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Seb Anthony

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PDR Training Best Practice


Hello All,

I am looking for some best practice for a work project and to support my CTP in terms of content and approach for delivery of PDR/Appraisal Training and would very much welcome any information about how any of you structure and deliver your PDR training. E.g. what do you cover within it, do you do full day, do you tailor it to skill/experience levels, is it optional/mandatory, do you do it at stand up delivery or e-learning blended learning etc

Any support any of you have will be most appreciated

Thanks in advance


Sue Buller

2 Responses

  1. Reponse
    Hi Sue

    There may be quite a bit of material on ‘Any Answers’ from previous posts. For what it’s worth it depends very much on the target audience and what you hope to achieve.

    Most places I have delivered this it has been voluntary participation – but strongly encouraged by management. I have usually delivered it as an interactive session and focussed very much on the people skills – and tried not to get bogged down in the process. Some appraisers get hung up on the paperwork (which is often over-complicated) and don’t start appraising through fear of what might happen. So, I would aim to take the fear out of it and emphasise that appraisal is a continuous process and not a one-off meeting. I usually look at: the benefits of the process to the individual, manager and organisation; how the appraisee sets up and manages the meeting; and how they can achieve a constructive agreement as to the individual’s performance and development needs over the next period. If they have received training before I do a half day refresher – otherwise a full day is enough to cover it. There is quite a lot of on-line material available and I usually point participants towards it to help them address specific issues – but I don’t tend to use it in a blended way.

    However, there is debate about the whole purpose and ideology of PRD and Appraisal. The prevailing view in L&D is that the process is unquestionably effective. But there may be other ways to achieve the outcomes that the process is there for – and in a Lean Thinking presentation I went to a couple of years ago the need for having it at all was strongly challenged. So a few years from now we may all be doing something completely different.

    Hope this helps.

  2. Appraisal training in professional services
    My experience with appraisal training has been in professional services. Here’s a summary.

    Company A
    – Stand up delivery by an external provider
    – 1 day course for appraisees and a separate 1 day course for appraisers
    – Focus on skills
    – Separate ½ course by an external provider on managing poor performance. Focus on process and skill.

    Company B
    – One year it was a 1 hour workshop for appraisers and appraisees. 50 minutes on process and paperwork. 10 minutes on skill. Stand-up delivery by HR.
    – Another year bite-sized modules on various skills used in appraisal were designed for the appraisers by L&D. Stand-up delivery by HR. Some of HR delivered the modules as designed. (If all modules were delivered back-to-back, it was about 1 day.) Others combined them all into a 1 hour session. In this year, guides summarising the content of these modules were also written. If line managers couldn’t attend a session, they could work through the guide on their own.

    Company C
    – Stand up delivery by L&D
    – 1 day course for appraisers
    – ½ day refresher training (stand-up delivery) offered for appraisers
    – ½ day course training (stand-up delivery) offered for appraisees
    – This company also had off-the-shelf e-learning modules on appraisals
    – This company had also undergone training in a new competency framework and appraisal process. This particular training was mandatory.

    Hope this helps.


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