Roles in a Best-Self Review® cycle

Understanding the various roles in a review cycle is key to ensuring the cycle runs smoothly. Since there are different levels of participation in a review cycle, it is important to know which roles are responsible for what. This article defines each role and its permissions in Best-Self Review®.

In this article, you will learn about the following Best-Self Review® roles:

  • Participant
  • Review writer
  • Peer
  • Upward reviewer
  • Manager
  • Additional manager
  • Cycle collaborator
  • Review admin
  • Custom review role

Roles in a Best-Self Review® cycle

Participant: A review cycle participant is a person who reviews are being written about; in other words, a person who is being reviewed. If someone is not a participant, reviews will not be written about them. Participants are determined during the process of creating a review cycle. Participants are responsible for things like writing a self review, nominating peers, and participating in a final meeting with their manager. 

  • Review writer: A review writer is a person who is responsible for writing a review about a participant. Review writers do not have to be participants themselves. If you have to write a review, self, manager, peer, or upward review, you are a review writer. 
  • Peer: A peer is a person who is responsible for writing a peer review about a review cycle participant. Peers may or may not be participants in the review cycle.
  • Upward reviewer: Upward reviewers are people responsible for writing an upward review about their manager. In this case, the manager is a participant in the cycle. Upward reviewers are typically direct reports, but review administrators can edit upward reviewers for all participants. Upward reviewers may or may not be participants themselves in the review cycle. 
  • Manager: Managers are people who are responsible for writing manager reviews about their direct reports, assuming the direct reports are participants in the cycle. Managers are also responsible for approving/denying peer nominations for their direct reports, sharing & finalizing results, and holding a final review meeting. Managers may also be able to remove feedback from their direct reports' peer or upward reviews, if the setting is enabled by review administrators.
  • Additional manager: Additional managers are people who have permission to view review results for a participant that may or may not be their direct report; additional manager meaning in addition to the person's current manager in the review cycle. Think of this role in terms of visibility purposes only—additional managers can view and report on answers for participants that they are an additional manager for. Additional managers are helpful in change management, dotted-line, and matrixed scenarios. Account administrators can add an additional manager to past, current, and future cycles. Check out our "Add an additional manager for a participant" Help Center article for more information.
    Additional Managers are people who have permission to view review results before the results are shared with the employee and after they are submitted by the employee or their manager for a participant that may or may not be their direct report
  • Cycle collaborator: Cycle collaborators are added to a review cycle by a review administrator either during cycle creation or after the review cycle launches to help manage a cycle and its results. Cycle collaborators have visibility and cycle editing rights for only the cycle(s) that they are added as a collaborator for. Cycle collaborators can help finish setting up a cycle, manage peers for participants, download reports, edit settings for an active cycle, share and finalize results on behalf of managers, and lock/unlock a cycle. Anyone can be appointed as a cycle collaborator, even if they are not a review admin or a review cycle participant. Check out our "Add or remove a cycle collaborator" Help Center article for more information.


If a review administrator wants to give themselves the ability to manage peers and/or share & finalize results, they can make themself a cycle collaborator in addition to their role as a review admin.

  • Review administrator: Review administrators are able to create and edit review cycles, create and edit question templates, report on cycle progress, view all submitted reviews and results, and lock/unlock review cycles. They do not have to participate in a review cycle to see progress and results. By default, review admins have visibility into all review cycles that were created while in the role. If a review administrator is added after a cycle has begun or after a cycle has ended, there will be an option to allow or restrict visibility into those previous cycles. Check out our "Manage review administrators" Help Center article for more information.
  • Custom review role (currently available to early adopters only): In addition to all the aforementioned roles, 15Five gives you the ability to create custom administrative roles that give individuals only the permissions they need. Check out our "Create customer Best-Self Review® roles" article for more information about what permissions are available for custom roles, and how to assign custom roles to individuals.
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