review questions allow you to select components of the learning plan to pull into the appraisal and review. This process will be the same for any components that may need reviewed; not all components will be included on every appraisal.

Reviewing courses from a learning plan

  1. Select the Choose courses to review button.
  2. Select the Learning Plan that you want to choose a course from using the drop down. You can also search for a particular course using the Search tab.
  3. Choose the items that you wish to add to the appraisal. Any selected items will appear in the Items to add column on the right side. To remove an item, hover over it with the mouse and select the X (delete icon) that appears.
  4. Select the Add button when you are ready.
  5. After selecting the course, enter your response to the question.

Reviewing competencies from a learning plan

  1. Select the Choose competencies to review button.
  2. Select the competency that you wish to include in the review by clicking on it. Multiple competencies can be selected and competencies from multiple learning plans can be selected.
  3. Select the Add button.
  4. Each competency will be displayed with a separate response area. Enter your answer for each competency. To remove a competency from the appraisal, select the X (delete icon) to the right of the answer text box.

Reviewing objectives from a learning plan

  1. To add learning plan objectives for review, select the Choose objectives to review button.
  2. Select the objective that you wish to include in the review by clicking on it. Multiple objectives can be selected and objectives from multiple learning plans can be selected.
  3. Select the Add button.
  4. Enter review responses for the objectives selected in the text box provided.

Reviewing goals

You can enter responses for any existing goals as well as click the Choose goals to review button to add additional goals to the appraisal.

  1. Select the goal framework from the drop down menu, and then choose the goals that you wish to add for review. You can also search for a goal on the Search tab. Any goals that have already been selected will be greyed out. Selected items will appear in the Items to add column.
  2. Select the Add button to continue.
  3. Enter your answers for the goals selected. Each goal will have a separate response area.

At any point, you may save your progress by scrolling to the top of the page and selecting the Save progress button.

On the last page of the appraisal stage, select the Compete stage button. The stage will be marked complete with a tick in the checkbox next to You must complete this stage.

When the appraisal stage has been completed by all user roles, a tick mark will appear for the stage and the next stage will open for completion.

Complete appraisal stage

When all appraisal stages have been completed by all user roles, the appraisal status will be updated to Completed, including the date on which it was completed. A completed appraisal is still available for users to view and print using the buttons at the top right-hand side of the screen.

A site administrator or a user with the 'totara/appraisal:unlockstages' capability set to Allow, can reopen or unlock a completed stage for a specific appraisal role (e.g. Learner, Manager, Appraiser etc), or all roles, within a specific user's appraisal form, via the appraisal management area under the Assignments tab. 

For more information please see Managing appraisals.


Appraisal complete

When viewing any appraisal overview pages or reports, the appraisal status will be updated from Active to Completed.

All Appraisals

Tracking appraisal completion

Occasionally, a site administrator or another user assigned an appropriate role and associated permissions, may be required to complete an appraisal on the behalf of another assigned user.  This may be due to a staff absence or access issue.  In this situation, an administrator can use the Log in as functionality to perform the required additions or edits to the appraisal.

Totara Learn will record all changes made to an appraisal on behalf of the user and display them within the appraisal summary view.

Appraisal completion user tracking

On this page

The Totara Academy has a whole course dedicated to using Appraisals in Totara Learn. Here you can learn more on how to use the tool, see best practice, and give it a go yourself.

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Still have questions? Why not post them in the forums of the Totara Community?