Performance and Development Review

About PDR

Two members of staff chatting


Click on the boxes below to find out more about the principles of the PDR process

Conducted annually

  • Reviewers should complete the PDR meetings with their Reviewees within the defined PDR timeframe.
  • Interim 1:1 review meetings should be offered where appropriate, as its recommended PDR objectives are reviewed throughout the year.

Applies to all

  • All full time and part time staff are entitled to a PDR.
  • Staff appointed on or after 1st October each year will not be required to have a PDR in the following PDR window. They should, however, be given appropriate objectives on commencement of the role or at the conclusion of their probation period if they are on probation for review at the following year’s PDR. 
  • Refusal to engage appropriately in the PDR process could lead to disciplinary action.

Performance assessed

The summative performance rating (exceeds expectations, meets expectations or does not meet expectations) has been suspended for this year. However, it is important that a discussion takes place regarding performance and a review of objectives is carried out. Setting performance objectives for next year is also required.

Setting of performance objectives for the future 12 months (minimum)

  • Setting of performance objectives for future 12 months or beyond.
  • Performance objectives should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound
  • Performance objectives should be linked to School or Professional Service Strategies, which ultimately will link to the University Strategy – Building Excellence
  • Objectives should be suggested by both the reviewer and the reviewee, but ultimately they have to be agreed by both parties.
  • It is recognised that there are scenarios in which objectives and targets maybe become redundant or be superseded by, for example, changing business needs. Reviewers should take this into consideration when undertaking performance assessments. Objectives and targets should be reviewed and updated as appropriate during any interim review meetings.

Identification of (relevant) development needs (linked to role and objectives)

  • Development needs should be agreed with the aim of improving/expanding the reviewees performance abilities and to help them to meet and exceed their objectives.
  • Development needs could include both those relevant to the reviewees current role and to future roles within the organisation.
  • Development does not have to just mean People and Organisational Development training courses but could include a range of activities such as collaborations, taking on collegiate roles within Schools, job-shadowing, mentoring, coaching, online courses, volunteering, professional qualifications etc.

Records kept

  • A written record to be kept, recording outcomes of the PDR discussion.
  • This should be a mutually agreed record.

Senior Reviewer Groups (SRGs) will oversee the process and summarise the outcomes and actions required

  • Responsibility to oversee the PDR process lies with Deans or HoD, as appropriate, being responsible for ensuring that meetings have taken place, that agreed management actions are implemented and objectives set are reasonable.
  • Reports are produced for ALT or PSMT (as appropriate), People and Organisational Development and HRC Proformas.
  • Performance levels across the School/Professional Service will be moderated and reported on.
  • Development needs will be summarised.

Conducted by the responsible manager or person designated by the SRG

  • Deans and HoD are expected to ensure that arrangements are in place to maximise the effectiveness of the PDR conversation by ensuring that reviewees and reviewers are matched appropriately.
  • The senior reviewer group will decide who should conduct each member of staff’s PDR at the beginning of each academic year in order to ensure that appropriate training can be completed prior to the PDR round each December.
  • For Professional Service roles it would be the expectation that the line manager would be the PDR reviewer, however in larger teams this may be devolved to team leaders or equivalents.
  • As the reviewer will be discussing performance with the reviewee, it is essential that the reviewer is more senior to the reviewee.
  • If there is an irretrievable breakdown in the relationship an alternative PDR Reviewer can be allocated, although this should be in exceptional circumstances only.

Links with other frameworks

  • Clear links are to be made with other relevant systems such as rewards and the capability procedure

PRP Integral for Academic Staff

  • The current Personal Research Plan (PRP) for academic staff will become an integral part of the PDR.