Current Students and Staff

// University News

PDR get ready graphic

17 Dec 2019

Performance and Development Review for 2020

The Performance and Development Review (PDR) is an annual process which provides all staff who are eligible for a PDR with the valuable opportunity to reflect on their performance, potential and professional growth.

Details of the 2020 PDR cycle are now in place.


“Your ‘end of year’ review is a key discussion in the PDR cycle, enabling you and your manager or reviewer to reflect on your performance over the last 12 months and, most importantly, to focus on the future by setting objectives for your performance and development for the year ahead,” explains Adѐle MacKinlay, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development.


The process

Your reviewer will arrange a one-to-one meeting with you within the PDR period, which runs from 1st January until 31st March. Everyone will need to have completed their PDR meeting and the associated documentation within this timeframe.

Preparing for your meeting

You will need to complete your PDR documentation through the online system, which will be live before the end of December, and share it with your reviewer in advance of your meeting.

Your PDR meeting

Your meeting with your manager or reviewer will enable you both to reflect on the previous twelve months (as a guide, 20% of the discussion should focus on this) and have a meaningful conversation about the coming year. This should cover what you’re expected to achieve, how you should go about it and any development you may need to achieve it. The conversation should focus on where you are heading in terms of your performance, your development and future career aspirations. It is expected that 80% of your PDR discussion will focus on the coming year.

Objective setting

You will agree objectives as part of the PDR discussion for both your performance and your development. The objectives will typically follow the SMART method, which means they should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timebound. More information on SMART objectives is available on the PDR website. Setting effective SMART objectives at the start of the year, with clear success measures, makes it much easier to consider whether an objective has been achieved.

When you’re considering the development you might need in the coming year, think broadly. Often a training course or workshop is not the best method. Consider opportunities that help to stretch you in your daily work – for example, acting as a mentor to others, or taking on new activities that help you to develop new skills.  

Recommended rating

As part of the PDR end of year review meeting you will be given a recommended rating. These remain the same as last year:

  • Exceeds expectations
  • Meets expectations
  • Does not meet expectations

The descriptors for the ratings remain unchanged and can be found on the PDR website.

If you are rated as ‘Meets expectations’ it is likely to mean that you are performing well, within the Loughborough context. Those staff who are assessed as ‘Exceeds Expectations’ should have had a genuinely exceptional year that is obvious to others.

In assessing performance and achievements, reviewers will consider not only what has been achieved but the way in which it has been achieved, for example with a collaborative, proactive and ‘solution-orientated’ approach.

After your PDR meeting

Each area has a Senior Review Group (SRG), which is responsible for the moderation of ratings within their area. The SRG will meet in April to review all recommended ratings to ensure consistency and fairness. They will also discuss any noted disagreements between the reviewer and reviewee. Following the SRG moderation process, ratings will then be confirmed with all reviewees. Guidance for staff who are members of their SRG is available online.

What’s new for 2020?

Recorded training and development will pull through information for one year.

There are some changes that will affect academic staff:

For the first time, module feedback data will be accessed via the PDR system for ease. To support the discussion, a change is being made to the PDR system which links individual module feedback to the reviewee. PDR Reviewers will have access to this information by clicking on the embedded link within the system, which will take them to the relevant feedback. PDR Reviewers will have access to feedback from Semester 1 and 2 from the previous academic year.

Module feedback from students should be treated as only one component of a conversation with a member of staff. There is literature suggesting that there may be unconscious/conscious bias in the process, and similarly if someone has tried something innovative which didn’t work as well as expected the first year of introduction, then reviewers may wish to encourage staff to keep going and make improvements. A pattern of poor module feedback over more than one module and repeated across more than one semester, however, might indicate a reason for further investigation.

The overall general module feedback (nine questions) will be linked to each staff member, along with three specific questions that relate directly to that individual’s contribution.  There is also a section at the bottom that contains the module leader’s response to the feedback which will be available for the reviewer and reviewee to see.

In addition to the changes to module feedback, Research Information will now pull through the previous two years only

To support the discussion on research supervision (where applicable), there are additional boxes to capture the number of recorded research supervision meetings and any information on the line management of researches (see appendix 1). 

Finally, a pilot scheme will be taking place within Campus Services and further information regarding their timescales and the process will be confirmed directly with the HR Business Partner and local management teams.

What do I need to do now?

Familiarise yourself with the online paperwork that you’ll need to prepare in advance of your meeting with your reviewer.

If you are a PDR reviewer, make sure that you can access the paperwork for all your reviewees. Their details should be listed under the ‘My Reviewees’ tab when you log in. If there are any inaccuracies, speak to the Operations Manager or administrator within your department as soon as possible.

All PDR reviewers are expected to attend The Art of Inclusive Performance Conversation training session. If you have not yet done this, you need to book on via my.HR as soon as possible. This workshop should help reviewers prepare for their discussions their reviewees.


As a result of feedback, next year we will be communicating some exciting changes to how we recognise and reward staff for a breadth of achievements, including the way by which exceptional performance identified as part of PDR is rewarded.  

Further information, training and support

HR Business Partners (HRBPs) can support with any queries regarding the PDR process. HRBPs can also provide a briefing on SMART objective setting. 

General enquiries can be made by emailing Your query will then be directed to the most appropriate person.

For new PDR Reviewers who are unfamiliar with the scheme, there is a wealth of materials on the PDR website. There are also briefing sessions for new PDR reviewers to book onto that will cover how the process works. Further information is available via my.HR.