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Personal and Professional Development


Q. What are the key benefits for me assessing my skills and attributes?

The key benefits for you are:

  • gives you access to a University-wide framework of skills and attributes, against which you can assess yourself
  • supports the development planning process and SRD (Staff Review and Development)
  • supports your career development and long term assists you in achieving a fulfilling career at the University

Q. How can the tools support my Staff Review and Development (Appraisal) with my manager?

The behavioural attributes (all staff) and role-specific skills (limited job families) templates can be used as part of your annual SRD (Staff Review and Development) meeting with your manager or as a stand-alone activity to assess your skills and attributes and identify your development needs. If your SRD meeting is due, we recommend that you and your manager assess your skills and attributes individually before your SRD meeting, then use the meeting to agree your skills/attributes assessment, identify your development needs and complete your development plan

Q. What support is available for me to undertake my chosen learning options?

See the Learning opportunities page for possible options. Additional time may be available within your work role for learning and development opportunities, including activities such as work shadowing, job swap or secondment opportunities.

Q. How many areas should I develop at any one time?

As many as you feel comfortable with developing at any one time. It’s also likely that if you are developing in one area then you are developing in others as well.

As a rule of thumb it’s probably best to focus on two or three areas at the same time. You may identify one or more development actions for each area so focusing on more than three may overload you with development activities.

Q. Will reviewing my skills and attributes enable me to be upgraded or receive a contribution increment?

No. These tools are about identifying the professional development that will help you to progress in your career, not about changing or developing your actual role or assessing your contribution. Even if your assessments show that you are meeting or exceeding the requirements of your current role this does not mean that the role itself has changed. Speak to your line manager and use the appropriate procedure if you have a request for regrading or contribution increment.

Q. Can my manager use the tools to discuss my performance?

The templates are primarily developed to encourage you to focus on development for your current role and for future roles you may aspire to. They may also be used to facilitate constructive discussion and agreement about expected standards and performance in a role, and to identify areas to work on. Remember that the tools have been designed as flexible resources and the listed skills and attributes are intended for use as a guide. They are not exhaustive and not all areas will be applicable to all roles within a grade.

Q. Can the tools help me in my current role?

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

Q. What if I do not agree with my manager's assessment of my skills and attributes?

The tools are intended to focus discussion in a positive way about your development needs. When considering your self-assessment results look for examples that can demonstrate your skill or behaviour in each area. The discussion is a valuable opportunity to get constructive feedback that you can consider to support your development. Aim to reach agreement during the discussion, however in some cases you may need to record a difference of opinion and agree to review when you’ve had a chance to gather further examples.

Q. Where can I gain further information?

If you have any questions about the tools or how to use them you should refer in the first instance to your line manager and to the How to use section. You can also contact PPD if you have any further queries. We will be happy to support you by phone, email or in person.