Professional Development Programme for Lecturers in the Education and Research job family

About the PDP

Lecturers in the Education and Research job family at the University of Exeter are initially appointed to a Professional Development Programme (PDP) of up to five years and their appointment and progression to Senior Lecturer status will be confirmed upon successful completion of the programme.

The College Dean (or their nominee) will meet with each new Lecturer shortly after their appointment to clarify and confirm their PDP goals and objectives, unless their PDP targets were specifically finalised and agreed at interview.

Details of each Lecturer’s personal goals and objectives under PDP will be issued as part of their contract of employment. The attached framework shows the minimum requirements for the successful completion of PDP. All staff will be reviewed against the following four criteria:

  • Research,
  • teaching,
  • business and community relations, and
  • administration/management (including teamwork and collegiality).

The requirements under the research criterion may vary according to the academic area of study (academic stream), eg Humanities, Drama, Social Sciences or Science.

Under each criterion, standards of the attainments expected for successful completion of the PDP are detailed. The University will look for evidence of sustained performance through the annual Professional Development Review (PDR) process along with formal reviews of the interim and final PDP standards. Formal reviews will be undertaken by the College Dean prior to submission to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for approval.

In addition, each new Lecturer will be assigned an academic mentor by their College Dean. The mentor will meet with the Lecturer within the first three months of their appointment to agree a structured programme of professional development. They will meet the Lecturer regularly to ensure that they are receiving the appropriate levels of support to enable them to become fully effective in the role.

Completion of the PDP will include the Professional Certificate of Academic Practice (PCAP) which provides eligibility for membership of the Higher Education Academy.

The University will undertake a formal interim review of the Lecturer’s progress after approximately three years following the commencement of the appointment and if the Lecturer’s progress is deemed to be satisfactory and they have satisfied the appropriate PDP targets they will be awarded an additional increment.

A further, final review will be undertaken by the University approximately five years following the commencement of the appointment. Subject to continued satisfactory performance and meeting the appropriate PDP targets the Lecturer’s appointment will be confirmed and they will promoted to grade of Senior Lecturer (Grade G).

In the event that the Lecturer does not meet the standards expected by the University, the University will follow the procedure for non-confirmation and dismissal within the probationary period detailed in the Terms and Conditions of Employment.

Salary progression during the PDP

Subject to satisfactory performance, the Lecturer will receive an annual increment in Grade F each 1 August (subject to the appointment commencing on or before the preceding 1 February) including progression through the contribution range in Grade F. The performance-related progression following the interim and final review replaces the use the contribution range for other categories of staff under the University’s Rewarding Performance policy.

Following a satisfactory interim review, the Lecturer will be paid an additional increment in the Grade F range (subject to their salary being below the top point of the Grade F range at that time) effective from the third anniversary of their appointment as a Lecturer.

Following a satisfactory final review, the Lecturer will move to the first point of Grade G (point 39) (or to point 40 if they are being paid at the top of Grade F), effective from the fifth anniversary of their appointment as a Lecturer.

Where an ‘interim’ or ‘final’ review is submitted by the College to Human Resources after the appropriate anniversary, the award of an additional increment or progression to Grade G and Senior Lecturer will be effective from the first day of the month following receipt of the College’s submission by Human Resources, unless the Deputy Vice-Chancellor agrees the award should be backdated.

Although such cases are expected to be rare, the University reserves the right to withhold incremental progression in the case of unsatisfactory performance. In these circumstances the member of staff will be informed in writing and full details of the appropriate appeal mechanism will be provided.

Before a decision is taken to withhold an additional increment following the ‘interim review’, the Lecturer will have the opportunity to make a personal submission to a panel chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (in accordance with the procedure in the Terms and Conditions of Employment.)

Part-time appointments

For part-time appointments, while the length of the PDP will remain at five years a variation of the targets may be agreed which account for the part-time nature of the employment; any variation will modify the quantity of the target outcomes, but not the quality.

Fixed-term appointments

The PDP applies to both open-ended Lecturer appointments and fixed term appointments, to ensure that the progress and performance of fixed term Lecturers is assessed against the same standards and expectations which apply to open-ended Lecturers.

In the case of a fixed term appointment which extends beyond three years, an interim report will be submitted to the University and if the Lecturer’s progress is deemed to be satisfactory they will be awarded an additional increment.

An extension to the fixed term appointment, or appointment to an open-ended Lectureship, will only be considered if the Lecturer is making progress consistent with the appropriate PDP targets.

If the Lecturer is subsequently appointed to an open-ended Lecturership, then their service under the PDP from their date of appointment will be taken into account.

Absence during the PDP

Where a Lecturer is absent during the PDP period for example on account of family friendly leave or extended sick leave or other leave of absence, the University reserves the right to agree an extension to the PDP period (including the dates of review). This decision will be made by the relevant Deputy Vice Chancellor following consultation between the College Dean and HR Business Partner.

In such circumstances, as part of the Lecturer’s return to work arrangements, a meeting will take place to discuss rescheduling the PDP. Revised review dates will be agreed for the assessment of interim and final standards as appropriate. Any entitlement to additional increments will be paid from the date it is agreed the standards have been met. Any variation to the targets originally agreed will modify only the quantity of the target outcomes, and not the quality of outcomes.

Early completion of PDP

The PDP has been designed to give Lecturers up to five years to achieve the specified targets. In some cases Lecturers may complete the interim (three year) or final (five year targets) earlier than anticipated. Where there is an early ‘interim’ or ‘final’ review and progress is deemed by the University to be satisfactory, the Lecturer will be awarded an additional increment effective from the 1st day of the month following receipt of the College’s submission by Human Resources.

Humanities stream

Applies to staff in the following Colleges:

  • College of Humanities
  • College of Social Sciences and International Studies
  • University of Exeter Medical School

Social Sciences stream

Applies to staff in the following Colleges:

  • College of Humanities
  • University of Exeter Business School
  • College of Social Sciences and International Studies
  • College of Life and Environmental Sciences
  • University of Exeter Medical School

Science stream

Applies to staff in the following Colleges:

  • College of Life and Environmental Sciences
  • College of Engineering, Maths and Physical Sciences
  • University of Exeter Medical School

Drama stream

Applies to staff in Drama in the College of Humanities