Personal Development Reviews
Every member of staff should have the opportunity to have an annual PDR.
- Professor Richard Hobbs, Head of Department.
What is a PDR?
The Personal Development Review (PDR) is a chance to review your development as a staff member. It is an opportunity to agree goals and objectives 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.
If you have any questions or concerns about the PDR process please contact the HR Team firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting ready for your PDR
- Tips for holding a remote PDR - NDPCHS paper for Reviewers and Reviewees
- Personal Development Review (PDR) - People and Organisational Development
- Managing people: online course - Key processes including PDRs
- Podcast: Kamal Mahtani talks to Bill Dunn, Oxford University's Professional Development Advisor
- Researchers - Researcher Development Framework
- The Research Skills Toolkit
- Administrators - Association of University Administrators CPD Framework
- Trial Managers - Trial Managers' Network Competency Framework
Personal Development Review - A statement of commitment from Professor Sue Ziebland
The Senior Management Committee were asked to reinstate their commitment to PDRs and share why they believe they are important.
WHY DO YOU THINK PDRS ARE IMPORTANT?
PDRs are an opportunity to think together about wider aspects of development and ambitions beyond day to day tasks/ delivery of a specific project. PDRs also provide an opportunity to use mentorship/coaching approaches to agree the steps towards an ambition - whether this is promotion, becoming a lead investigator, changing streams to a teaching post, writing a book, running a course, reducing working hours or even building up to retirement. A good PDR can give some latitude for a line manger to get to know their colleague better - I have sometimes been surprised to discover that someone has compelling interests outside work, or that someone who I thought wanted a research career actually wanted to teach.
Why are PDRs valuable?
“I find the annual PDR immensely helpful because it gives me the opportunity to reflect on and discuss my personal development with my line manager. Without this encouragement I might have neglected career planning in order to focus on more immediate work priorities. Discussing the PDR also helps me frame and plan my work so it better fits in the bigger picture of my career development. This increases work enjoyment and fulfilment as I can see how everything I am doing can contribute to my long-term goals. The PDR is not just about productively learning from things that have gone less well, but also about recognising and celebrating achievements."
Researcher, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences
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.
The department's Personal Development Better Workplace Group works towards ensuring the department is a supportive and encouraging environment for all staff and students. These resources have been collated by group members and our HR team to help you make the most of your PDR.
Fund your development
The staff development fund provides funding for training and conferences.
Further training & advice
People and Organisational Development
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
Providing support to women making career decisions, by offering them the opportunity to explore a broad range of experiences shared by other women through video interviews.