As outlined in the introduction, the most valuable way to approach RPD is to divide the framework in to three stages; preparation, conversation and follow-up. As a reviewer, it is important that you prepare for RPD in advance, as well as ensuring that the conversation is meaningful and any output captured is followed up appropriately.
Having a yearly appraisal under the RPD framework is mandatory for staff on most University contracts of employment, with some exceptions detailed below;
- Staff still within the 6 month probation period (not applicable to academic staff probation)
- Staff on an Ambassador, Timesheet, Honorary or external contracts of employment
- Staff who have been absent for most of the year due to maternity leave or long term sickness
- Staff currently on career breaks or sabbaticals
It is anticipated that reviewers will have relevant conversations with these staff members about objectives and development requirements, as and when they deem appropriate for the circumstances, the individual and the role they play within the school/department and wider organisation.
The following guidance aims to give you an outline of your responsibilities as a reviewer and covers the following topics:
- Preparing yourself for the RPD meeting with your reviewee and your responsibilities as a reviewer
- Giving effective feedback
- Helping your reviewee to identify and set objectives – in line with the requirements of the role
- Next steps
Preparation can take time but it is worthwhile. By keeping notes throughout the year, having ongoing conversations and sharing the responsibility for summarising the information gathered, it can make the process more manageable. You are more likely to get greater satisfaction from the process if you invest time up front, as well as realising additional benefits such as your reviewee feeling more motivated.