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Personal and Professional Development


Q. Is there support available for managers and individuals to support them through the Career Pathways process?

Yes. We are able to offer guidance to managers on request. Please contact Personal and Professional Development (PPD) for briefing dates or for further guidance. We will be happy to support you by phone, email or in person.

Q. How does Career Pathways tie in with Staff Review and Development (Appraisal)?

The Career Pathways process can be undertaken as part of the annual Staff Review and Development (SRD) meeting or as a stand-alone activity. If the SRD meeting is not due, we would encourage you to carry out the Career Pathways process as a stand alone activity to assess the skills and attributes of your team member and to identify their development needs. If the SRD meeting is due, we recommend carrying out the first stage of the Career Pathways process (individual and manager to assess skills and attributes) prior to the SRD meeting, then use the meeting to agree the skills/attributes assessment, identify development needs and complete the development plan. The Career Pathways profile form and development plan are deigned for this purpose and are available in the online toolkit.

Q. Is guidance on the Behavioural Attributes Framework available?

Further information is available on the Behavioural Attributes Framework.

Q. Is there any central support available for individuals to undertake their chosen learning options?

It is possible that PPD may be able to offer some support towards the chosen learning options. Either the manager or individual should contact PPD to discuss this. Additionally time may be available within their work role for learning and development opportunities, including activities such as work shadowing, job swap or secondment opportunities.

Q. If an individual wants to undertake a secondment as one of their chosen learning options will the University provide resources (people, time and money) to enable this to happen?

This will depend on the specifics of the secondment and how it addresses a business need. In the event of there not being funding to backfill the post, it may be possible to allocate people and time to support a secondment. In addition,the Secondment Development Initiative is available for individuals who have completed the Career Pathways process or those who have undertaken the Administrators' Development Programme.

Q. Does the Career Pathways process support career progression into a new job family?

This will depend on how closely the new job family allies to the individual's current job family and whether the new job family has been identified as having a skills shortage.

Q. Is Career Pathways available to all staff groups?

The Career Pathways project is focused on non-academic staff groups at the present time, in particular there are tools and documents available for administrators (grades 4 - 11), HR focussed roles (grades 4 - 11) library staff (grades 2 - 8) and mechanical workshop technicians (grades 2 - 8).

Q. How do I manage a request for regrading or for a contribution increment from an individual who is undergoing the Career Pathways process?

Any regrading or contribution increment requests should be dealt with by following the usual procedure. Career Pathways is a separate process and is to be used as a tool to enable professional development within an individual's current role and towards future roles they may aspire to. A Career Pathways assessment of an individual's skills which shows they are meeting or exceeding the requirements of the current role does not give any right to request a regrading, as the requirements of the role will not have changed in any way. Nor does it give a right to apply for a contribution increment. Managers need to ensure that individuals are clear on these points at the outset.

Q. Can Career Pathways be used as a performance management tool?

The Career Pathways project is not intended to be used for performance management. If performance management issues are identified during discussions relating to the Career Pathways process, these should be dealt with separately. Career Pathways is a tool to encourage development of an individual within their current role and future roles they may aspire to.

Q. How can Career Pathways help individuals with their current role?

It will enable them to check their skills and attributes against those required for the role and identify any areas where they could develop their skills further. These can be included in the development plan, enabling them to develop new skills and enhance existing skills. These will also stand them in good stead when looking to progress further.

Q. What are the key benefits of Career Pathways for managers and institutions?

The key benefits for you are:

  • gives you access to a University wide framework of skills and attributes, against which you can assess your team members, so no need to recreate this yourself.
  • offers a useful tool to support the SRD process, in particular the personal development planning part of SRD. In future the intention is to enable links into CHRIS for ease of recording and for other purposes.
  • enables PPD to prioritise training and development activities in line with development needs that are identified. This helps ensure individuals have the skills and attributes to carry out their roles.
  • promotes staff movement (laterally as well as vertically) by providing more information on career paths and the requirements of roles across the University. This enables the University to make the most of the skills and people available.

Q. What if I do not agree with an individual's assessment of their personal profile of skills and attributes?

The Career Pathways process is about focusing in a positive way on the development needs of an individual. If you and the individual can't reach agreement you may have to agree to disagree. It does however give you an opportunity to provide feedback to an individual—this may be constructive and critical or it could be positive and confidence reinforcing.