Performance and development review

The PDR has been developed to provide support for the ongoing performance management of all Civil Servants. It allows staff to reflect on, and assess, how they have performed over the previous 12 month period. It also allows staff to plan ahead by identifying any development required for them to become more effective in their job and to progress on their chosen career pathway.

Participation in the PDR scheme is mandatory for all Civil Service staff regardless of grade.


The PDR scheme runs annually from the 1 April to the 31 March and includes the following elements:

  • Final Appraisal: This involves reflection on what was achieved during the previous year and how it was achieved. It allows decisions to be made regarding whether the individual met their agreed objectives and competencies. This normally takes place between April and June each year.
  • Personal Delivery Plan (PDP): This involves looking forward to the next 12 month period and planning what needs to be achieved, how to do this and identifying any development needed. This information comprises the personal development plan and is usually completed immediately after the Final Appraisal.
  • Interim review(s): The interim review establishes whether staff are on target to meeting the requirements of the PDP. These are generally held in October at 6 months but during probation periods will be more frequent.

Competency framework

There are 6 areas in which all Civil Servants are expected to show competency; Leading and Working Together, Communicating and Influencing, Achieving Results, Delivering a Quality Service, Changing and Learning, and Showing Commitment and Resilience. The level of competency expected depends on the civil service grade. The use of competencies provides a consistent and objective base for performance and development review across the Civil Service. It allows staff to demonstrate knowledge skills and achievements against transferable standardised competencies, which aids and enhances career development.

Performance ratings

Ratings record the level of performance achieved against each objective and competency. The manager considers these when making an overall assessment of the individual’s performance for the review period. In order for incremental pay progression to occur staff must achieve an overall rating of Good, Very Good or Outstanding. Staff may find further information on the Civil Service PDR scheme including guidance documents, detailed information regarding the competency levels, the performance ratings, appeals process, and a downloadable form on the Government intranet.

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