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Preparing and completing an SDPR/Career conversation: a guide for Reviewees

This page includes information for reviewees in all job families around the annual feedback and appraisal process.

SDPR/Career conversation: Frequency and key steps

When to hold an SDPR

All core (not casual) staff who have completed probation are required to undertake a SDPR/career conversation annually, and Heads of Department are responsible for making sure this happens through their usual management structure. Staff normally have their first SDPR/career conversation around six months after completing probation, allowing them to reflect on objectives and development goals set in the end of probation review. This interval may vary to fit the business cycle of the department.

Key steps for arranging and completing an SDPR/ career conversation

  1. Identify which job family your department is in and whether your department is using the Effective Behaviours Framework (EBF).
  2. Identify and review the relevant forms for your grade/job family, and complete in advance where necessary.
  3. Complete your relevant training.
  4. Reflect on the elements of the conversation and think about what you would like to get out of the meeting.
  5. Conduct your conversation.
  6. Complete the form to reflect your discussions.
  7. Ensure your line manager uploads the record of your conversations/SDPR to iTrent, you will have sight of this on Employee Self-Service (ESS).

Completing the relevant training

If you are being reviewed for the first time you are encouraged to complete the reviewee training beforehand. More information including course dates can be found below:

You can also access online tools and support on-demand via the Development Toolkit, such as:


Keep a record

The SDPR/career conversation form enables you to capture the main thoughts and commitments from your conversation. This is a way of focusing your thought process and to have something to refer back to, but having 'something to put on the form' does not prove that the meeting was a success. Aim for a rich and honest conversation that leaves your reviewee feeling valued and clear about how they can have a fulfilling and successful year. Please note, recording in iTrent is used only to document that the meeting took place and to provide a secure place for the notes, so you can refer back to them in the future.

Using the correct form

The forms you need to use for your SDPR/career conversation will vary depending on your grade, job family and whether your Department is using the Effective Behaviours Framework (EBF). Please check with your Department what form you should use.

Reviewee's grade/job family Form
Staff in roles at grade 2 in all job families SDPR grade 2 self-review form, SDPR grade 2 SDPR form and SDPR grade 2 manager review form or career conversation form
Staff in grade 3 and above in job families not yet using the EBF framework (e.g. Operational, Facilities Support (OFS), and Technical and Experimental (T&E)) SDPR form or career conversation form
Staff in the Management, Specialist and Administration (MSA) job family SDPR+ form or career conversation form
Staff in grade 3 and above in the Education and Research job family SDPR E&R form or career conversation form

All forms and guidance can be downloaded from the following forms and guidance pages:

Uploading or viewing a completed SDPR/career conversation form via MSS or ESS

Once you have completed the form, your manager can record and upload forms for the people they directly line manage onto iTrent through Manager Self Service (MSS). In academic departments the SDPR/career conversation forms are usually logged by: - department coordinators for Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Readers and Professors - line managers for research staff and teaching fellows

Once your SDPR/career conversation form has been uploaded to MSS you can view your own forms through Employee Self Service (ESS). Your line manager, if they wish to see the SDPR/career conversation forms for those people they line manage, they can view them via MSS.

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