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The University of Southampton
Professional Development

Appraisal Training and Guidance for MSA, TAE and CAO staff


Successful appraisals are an important tool to support staff to perform at their best and achieve their aspirations.

The following new suite of mandatory appraisal training will be introduced for MSA/TAE/CAO (levels 4-7) from December 2015. The training will comprise the following two elements. Appraisers must complete both elements in order to be ''Licensed to Appraise''.

1. Online Training Module: Essential Appraisal Training for all MSA, TAE and CAO staff (levels 4-7)

All staff, (i.e. both appraisees and appraisers) are asked to complete the introductory module of the blackboard course 'Appraisal Training for MSA, TAE and CAO staff at levels 4, 5, 6 and 7', before taking part in an appraisal meeting.

The blackboard course offers practical guidance and examples to support you through all aspects of the appraisal process.

The modules of the course are:



How to access: The new online course will be available to access in October 2015.

2. Mandatory Appraisal Skills Training for Appraisers of MSA, TAE and CAO staff

In addition to the blackboard module, in order to be licensed to appraise staff, Appraisers are required to complete a 1/2 day appraisal skills workshop.

The interactive workshop using Forum Theatre techniques focuses on the skills and behaviours required to lead successful appraisal discussions and challenging conversations. Two experienced actors / facilitators will demonstrate an appraisal meeting and using stop start techniques the audience will guide the ‘appraiser’ towards best practice. This enables the participants to work at their own level and instantly see the outcome of their suggestions. Participants are not asked to role-play in this session.

The session explores techniques in listening, questioning, coaching and objective setting to ensure a positive outcome for both the appraiser and appraisee.

Please note: that this session will not include guidance on completing the new online appraisal form, which is available by viewing MyHR Appraisal Support Guide accessible via MyHR or the Academic Appraisal training blackboard course.

Led by: Clare Beck and Stewart Theobald of Talking Shop Training Ltd

To view future dates and book please visit

Workshops will commence in December 2015 - Bookings will open in September 2015.

Associated Reading:


Managing your appraisal


For a quick reference guide to 'Managing your appraisal' please view the management pocketbook. The online book covers such topics as appraisal structure, how to prepare for them and types of questioning and is written from the perspective of the appraisee.

In addition, comprehensive guidance materials are available online.


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