Skip to content

St George’s is committed to creating a supportive, inclusive  and motivated organisation. One of the ways the university supports this is through the Personal Development Review (PDR) process.

Who needs to do a Personal Development Review?

St George’s Personal Development Review Policy and Procedure outlines that annual PDRs are mandatory for all staff who have completed their probationary period and have been confirmed in post.  This also includes employees who are due to retire or are approaching the end of a fixed term contract.

What is a Personal Development Review?

PDRs are conducted by those individuals with line management responsibility and the focus of the PDR relates to an employee’s agreed objectives, identification of learning and development needs to support the achievement of job, departmental and organisational goals and discussions regarding career aspirations and development.

The PDR process and discussion between Reviewer and Reviewee:  

  • Provides a structure to review staff’s achievements, performance and development over the previous twelve months and discuss and agree objectives, development, needs for the next twelve months
  • Supports role clarity; staff know and understand what is expected of them in their role and how this fits into the wider plans of their team and the University
  • Helps Identify employee contributions; The PDR discussion should include reviewing staff’s contribution to achieving their goals. How objectives and priorities are linked to St George’s strategic, operational and department goals.
  • Encourages individual professional and personal development to be identified and agreed.
  • Supports staff to consider their career aspirations and realise their potential.

Annual Personal Development Review Window

PDRs will follow an annual calendar to ensure that all staff’s PDRs are completed within a three-month window (January-March) reviewing the previous calendar year. This allows for the collation of PDR statistics by the end of the academic year (July).  All staff must use the PDR forms found in MyWorkplace under Goals and Performance. Clinical Academics who are required to participate in the joint NHS appraisal processes should refer to Section 8 of the Guidance on completing the St George’s Personal Development Review (PDR) (PDF) .

Benefits of the new Personal Development Review system 

There are a number of benefits to the new PDR process and system: 

  • Two forms have been created – standard and academic – reflecting different role requirements.
  • Having the PDR form in MyWorkplace means that you only have one system to use for all HR related activities, including recording training and development, booking leave and checking your payslips and now PDRs. 
  • The new system and process supports and encourages year-round discussions about progress against objectives.
  • The academic and standard PDR forms are much simpler to use and navigate.
  • Staff can update their objectives throughout the year.
  • Staff training will automatically be populated into the PDR form from staff training records in MyWorkplace, more effectively supporting PDR discussions and highlighting any gaps.
  • St George’s can more effectively ensure all staff have annual PDRs through using the January to March window for PDR completion and supporting departments and institutes to manage this annual cycle and capture completion rates.
  • Annual PDR training can be better planned and targeted to support all staff prior to and during the annual PDR cycle.

Getting started with your PDR

Links to PDR forms and guidance

Related documents and links

Resources to help you manage the Personal Development Review process

View all Close all

There are a range of dates for workshops to support reviewers and reviewees. For the upcoming dates and to make a booking, please visit the staff development event schedule.

For reviewees
For reviewers
Clinical academic staff
  • L2P for Trust medical appraisals

There are specific instructions for clinical academic staff holding an honorary consultant contract. Doctors will need to be set up on L2P who connect to the Trust as their designated body and then they receive a link to login to their email (Trust/SGUL/ The home page to login is and once set up, their username will be their email address and they will have a password to login. For support with L2P at St. George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust please contact Nicola McDonald, Revalidation Support Officer

For advice and guidance regarding PDRs and joint appraisals, please contact our HR business partners

Why has the new PDR been introduced?

A new form has been developed within MyWorkplace for use by all St George’s, University of London employees. By having the form in MyWorkplace it means that you only have one system to use for all HR related activities, including recording training and development, booking leave and checking your payslips. It should be possible to login to MyWorkplace without requiring a separate password. The new form automatically brings in some of your employment data, e.g. job title, and career development information, e.g. training courses undertaken over the review period (provided these have been recorded in MyWorkplace).

Is participating in an annual PDR  mandatory?

Yes, all employees who have completed their probation period must take part in an annual PDR. Clinical Academics should have a joint appraisal with the relevant NHS Trust. Further information on the Clinical Academics appraisal process can be found in Section 8 of the Guidance on completing a Personal Development Review.

What's in it for me?

Having a formal  PDR each year ensures you have dedicated time to sit down with your manager and talk about the work you are doing and how it contributes to the success of the team. It gives you and your manager a chance to focus on you, your achievements and any career aspirations or training and development needs you may have. It is also allows you and your manager to agree work objectives which fit with the overall objectives of your team. However, the PDR should not be the only time you and your manager discuss progress, regular one-to-one meetings should occur throughout the year.

What's in it for me as a reviewer?

The PDR will give you a formal opportunity to meet with your staff to review their progress and performance, agree and set future work objectives, clarify roles and responsibilities and plan future training and development.  You will have a clear picture of the key objectives and development needs of your whole team. For academic staff, the PR is the medium through which workload planning is discussed and agreed and the individual’s contribution against the Academic Performance Standards is assessed.

