Personal Development Review
The department's Better Workplace Group works towards ensuring the department is a supportive and encouraging environment for all staff and students. As part of that commitment, the department policy is that every member of staff should have the opportunity to partake in an annual PDR.
What is a PDR?
The Personal Development Review (PDR) is a chance to review and appraise your development as a staff member. It is intended as a constructive and proactive approach to the management and development of staff within the organisation, and should be viewed as a two-way process between the reviewer (often the named line manager) and reviewee.
What are the advantages of having a PDR?
Broadly speaking the review:
- Is an opportunity to reflect on any achievement of, or progress against, agreed objectives and development goals and summarises achievements since the last review.
- Allows mutual agreement, between both parties, of clear work objectives and clarifies expectations
- Identifies any development needed to enable reviewees to do their jobs to the agreed standards and to develop capabilities needed in the context of becoming a rounded and capable member of the department.
Competency and development frameworks:
This is an opportunity to identify areas of personal development, to gain a broader range of skills you will need in order to succeed. Competency and development frameworks can provide a structured way to approach this:
- Researchers - Researcher Development Framework
- Administrators - Association of University Administrators CPD Framework
- Trial Managers - Trial Managers' Network Competency Framework
Case-study: Why was the PDR so important to me?
A mid-career researcher had two pre-school age children; the family lived a few miles out of Oxford and the children were given places in a university nursery close to the staff member’s place of work.
At her appraisal, the staff member raised the issue that she sometimes needed to work on academic papers and this was difficult in a busy shared office. Her line manager suggested that she might work from home on the days she allocated to academic writing. But the discussion revealed that this would involve bringing the children into Oxford to nursery and then commuting back home, and repeating this journey in the afternoon to collect them (a total of 2-2.5 hours each day, depending on traffic).
The line manager summarised this problem to the head of HR, who agreed that a quiet working space in the workplace was needed on writing days, and took steps to arrange this on a shared basis.
If you have any questions or concerns about the PDR process please contact Clare Wickings firstname.lastname@example.org All discussions will remain confidential if requested.
Getting ready for your PDR
Need some training or advice?
PDR Skills Guides
Whether you are a reviewee, a reviewer or both, you are likely to have questions about why PDR matters and how to make it effective. The Oxford Learning Institute's new self-help guides are based on frequently asked questions from colleagues across the University.
Oxford Learning Institute
Offers more than 50 courses, advice to develop yourself and your team and support for those who teach, supervise, manage or lead.
Guide to Staff Development
An introduction to development at Oxford for professional and support staff.
Support for researchers
Oxford provides a huge range of support for research staff, ranging from help finding funding, to career advice, to guidance for new PIs.
Women in Science
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