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Personal and Professional Development


Q. What are the key benefits for managers and institutions of assessing skills and attributes of team members?

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.
  • 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 the requirements of roles across the University. This enables the University to make the most of the skills and people available.

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

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

Q. What support is available for the individual to undertake the chosen learning options?

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

Q. How do I manage a request for regrading or for a contribution increment from an individual?

Any regrading or contribution increment requests should be dealt with by following the usual procedure. These tools are to enable professional development within an individual's current role and towards future roles they may aspire to. Assessment of an individual's skills and attributes 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. Nor does it give a right to apply for a contribution increment. It is helpful to clarify these points at the outset.

Q. Can I use the tools to discuss a team member’s performance?

The templates are primarily developed to encourage you both to focus on development within the current role and for future roles they 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. How can the tools help individuals with their current role?

The tools 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 if I do not agree with an individual's assessment of their skills and attributes?

The tools are intended to focus discussion in a positive way about your team member’s development needs. When considering the assessment results look for examples that can demonstrate their skill or behaviour in each area. Aim to reach agreement during the discussion, however in some cases you may need to record a difference of opinion and agree to review. The discussion is a valuable opportunity to provide feedback to an individual—this may be constructive to support improvement or it could be positive and confidence reinforcing.

Q. Where can I get further information?

If you have any questions about the tools or how to use them you should refer in the first instance to your own 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.