Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)


A Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is a document that sets out what behavioural or performance problems or concerns there may be with an apprentice/trainee and what they need to do to improve and ensure these problems and concerns do not recur. This PIP process is designed to provide a structured, consistent, corrective action process to improve and prevent a recurrence of undesirable behaviour and/or performance issues. It is consistent with MEGT’s Values, HR best practice and relevant employment law. You may wish to refer to the Apprentice/Trainee Disciplinary Policy Procedure- RMS You can use this template to help you make a PIP with your apprentice/trainee. Having a PIP in place will help your apprentice/trainee understand what you expect from them. It also sets out what support or assistance will be provided to help the apprentice/trainee achieve their goals and receive their qualification. This template has been colour coded to help you complete it. You simply need to replace the red < > writing with what applies to your apprentice/trainee and situation. Explanatory information is shown in blue italics to assist you and should be deleted once you have completed the document.

Suggested Steps for developing a PIP

Step 1: Plan

The first step is to plan by looking at your expectations for the period ahead. Think about how the apprentice/trainees work performance/ behaviours need to be aligned to meet the expectations of MEGT, Host and RTO.

You should consider:
• Reasonable timeframes
• What tasks the job/qualification involves?
• Nature of the issue relating to performance or conduct
• Apprentice/Trainee expectations
• Discuss with the Host Employer and/or RTO for concerns
• What skills and abilities are needed to complete the qualification?
• Behaviours and values required
• Expectations of the levels of performance
• Possible causes of the performance/behaviour issues
• Possible solutions

If you have job description, you can use this as a guide to help you with this step. Preparation is the key to ensure a PIP is successful and the apprentice/trainee achieves the expectations of MEGT, host and training provider.

It may be helpful to document the specific examples of apprentice/trainee behaviour that are causing concern and when it is occurring. Gather any documents that demonstrate the issue (e.g. work examples, complaints etc.)

Step 2: Discuss

The next step is to arrange and invite a time to meet with the apprentice/trainee to discuss and set up the PIP program. Please ensure that you document the meeting date, time, venue, concerns and allegations by a formal letter to the apprentice/trainee. Please use the template letter provided in the RMS Intranet Documents & Forms Section.

Inform the apprentice/trainee of their right to bring a support person along to the meeting. A support person may be a co-worker, family member, friend or union representative. The role of the support person is to support the apprentice/trainee in the meeting and not to speak, advocate for or represent them.

Use your discretion, though depending on the issue it may be necessary, to invite the RTO and/or host employer to the meeting.
Explain to the apprentice/trainee that they will be given an opportunity to respond to any of the concerns raised or allegations made.
Prepare for the meeting by gathering the information and documentation you used in your planning.

During the meeting, talk with the apprentice/trainee about:
• The nature of the problem or allegations made and the violation of MEGT and/or host employer company policies and procedures.
• The behavioural, attitudes and/or development of skills expectations
• The apprentice or trainee’s own ideas about learning and development opportunities.
• Acknowledge and recognise what the apprentice/trainee has done well and what can be done better
• Any steps that may have been taken to resolve the situation to date (if any)
• Support required to be provided by MEGT (e.g. training, EAP or other)

The IEC/FO will then clearly outline expectations and steps the A/T must take to improve their performance or resolve the problem in a reasonable timeframe. It is important that the solution is SMART i.e. specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based.

The discussions with the apprentice/trainee should be open and frank. Ask open questions and try to explore possible solutions by involving the apprentice/trainee. Think about the impression that your body language gives – face the apprentice/trainee, adopt an open posture, maintain good eye contact and try to be relaxed.

Together with the apprentice/trainee, use the template below to help you write a PIP with this information and set a date for review.
Make the apprentice/trainee aware that the PIP process is confidential and a breach of this confidentiality may also be considered as a matter for disciplinary action.

If the host employer and/or RTO did not attend the meeting, where appropriate communicate the agreed actions and expectations moving forward.

Step 3: Monitor

After you’ve made the PIP, the next step is to monitor the apprentice/trainee performance and support them to achieve the desired and agreed outcomes.

Within the monitoring step remember to:
• Follow through with any support or training to be provided
• Attend any interim meetings to review progress with the PIP
• MEGT and/or host employer/RTO to provide regular feedback (both positive and constructive) to the apprentice/trainee
• Immediately address any under performance or issues as soon as they come up
• Support the apprentice/trainee by providing positive reinforcement of the initial agreed expectations

Step 4: Review

The final step is to review and evaluate the apprentice/trainee performance at the end of the agreed timeframe.

Meet with the apprentice/trainee and/or host employer or RTO to assess their performance or issues against the agreed expectations. It is a good idea to give your apprentice/trainee the opportunity to reflect and discuss their own performance and behaviours.

After you have completed the review of the current performance cycle, consider whether you need to revise their performance goals or set new ones for the next cycle.

If the apprentice/trainee has achieved the required outcomes, discuss how to maintain the improvement and continue to offer support and encouragement.

While it is hoped that the performance or conduct issues identified in the initial meeting have been corrected, this may not always be the case. The next stage of the process, a written warning, involves more formal documentation of the performance or conduct and the resultant consequences. If a written warning is required, please refer to 3.2 of the Apprentice/Trainee Disciplinary Policy & Procedure- RMS.

Ensure that you document all meetings and discussions. Keep and maintain proper records and notes.

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