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The PDR Process & Forms

Personal Development Review (PDR) provides a framework to enable all employees to have open and regular conversations with their reviewer about their development, role, contributions, achievements and career aspirations.

All employees will be offered the opportunity to take part in PDRs, except clinicians who will continue to use their existing scheme.

It is anticipated that PDR conversations will take place on a regular basis throughout the year aligned to appropriate timescales. This year, PDR conversations should take place between May and July as a minimum requirement, or in line with local arrangements.

Documentation: the PDR forms

In addition to those colleagues who will be using the online PDR form this year, three paper-based forms will be available for use, each designed to most appropriately reflect the nature of roles and contexts. The table below details the forms available for different staff groups this year.

Within each of the documents reviewees are provided with individual sections where they may record their comments in preparation for discussions with their reviewer. These sections include:

  • A review of achievements and contributions during the past year
  • A review of development during the past year
  • Future goals for the forthcoming year
  • Development and support required for the year ahead
  • Future work and career aspirations

The reviewer is the person facilitating the PDR conversation. In many cases this will be the reviewee's line manager. In some cases however (including academic departments), where leaders and managers are managing large groups of staff, Heads of Department can share review meetings among a number of appropriate reviewers. In these cases, reviewees will be informed beforehand as to who will be their reviewer. It will be someone from their department appointed by the Head of Department. The reviewer may in these situations ask for additional input from other colleagues who have worked closely with the reviewee to obtain helpful feedback prior to the PDR conversation.

It is recommended where possible that reviewers should conduct no more than six PDR conversations.

In the rare circumstances where there is a disagreement, the reviewer’s line manager or a third party can be asked to be involved in the PDR. Please speak with your HR Adviser if required.

Roles and responsibilities

Generally, 2 people are involved in the PDR conversation, the reviewee and the reviewer. Occasionally, input may be sought from others with whom the reviewee works closely.

Prior to the discussion, the reviewee reflects on and records their development, achievements and contributions during the period, and an overall summary in preparation for the PDR conversation. Reviewees may also wish to draft thoughts on their future development and goals for discussion in the PDR meeting.

Reviewees then forward the document to their reviewer (5 days before the PDR meeting) to enable reviewers to prepare.

Further details on the roles and responsibilities for both parties can be found in the sections of this website on:

Guidance for Reviewees

Guidance for new Reviewers

Refresher Guidance for more experienced reviewers.

In addition, the full How to ... complete a Personal Development Review (PDR) guide is available for your reference.