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This guidance has been developed to provide information on the SRD Scheme (appraisal) process for academic staff which emphasises the personal value of SRD in supporting academics' future career plans and clarifies the links with existing academic processes. The guidance is also one of a series of initiatives aimed at improving support for career development in the University.

SRD is an essential part of the University's commitment to developing staff and sets out the framework for how appraisal is carried out within the University. Key details are set out below:

To enhance work effectiveness and facilitate career development, involving discussing ways in which the reviewee's work could be developed and ways in which any difficulties and obstacles to progress could be removed.
Three-stages of preparation, discussion and recording.
SRD provides a basic framework from which institutions develop their own procedures.
SRD is carried out at least every two years.
First SRD meeting is held after the probationary period has been completed.

This SRD framework is embedded in this guidance, which should be read in conjunction with any specific academic SRD/appraisal arrangements made by an institution, since the need for flexibility in local adaptation is acknowledged.

The content of this guidance has also taken into account feedback from Cambridge academics, collated in 2011, through a questionnaire sent out to those recently promoted through a Senior Academic Promotions exercise, as well as best practice within the higher education sector.


This guidance provides information on good practice to support staff and institutions in implementing an effective and supportive academic SRD scheme. It does not form part of employees' terms and conditions of employment and may be subject to change. It is not intended to remove any current protections afforded to employees under their contracts of employment or under existing legislation or other local arrangements agreed by the University and trades unions.


This guidance applies to:

  • All academic staff employed by the University, for example those holding the office of Professor, Reader, University Senior Lecturer, University Lecturer, Assistant Director of Research, and those holding other established academic offices listed in Statutes and Ordinances.
  • Staff holding comparable unestablished academic posts.

Any queries on eligibility should be referred in the first instance to the Head of Institution where the post is held, who may seek advice from the relevant HR business team.

Although the principles set out in this guidance cover clinical academics, these staff should refer to the Joint University and NHS appraisal guidance for details of the relevant appraisal procedure, as required following publication of the Follett Report.

Review of the Guidance

This guidance will be reviewed by the HR Committee every four years.