Progress and Development Review (PDR): Guidance notes for reviewees
What is a Progress and Development Review?
The Progress and Development Review is a process of reviewing progress and achievements on a continuous basis throughout the year. This includes agreeing and setting objectives, both work and developmental. The aim is to develop the individual, build on the individual’s progress and so increase the overall effectiveness of the College.
What are the benefits?
There are many advantages for you in having an effective progress and development review and these include:
• Agreed objectives for you to work to throughout the year
• Formal recognition of your achievements
• Greater understanding of your strengths and weaknesses
• Training and development tailored to your needs
• More help for you to continuously improve throughout the year
• Better overall progress for you, your team and the College
To summarise, the above process is intended to motivate, develop and provide clear direction to all members of staff.
What does it involve?
Progress and Development Review includes both ongoing regular informal reviews and a more formal recorded discussion. The process requires you and your reviewer to get together on a formal basis once a year at the Annual Progress and Development Review. The outcome of this discussion is recorded on the Progress and Development Review Form. However, the progress and development review is an ongoing process and its effectiveness will depend on regular informal reviews of your progress and achievements throughout the year.
Even though formally recording the informal reviews is optional (on the Progress and Development Interim Review Form) the process is not. Ongoing informal discussions should be regularly taking place – on average every 3 months.
If the Interim Form is completed, your reviewer keeps the original and you receive a copy. The form should not be sent to Learning and Organisational Development.
The Annual Progress and Development Review
The Annual Progress and Development Review for professional and support staff will take place between June and November. It includes both a review of your progress over the past year and setting objectives for the year ahead. The emphasis is essentially forward looking and developmental. Specifically it will cover the following:
• How well you have done in meeting objectives set last year or at the last review/probation
• Any achievements outside of the set objectives
• How well you have progressed overall in your job against the Job Description
• A review of any development undertaken during the year
• What objectives should be set for the coming year ahead
• What training/development you need and/or management support to help you achieve the objectives set and improve your overall progress in the job
• A free and open discussion about your ambitions and aspirations
You and your reviewer need to allow sufficient quality time for the Progress and Development Review itself and enough time to prepare properly in advance. Two weeks is the recommended timescale. Your reviewer should ensure you get copies of all the documentation you need to help you prepare. The following are required:
• Copy of last year’s Progress and Development Review Form
• Copy of your current and agreed Job Description/Profile
These would be useful:
• Copies of any other relevant notes of discussions held
• Copy of the Guidance Notes
Use the documentation to prepare yourself as thoroughly as possible for the discussion in three key areas – reviewing your progress over the past year, setting objectives for the new year and identifying your development needs. When thinking about your progress and achievements over the year base your views, so far as possible, on facts and real examples. Making a few notes of specific things you are “proud of” and “difficulties encountered” may be useful. Additionally, think about the development you may have had over the year and your views on how well this went and how it has helped.
Preparing to review your progress
Read through last year’s Progress and Development Review and remind yourself of how you have been doing and the discussions, both formal and informal, you have had to date with your reviewer about your progress. Think in terms of your achievement against the objectives, your progress in the job as a whole and any additional achievements you can demonstrate. It may also be useful to identify any difficulties or frustrations you have experienced.
Preparing to agree objective
Objectives are a development tool. Objectives for the forthcoming year will be discussed and agreed with your reviewer and will be drawn from:
Job Description: are there any parts of your existing role that you need to improve or concentrate on over the next 12 months?
Departmental: are there any objectives which you need to achieve to support the department’s objectives?
Developmental: are there any objectives specifically focused on your development which may link to your longer-term goals and aspirations?
The objectives need to be jointly agreed by you and your reviewer during the discussion. However, it is much better and more beneficial to you if you come prepared with some ideas. Remember, they are your objectives and should be used to help you succeed. It is for this reason that objectives should be reviewed throughout the year to ensure they are still relevant, that you are working well towards achieving them or that new objectives should be agreed.
Preparing to discuss development needs
Start to think about your development needs for the year ahead. The following questions may be helpful:
• What knowledge, skills and experience do you need to achieve your objectives and to perform the job to a fully competent standard?
• Which of these do you already have?
• Which do you need to acquire?
• How can you best acquire them over the coming year?
• Have you identified any development needs which may link to your longer-term goals and aspirations?
In suggesting ways to meet your development needs, try to think wider than just formal training courses. There are a wide range of options and opportunities available to you i.e. on the job training, job shadowing, attending seminars and conferences etc.
Once development needs have been identified and recorded on the form, it is your responsibility to contact Learning and Organisational Development for any advice/support that may be needed or to book a place on a workshop.
The discussion should be conducted in a way that is supportive and encouraging in a calm and blame-free atmosphere. It is important that there are no interruptions and that both parties are able to give their full attention to the discussion.
The process as a whole should give you recognition for your achievements, constructive feedback and honest discussion of what you could do differently in the future. You will have a set of agreed objectives for the coming year and an outline plan for any learning and development you need to support you in achieving them.
The discussion should be two-way and you can expect to be giving your own views perhaps as much as two-thirds of the time.
After the discussion, your reviewer will write up the form within 10 working days. The form will be passed to you for you to review and consider any amendments you may want to make. When you are happy with the information recorded on the form you should then sign it off and return it to the reviewer. The reviewer will send the original to Learning and Organisational Development, give you a copy and keep a copy for him/herself. Learning and Organisational Development will monitor completion rates to ensure that development opportunities are being offered to all members of staff.