Approaches and Instruments of Civil Servants Performance Appraisal in European Countries


  • Joachim Vollmuth Former Civil Servant in the Federal Administration in Germany


The performance appraisal is in all European countries an important
instrument of the human resource management in the civil service - both as a facility to ensure the efficiency of the civil service as a whole and as a basis for measures of individual staff capacity building. In order to effect the performance appraisal European countries do apply various procedures which are based on different approaches: The objective oriented evaluation approach and the criteria oriented evaluation approach. A general statement that one of the approaches generates better results than the other is not
possible. The suitability of the approaches can only be judged against the background of the specific civil service system and structures in place. In this regard the distinction between the career based civil service system and the position based civil service system is particularly relevant, because they entail different functions of the performance appraisal. The crucial question is, which of the approaches creates better conditions for the performance appraisal in order to fulfil its function in the civil service system concerned. In countries in which the career based civil service system is prevailing (for instance Germany) there is a clear tendency to the criteria oriented evaluation, whereas in countries with a position based civil service system (for instance the UK) the objective oriented evaluation is predominant.

Author Biography

Joachim Vollmuth, Former Civil Servant in the Federal Administration in Germany

Joachim Vollmuth (PhD in Law) currently works as external auditor at the European University Institute in Florence (Italy), as senior advisor in EU projects and gives lecturers in the field of civil service law and civil service structures from a comparative view. Before his retirement in 2009 he
occupied various positions in the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, German Federal Academy and working groups of the Directorate "Governance" of the OECD, European Public Administration Network (EUPAN)