Making the most of your Development review

We all want to do a good job. However, in order to do that we also need to know what we are aiming for and how well we are doing. In order to be clear about this we need an opportunity to sit down, think and then reflect with a person who can offer guidance. The annual Development Review conversation is the place to do this.

What is a Development Review?

At its simplest level a Development Review (DR) is a meeting, probably lasting around an hour and a half between two people. Experience has shown us that it is the quality of the conversation within this meeting, rather than the process itself, that makes a real difference to people.

The purpose of DR is to provide all staff with the opportunity to step back from the day to day pressures and reflect on what has been done over the past year. It is an opportunity to receive feedback on your contribution and to set objectives for the coming year. It is also a meeting where career aspirations and development opportunities can be explored. 

Key principles of Development Review

  • All staff are expected to take part in an annual Development Review conversation, whether they are full-time, part-time and fixed term members of staff.
  • It provides every member of staff with the opportunity to meet at least once a year with an appropriate reviewer.
  • The review should take place between January and December each year.
  • The details of the meeting, including your reflections on the previous year and your goals for the year ahead, should be recorded in your Review form within the Develop platform. Your reviewer should also add their comments to the form to summarise what was discussed and agreed between you.

Making the most of your Development Conversation

The process of reflection and then discussion can be incredibly powerful but it does require time and engagement to produce real results. The process is not the sole ‘responsibility’ of the reviewee or reviewer; it needs to be seen as a joint, positive and constructive dialogue if it is to achieve the maximum impact. It should provide the opportunity for the reviewee and the reviewer to talk openly and make positive steps to plan for wider career aspirations.

You can find detailed information and guidance on the Development Review process on the dedicated webpages.

If you would like further information and advice please contact your HR team in the first instance. You can also contact the Academic Staff Development team.