Personal Review and Development Plan (PRDP)
PRDPs support the application of Imperial Expectations. When done well, PRDPs:
- Celebrate achievements
- Enhance performance
- Help staff to develop careers
- Identify individual development plans
The College is committed to creating a supportive, inclusive and highly motivated staff community across all disciplines, functions and activities. One of the ways we do this is through the annual Personal Review and Development Plan process (PRDP).
A PRDP is a conversation that focuses on the previous year's work, plans and objectives for the forthcoming year, and includes the preparation of an individual development plan. It is recommended that PRDPs take place on a regular annual cycle, in line with local requirements.
The conversation in a PRDP is broader in focus than one-to-ones. Time should be specifically allocated to cover a review of the previous year, and to discuss and agree the specific aims and objectives for the next year, which should include details of personal and career development and aspirations.
Information about PRDPs
PRDPs work best when they:
- Take place in a planned and managed way, with both reviewer and reviewee having prepared in advance.
- Build on a foundation of good communication and regular feedback. Issues should not be 'saved-up' for a PRDP conversation.
- Are used constructively with both reviewer and reviewee committing to the process.
- Help people understand how their contribution fits in with the work of the wider team or department and the reviewee’s work is appreciated and recognised.
- Operate as a quality conversation with the emphasis on the conversation rather than diligently completing a form.
- Result in agreed objectives and development plans which are referred to throughout the year as a means of checking and celebrating progress.
PRDPs are undertaken within the framework of where communication is open and honest, views and thoughts are explored and respected, and there is a focus on supporting staff to develop and make the most of their abilities.
PRDPs are seperate from formal Job Level Review and pay conversations. However, during the PRDP meeting changes to the job description can be discussed and possible progression aspirations or opportunities may be explored. This can then be taken futher through the formal Job Level Review or promotions process.
Training and support
The Learning and Development Centre (LDC) have created a range of support for delivering meaningful PRDP conversations, aimed at both reviewers and reviewees. This is provided via a combination of these webpages and guidance, to help you understand the process and principles, and using the PRDP specific materials in the Resources and FAQ section. Further skills development can be accessed through a range of existing courses:
- Imperial Leadership and Management Development Programme is aimed at leaders, managers, and supervisors.
- Imperial Professional Development provision focuses on developing key skills, knowledge, and attitudes expected for effective performance across all roles.
- Development Opportunities for Academics bringing together in one area the developmental programmes offered to academic staff.
- The consultancy team offers tailored support to departments and teams, for example focusing on the uptake and quality of PRDPs.
The Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Centre provides advice about adjustments for staff and how people can get involved in supporting equality, diversity and inclusion.
The Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre provides tailored support for postdocs and fellows.
The Educational Development Unit can support applications for the Imperial College Supporting Teaching Accreditation and Recognition (STAR) Framework, designed for those who teach and support student learning.
Your PRDP forms
The College produces guidance and forms to support meaningful PRDPs. They are prompts, to shape and support meaningful conversations. They suggest topics to be covered and provide a basic means of recording the most useful areas of the PRDP conversation.
To reflect the general differences in roles and responsibilities, sample forms have been created for:
- Academic Job Family PRDP Form (Word)
- Learning and Teaching Job Family PRDP Form (Word)
- Postdoc PRDP form (Word)
- Professional Technical and Operational Job Family PRDP Form (Word)
Appraisals for Clinical Academic Staff are agreed between Imperial and associated NHS Trusts, information and forms are available. Research Nurses and Research Technicians may prefer to use the Professional, Technical and Operational Job Family PRDP form.
The forms include an achievement scale to help quantify and describe progress in support of the conversation. These achievement scales are not compulsory; they offer a shared language to help the reviewer and reviewee to define achievements.
Departments may create their own documentation as long as they contain some core elements. Learning and Development Centre consultants will work with departments wishing to vary documentation.
What our managers have said about PRDP
As highlighted above PRDPs are a great opportunity to celebrate achivements, and enhance performance, and there are many other benefits to a succesful PRDP. Some of our managers and leaders across College highlight why PRDP is important, and some of the benefits they have seen within their teams.
Jarlath O’Hara, Managing Director, Student Union
The Student Union’s PRDP completion rate was 95% last year, and they also achieved 78% for usefulness in the last staff survey. Jarlath O’Hara highlights why he thinks PRDPs are important:
Our core purpose is the development of students and all our staff work hard to achieve that. I firmly believe that where we have motivated and developing staff, we will have high performing services that are also developing and moving forward. This being the case, it is really important to ensure that we create the same culture of development for our staff and the PRDP process is central to that.
Benefits of PRDP:
You get out what you put into the PRDP process. Done well, it provides an invaluable opportunity to reflect on successes and challenges and use lessons to form clear objectives and development plans. It should also ensure that work flows are clear and that everyone understands how they fit within the team / department.
The Student Union’s approach:
To make it clear that the PRDP process is an investment in staff, their development and their futures. An investment that isn’t optional but is a commitment from the Union and all managers to maximise the value that each staff member takes from the process.
Sam McKenney, Department Operations Manager, Dyson School of Design Engineering
PDRPs provide the opportunity to reflect openly on successes and failures of the previous year and for an honest conversation on goals and expectations for the next year. When staff and line-managers both engage genuinely with the process, PDRPs can offer real benefits and my own PRDPs have helped me think about how to grow my expertise and to plan my career.