Clinical Research Office. A partnership between Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Sheffield

Performance & Operating Framework (POF) -Review Process

The Sheffield Teaching Hospitals (STH) Research Strategy is underpinned by a metrics-based, Performance and Operating Framework (POF).

The aim of the Performance and Operating Framework is:
  • To develop effective performance management processes that will ensure delivery of the objectives described in the STH Research Strategy.
  • To ensure that each Trust Directorate has in place a strategic plan and operational plan to deliver improvements in research performance through agreed (SMART) objectives,
  • To enable the research performance of each Directorate to be monitored and assessed objectively by the STH Research Committee against a range of metrics.
  • To allow Academic Directorate status to be awarded on the basis of a transparent process based on performance against agreed Directorate research objectives.
  • To enable the STH Research, Innovation and Education Committee to direct investment towards Directorates on the basis of both future strategic plans and past performance on delivery of objectives.


Documents submitted annually by STH Directorates:

At the start of each calendar year, a review process takes place whereby each Directorate must submit three documents which are initially reviewed by the Clinical Research & Innovation Office (CRIO) –

  1. POF Directorate Review Form (including Annual Plan)
  2. Directorate Research Strategy
  3. Directorate POF Table

The POF Directorate Review Form contains a series of questions related to the Directorate’s research performance within the financial year, and also requires the directorate to produce an Annual Plan for the upcoming financial year. Every three years, each Directorate is required to write and submit a new Research Strategy. This was most recently required in 2017-18. For more information, please click on the example guidance documents and review forms below:

 Academic Directorate POF Guidance document 2017-18

 Academic Directorate POF Review Form 2017-18

 Clinical Directorate POF Guidance document 2017-18

 Clinical Directorate POF Review Form 2017-18

All directorates complete a similar review form. Directorates re-applying for Academic status or putting in a new application for Academic status are required to answer additional questions

Directorates are also required to submit their Directorate Research Strategy each year for reference; and a new strategy is submitted for review every three years.

The third document submitted as part of the review is the Directorate POF Table. This contains the series of metrics on which the Performance and Operating Framework is based on. Each directorate must regularly keep this table up to date throughout the year, and as part of the review they must set targets for the forthcoming financial year.

Please click on the links below to see the POF metrics definitions and the POF Table template:

 Definitions of POF Metrics

 Template - Directorate POF Table


The Review:

As mentioned above, all directorate submissions are initially reviewed by the Clinical Research & Innovation Office.The criteria used for this review is outlined in the review document below:

CRIO Reviewer Form A – All Directorates

For directorates that apply for Academic Status, there is an additional Peer Review stage.  Each application is reviewed by two Research Leads from different Academic Directorates to assess the quality of the submitted paperwork, including the impact and prestige of the grant applications and publications submitted by the directorate. Please click on the link below to view the Reviewer Form used by the Peer Reviewers

 Reviewer Form B – Peer Reviewer Form 2017-18


Following the Clinical Research Office Review and Peer Review, recommendations are made for the award of Academic status and Programmed Activity (PA) funding for directorates, and these recommendations are discussed at the STH Research, Innovation and Education Committee meeting, where the final decisions are approved.