What do I need to prepare for my PDR ?

Advance planning and thinking about what you would like to say should result in a more productive PDR meeting. You should prepare by completing section 1 of your PDR form at least 7 days before your review meeting. The Guidance on completing a Personal Development Review and the  Personal Development Review planning sheet for Reviewees gives more detailed information, advice and guidance about how best to prepare for your PDR. 

How can I best identify objectives for my job?

In preparing for your PDR create a draft list of work objectives for the year ahead (January to December). Your manager should also help you to identify appropriate objectives. Some people will have up to three/four objectives which relate directly to the work they do each day. Others may have a broader range of objectives. Objectives can also allow you the opportunity to become involved in new areas of work or to learn new skills. Your PDR objectives will depend on the job that you do, whether you are full or part-time and the role of your team and your own aspirations.

What should I do if I have concerns about the PDR process?

If you have any concerns about having a PDR you should raise these with your line manager or appropriate senior manager within your area. Alternatively contact HR ( who will try and help you resolve your concerns.

Who is responsible for organising my PDR?

Your PDR will be organised by your line manager. However, you are able to update your PDR form  in MyWorkplace throughout the year, provided that your manager has created a form for you. If you need a form created please speak to your line manager.  The Guidance on Completing a Personal Development Review explains how a manager can create a new PDR form for you.

When should my PDR take place?

Each department and Institute is responsible for putting in place local arrangements to ensure that all review meetings are held between the beginning of January and end of March.  We have introduced an annual review period (January-March) in order to try to improve completion and consistency in PDRs across the university. However, we recognise that this time period may not be appropriate for clinical academics. Further information on the Clinical Academics appraisal process can be found in Section 8 of the Guidance on completing a Personal Development Review.

Who carries  out my PDR?

Your PDR will be with your line manager, however, in some roles it may be appropriate to arrange a joint review with another manager. This situation may arise if you have joint membership of Institutes or are providing a service or carrying out work for another area where your line manager is not routinely involved in directing your work.

Can I choose who carries out my PDR?

No, however, if you feel that the person assigned to carry out your review is not appropriate you should raise this with the director/senior manager for your department/Institute or contact HR (

How long should a PDR meeting last?

There is no set amount of time for a PDR meeting. The time taken will depend on the length of the discussions between the Reviewer and Reviewee. We consider from 45 minutes to up to 2 hours to be realistic,  to ensure effective and useful  PDR discussions can take place.

If I have been in my post for less than 6 months will I have a PDR?

If you are new to your post you should have a Probation Review where the focus will be on assessing how well you have settled into your post, identifying any development or training needs you have and agreeing objectives for the coming 12 months. Once you have completed your probation period you would then join the regular PDR cycle.

What happens if I am on maternity/parental/adoption leave during the review period?

You should have a PDR discussion/check-in before you go on maternity,  parental or adoption leave where the focus will be on your work since your last PDR. On returning to work you should have a further PDR discussion where the focus will be on agreeing objectives for the coming year and discussing any support you might need to assist you in your return to work.

What happens if I am off sick during the review period?

Your PDR discussion should  take place when you return to work. If you have been absent for an extended period of time the discussion should  focus on agreeing current and future objectives and identifying any support you need to make a full return to work.

I will be leaving my current post in the next few months should I still have a PDR?

Yes, even if you know or anticipate that you will be leaving you should still participate in the PDR  process so appropriate objectives can be identified for the remaining period of your appointment. The review process should also be helpful in identifying any strengths and possible development needs relevant both now and in the future.

My fixed term contract is due to end during the period covered by the PDR, should I still have a PDR?

Yes, your current contract may be extended or you may move to another post within the University. You may also find the PDR  process helpful in considering your next career move.

I am about to retire, should I have a PDR?

Yes. Use the PDR  as an opportunity to discuss what needs to happen over the months leading up to your retirement, e.g. handing over work, completing projects, training your successor etc. It also provides an opportunity to discuss any support you would like in preparing for retirement.

Who will see my completed PDR?

Only you, your manager/reviewer and HR will be able to see your completed PDR. Senior managers, e.g. Directors, will receive reports on PDR completion but will not have access for your full PDR form.

What if I disagree with anything that my reviewer has written?

The final section of the PDR form offers employees space to comment key aspects of their  PDR. If you disagree with your reviewer’s summary comments on your PDR form  you are advised to arrange a further meeting with them to discuss the areas on which you disagree, with an aim of reaching a solution.

Is the PDR process linked to pay or promotion?

The PDR process is not linked to pay or promotion; however, you should use your review as an opportunity to discuss with your line manager whether you are ready for promotion. Academics who plan to apply for academic promotion are expected to have an up to date PDR.

Who decides whether or not the resources are there to meet the training and development needs that are agreed between Reviewee and Reviewer?

Each Institute/Department is expected to hold a sum of money for profession and job-related staff training and development activities.  It is the responsibility of each Institute/Department to establish fair guidelines for funding staff development and training and for access to development opportunities.



Find a profileSearch by A-Z