Performance and Development Review

About PDR

The Performance and Development Review, also known as PDR, is an annual process which provides all staff with the valuable opportunity to reflect on their performance, potential and development needs.

Message from our VC and the Campus Unions:

Dear Colleagues,

We recognise that the last year has continued to be disruptive due to the pandemic and that the wellbeing of staff is paramount during this period and beyond.

Last year, the PDR process was revised to reflect this, and reviewers were asked to focus on wellbeing and development during the PDR discussion, as well as performance. This will continue.

We have been in discussion about how PDR should operate this year, and as a result, we have agreed that the summative performance rating element of PDR should be suspended for the forthcoming PDR round.

We agree that constructive and effective discussions regarding performance continue to be an important part of the University’s success. So, although the rating element has been suspended, a discussion about performance will remain.

The reward arrangements that directly flow from PDR will also be suspended. However, arrangements for reward that are devolved to Schools and Services, eg lump sums, gifts and team awards, will be supplemented and continue to be available.

Further details will be made available shortly.

Professor Nick Jennings, Vice-Chancellor
Dr Mary Brewer, UCU Branch Chair
Mark Hyde, Unite Branch Secretary
Irvin Hendrickson, Unison Branch Secretary 

PDR arrangements for 2023

  • The summative ratings (meets expectations, exceeds expectations and does not meet expectations) have been suspended
  • The conversation around Performance is still expected to take place. The PDR should include:
    • Review of the objectives set last year
  • Reflection on performance – what went well and what could have been done better
  • Agreeing objectives for 2023
  • Reward will be devolved to Schools and Departments. More details to follow

Continuing arrangements from 2021. 

In these challenging times it is critical that we take time to reflect on the past year and think about our development for the coming twelve months. PDR will therefore take place as usual but it will be important for us all to bear the following points in mind.

  • Reviewers will be required to review objectives in the context of the disruption caused by the pandemic. No member of staff will be penalised because they have not met objectives as a result of the pandemic. This may be because they have diverted their attention to priority activities such as preparing teaching for online delivery, or because their personal circumstances have impacted on their ability to meet the objectives. Caring for children during lockdown when schools were closed is one example.
  • Although a review of performance will be important, the focus of the discussion should very much be around wellbeing and future career development. These sorts of discussion should be taking place all the time. There is no need to wait for PDR to reflect on personal wellbeing and seek support if appropriate. A range of measures are available on our staff wellbeing website. A range of support measures are available here: Health and Wellbeing so please do make use of these.


EDI Development Objective to be included in PDR

ALT has agreed that each member of our community has an EDI objective.  Suggestions include the following:

• Enhance personal understanding of diversity and inclusion (all colleagues)

To do this you will expand your own knowledge and experience of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion agenda through a development objective such as:

  • Watch/Read and reflect on one of these You Tube and written materials - PDR - EDI Development Objective
  • Engage with a mentor different to yourself
  • Mentor others, who are different to yourself
  • Engage in a development opportunity by raising the profile of an event such as Black History Month, by actively participating, promoting and supporting others in your area to attend
  • Engage in an external EDI network, and bring the learning back into the University
  • Champion a learning event within your School/Professional Services

• Implement strategies that promote greater diversity of outcome in recruitment and promotion processes by (those in leadership positions)

  • Implementing strategies proactively, engaging with key players, championing positive
  • actions and insisting on mixed panels, etc
  • Lead by example, call out and challenge those who don’t engage and incentivise
  • supporting EDI by making doing the right thing the easiest thing
  • Raising the profile of unconscious bias in your school/dept, especially in the Recruitment
  • process, by adding it to the agenda of relevant discussions
  • Increase the number of ** applicants by **% (details as appropriate)

• Create an environment that is free of harassment and bullying by (those in leadership positions)

  • Lead by example and clearly champion calling out bullying, harassment and other inappropriate behaviours
  • Provide staff with clear routes for reporting bullying and harassment and have a 100% response rate


Available Support
If as a Reviewer or Reviewee you need further support, our Employee Assistance Programme is available to all staff.


What is PDR?

 The PDR is an opportunity to

  • Take an overall view of work content, loads and volumes
  • Look back on what has been achieved during the past year
  • Agree objectives for the forthcoming year.

This website contains all the information and resources needed, for Reviewers and Reviewees, to ensure all staff get the most out of their PDR.