The majority of respondents reported that they take time to consider their career development, feel comfortable discussing their development needs with their manager or supervisor, and that they have opportunities to take on new responsibilities and to develop new skills.
65% of respondents had undertaken a Personal Development Review (PDR) within the previous two years (two-fifths of people who had not had a PDR said that this was because they were new to their role). However, only around half of the people who had a PDR found it useful and we have work planned to improve training and the resources available to support both managers and supervisors and staff have more productive PDR conversations.
Personnel Committee has recently approved a new set of high-level principles for University PDR schemes which all schemes will need to abide by. Currently being developed below these overarching principles are separate schemes for academic, research and for professional and support staff. The scheme for research staff will be developed as part of the University’s work on the new Concordat. In addition, a pilot study – involving departments in MSD, Finance and IT – is exploring the use of online tools to see what benefits they may bring to the PDR process.
IT Services has introduced an online system called Actus – Performance Management System. This provides a system that not only supports PDR processes, but is set up with templates for probation (both mid-term and end-term) and other staff management processes, including 1:2:1 meetings. It also manages objectives (individual, group and departmental) and development needs, providing senior managers with easy access to progress reports. The team reports an increase in the number of PDRs completed this year.
The administrative team in the Department of Psychiatry has produced new guidance around the PDR process for senior researchers, to better understand the purpose of the PDR and how to prepare appropriately.
The new Focus on People programme will also provide clearer frameworks for professional colleagues, helping to extend professional networks and develop clearer career paths.