Human Resources

PDR Pilot

The Modernising Performance and Reward Project developed in 2015/16, identified that a key workstream would be the review and redevelopment of a new PDR scheme. Staff development and performance management were also identified as a key area to be addressed by the 2017 Staff Survey and PDRs will help to address some of these concerns.

A University working group with representatives from across the University was created by the workstream group, which included Academic, Professional services and Research staff.

Following a tender exercise, a system utilised by over 40 other Universities was chosen and was subsequently developed to meet the requirements of the University.

A pilot was put in place in and feedback was shared with the project team which informed any improvements required before the full roll out. The pilot commenced in October 2017 and ran until March 2018 and included members of staff from: 

  • Department of Geography
  • Department of Sport and Exercise Science
  • School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
  • School of Computing
  • The School of Health Sciences and Social Work
  • Department of Curriculum & Quality Enhancement
  • The Faculty of CCI
  • School of Education and Sociology
  • Faculty of BAL
  • Information Services staff

Pilot Outcomes

Once the pilot was completed the project team collated and analysed the feedback from the pilot users, they also ran targeted Stakeholder Engagement and Focus Groups and all outcomes were shared with the Trade Unions. From these methods of evaluation, the project team made a number of recommendations which have been shared with a PDR Steering Group. The Steering Group, chaired by Professor Paul Hayes, was recently formed to review all proposed changes prior to them being sent to the UEB for final approval.

One of the key recommendations was to delay the launch of the rollout to April 2019. This was agreed due to the following reasons: 

  1. The forms need to be simplified to avoid duplication
  2. Improve links to local departmental or team strategies, which staff found more relevant to their everyday roles when completing objectives.
  3. After consultation, it was found that April 2019 would be the appropriate time to start the Review process. All staff will be able to achieve their PDRs within a set period, or life cycle, which will be from April to September each year.
  4. An updated version of the system is currently being piloted by Exeter and Bristol Universities. Rolling out with this version will address some of the earlier technical issues encountered in the pilot.

The project team are really grateful to the staff involved in the pilot, who have shaped the new PDR system to help ensure it is a real success.