Talk time


  • Guidance for Talk Time (PDR) Reviewers 

  • Talk Time is a PDR equivalent, primarily aimed at staff groupings on grades 2, 3 and 4.

    As a PDR reviewer, you have an important role to play in motivating your staff and enabling them to perform well. You can do this by reviewing their performance with them, giving feedback, valuing their contributions, supporting their development and future aspirations, and helping them to achieve excellence.

    The Talk Time format is designed to

    • engage in a performance and development discussion which resonates with its intended groupings
    • be conducted either on a one to one format or small group format
    • some groups i.e. Domestic Assistants see a group format as more conducive for discussion and less intimidating than having a one to one meeting
    • Individual staff members should always have the option to have a Talk Time meeting on a one to one basis (Individuals can also opt for the standard PDR format if they wish).

    This checklist will help you to prepare for the annual PDR meeting with your staff.

    The following can support your Talk Time (PDR) planning and discussions with your staff:

    • Last year’s forms (with any updates on objectives/progress throughout the year)
    • Relevant customer/student feedback including any insights from satisfaction survey data
    • Any appropriate relevant performance statistics or KPIs
    • Directorate operational plans and initiatives which may directly impact upon the group.
    • AUA Professional Behaviours / ESS Way Values and Behaviours for Catering (condensed version are provided as addendums attachment)
    • Training and development plans
    • OCSLD Your development website pages

    Check Health and Safety training records for any mandatory refresher training required


    At least 2 weeks before:

    Issue your reviewee(s) with a Talk Time (PDR) form (paper version).

    • Option to send out softcopy version on request
    • Go through the page 1 orientation notes with the reviewees
    • Establish preferences for either 1 to1 or group sessions
    Diarise meetings and organise appropriate venues
    • Achievements in relation to their personal and work objectives and the student/staff experience.
    • Challenges faced and overcome.
    • Feedback received from others.
    • Feedback from you.
    • What recognition and thanks to give.
    • The impact of any changes in the role, team.
    • Whether the job description is up-to-date.
    • Workload and work/life balance.
    • What help and support may be needed.
    • Strengths and development areas (refer to the AUA Behaviours or ESS Way for Catering).
    • How well they have demonstrated the Brookes’ Guiding Principles and team values.
    • Training and development needs.
    • Career aspirations and future plans.
    • Areas to focus on for continuous improvement.
    • Whether application for a Achievement, Contribution and Excellence ACE awards is appropriate for exceptional sustained contribution or Recognition Awards.
    • Stage 1: Welcome (refreshments)
    • Stage 2: Establish ground rules for group session (see appendix for examples)
      • Invitation to have a 1 to 1 meetings on any matters which are not appropriate in a group context
    • Stage 3: Go through section 1 questions with the group
      • Facilitate discussion on each question,
      • Summarise (and takes notes for master copy) for each question before moving to next question.
    • Stage 4: Short pause / break to allow reviewer to prepare rough overview summary
    • Stage 5: Reviewer provide a short synopsis of review meeting, agreed actions and training needs
    • Stage 6: Outlines next steps and reiterates invitation to have 1 to 1 meetings on any matters which were not appropriate in a group context.

    Group Talk Time (PDR) meeting

    • The reviewer completes Section 1 (on behalf of the group) which syntheses all the key points raised collectively by the group.
    • The reviewer completes section 2 of the PDR form.
    • Reviewer issues one master copy for all the group to agree and sign.
    • Copies are subsequently made for each individual to retain a personal copy.
    • All focus on one conversation. One person speaks at a time, side conversations are taken away from the group.
    • Fairness: No one will be called on twice on a particular topic until all those who want to have spoken once.
    • Be constructive. Create a positive context and supportive framework.
    • Acknowledge the past fully, yet focus on the future.
    • Test assumptions and inferences. Ask for more information.
    • Be specific. Use examples if needed so people know what you're talking about.
    • Take responsibility for your own feelings and experiences. Use “I” statements
    • Keep it real, keep it relevant. Be honest. Be direct, yet kind.
    • Use personal judgement to decide on whether an issue should be either shared as a group or raised with the reviewer/manager outside the meeting on a one to one basis.