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Frequently asked questions
How many personal goals/objectives should I have?
You need to keep a sharp focus on a limited number of goals; as a guide this should be about 6 to 8.
Do all five PDR Summary Sheets need to be completed?
No - it is recognised that the type of contribution will vary depending on opportunity, discipline, strategic focus, personal circumstances… and therefore it is quite possible that a member of staff will not be able to demonstrate activity in all five areas.
The timeframe for the PDRs is a rolling three year period, what does this mean?
One year in retrospect and two years ahead
Do I need to gather and keep information in my portfolio that is already available to the College/University eg MACE scores, RoM etc?
It is highly likely that you will need to refer to some data to inform your PDR discussion, in particular UoA RoM data, benchmark income data, publication ratings, MACE scores and peer observation feedback. This information will be made available to individual members of staff to include in their portfolio.
Is the PDR system linked to Merit pay?
No - there is no link, other than you need to have had a PDR meeting in March/April.
What happens if I do not agree with my Academic Lead about an assessment of my work or details/construction of personal goals?
If this situation arises, then the issue will need to be referred to the Dean or Associate Dean.
What happens if I do not achieve my goals?
All members of staff are expected to make a balanced contribution to the work of the College; persistent failure to achieve personal goals may result in the Dean having to use the capability/performance process to deal with the short fall in performance.
Will I be assigned an Academic Lead and a Mentor?
No - the new PDR system simplifies existing processes and you will only be assigned an Academic Lead
How can I change my Academic Lead?
If you want to change your assigned Academic Lead, you will need to make a case to the Dean who will decide if a change is warranted.
If I sign the PDR summary sheet, am I contractually bound to all the decisions and actions?
The signatures on the PDR summary sheets confirm that it is an accurate account of the decisions and actions agreed at the time of the PDR, including the personal goals that the member of staff is working to achieve and is therefore only a ‘snap shot’ and may change according to circumstances and opportunities as they arise.
What if I don’t achieve all my goals?
Whilst personal goals should always be realistic they should also be stretching and ambitious, implying that they may not always be met in full. Furthermore, opportunities may arise during the course of the year which could have not been anticipated at the time of the PDR (for example to participate in major new research project) or operational issues may arise (such as the unexpected absence of a colleague through illness) which require a rebalancing of priorities. The Academic Lead’s role will be to provide encouragement to individuals who are striving to achieve demanding goals and to support them in their endeavours. Progress towards the achievement of goals will be reviewed in-year and, if necessary, targets may be revised to reflect changed circumstances. Only where there is persistent failure to work towards agreed goals will the individual’s performance be brought to the attention of the Dean.
If my Academic Lead is on sabbatical, who will carry out my review?
The College will make the necessary temporary arrangements for your review and supplementary meetings to take place. The PDR portfolio will be particularly helpful in these cases.
Who else can see my PDR?
Members of the College Executive and, when considered necessary by the Dean, appropriate University officers
What information arising from the PDR can an Academic Lead share?
Academic Leads can share outcomes of PDR discussions with other Academic Leads, the DoR, DoE and Discipline Head about matters directly related to career development, distribution of responsibilities, workload and to ensure that individuals have access to appropriate support and guidance. Personal matters related to health and private life can only be disclosed with the permission of the individual member of staff concerned.
What records need to be kept of the 'light touch PDR meetings' which take place in September and January?
Update 'personal goals' and 'actions' where necessary and record when the meeting took place in section 8 of the PDR portfolio.