Guidance for PGRs who started after September 2020

If you’re a postgraduate research (PGR) student who started your studies on or after 1 September 2020, this is the guidance you need to follow.


What is the process for completing my DDP?

Training Needs Analysis & Development Plan

  • Complete a draft Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
  • Arrange an initial meeting with your supervisor(s) to discuss your TNA and devise your Development Plan to cover training and development for the coming year.
  • Over the course of your studies, continue to reflect on your TNA every 6 months and update your Development Plan annually. Remember to keep a record of all your training and development activities within your TNA

Faculty & departmental modules

  • Attend and complete the compulsory Research Ethics & Integrity module for your Faculty. If you are a Social Sciences student, you will also have another Faculty-level DDP module to complete. Read more about compulsory modules here.
  • Engage with any compulsory departmental DDP modules and training that your department may run

Personal development & training

  • Carry out any personal development and training as identified in your TNA and Development Plan. This will vary from student to student, and is based on your own particular development needs.
  • Progress your research project, gaining valuable skills and knowledge which can all be used to demonstrate your DDP.

Evidencing Development Summary

  • At around at around two to three months before the end of your  normal registration period (or four to six months if you’re a part time student), submit your Evidencing Development Summary (DDP summary) to Research, Partnerships and Innovation. 

Once your DDP summary has been approved by Faculty, your DDP will be recorded as completed. You can find more information on how to submit your DDP summary below. 

 DDP forms and guidance

Below are the templates you should use to complete your DDP. The templates for both the TNA and Evidencing Development Summary are universal across all Faculties. However, the Faculty of the Health currently uses PebblePad for the submission of DDP and other paperwork. If you are a Faculty of Health student and have any questions about PebblePad, or require access, please speak to your departmental administrator.

Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
  • Faculty of Health - TNA forms are hosted on PebblePad. Ask your departmental administrator for access.
Evidencing Development Summary

Training Needs Analysis (TNA)

The TNA is a tool to help you identify your technical and personal development needs, and to plan how and when they will be addressed. It is a living document and should be reviewed regularly throughout the course of your programme.

It is based around the eight core competencies, which are also reflected in the Evidencing Development Summary. This should make it straightforward to identify and progress your development needs in each of these areas, and to reflect on these when you come to complete your DDP summary at the end of your programme. 

During your research, you should use your TNA to:

  • identify gaps in skills and knowledge
  • identify opportunities to develop experience
  • set goals and targets and get involved
  • record what you did, how you did it, skills and knowledge used and the final result
  • review progress regularly and use your supervisory meetings to cover professional development

How can my supervisor support me with my TNA?

Your supervisor has a key role in supporting you with your TNA and DDP more generally. With your supervisor, you will talk through the training and development that would be most beneficial to you during your research, as well as the purpose and requirements of the DDP. 

You should independently complete the TNA form and discuss it with your supervisor within three months of starting your programme (or within six months if you are a part time student). 

Using the outcomes from your supervisory discussion, you will then create a development plan that lists the actions you will take over the coming year. You will formally refer back to your development plan on a regular basis – every six months as a minimum – to check your progress and to identify any new development needs.

It is also a good idea to informally discuss your training and development more regularly in your supervisory meeting. At the start of each new year, you should reflect on your most recent experiences, reviewing and updating your TNA and following discussions with your supervisor, update your development plan for the coming year.

Sample agreement for setting expectations with your supervisor (.docx, 16KB)

TNA further guidance

Evidencing Development Summary

Your Evidencing Development summary (DDP summary) is the principal means by which your progress on the DDP is assessed.

Like the TNA, it is based around the eight core competencies, and is designed to help you get the most from your PGR experience, helping you to plan and reflect upon your research and how it will relate to your future aspirations. 

You should complete your DDP summary at around  two to three months before the end of your  normal registration period (or four to six months if you’re a part time student). To help you do this, you should refer to your completed TNA to reflect on the training and development you have completed throughout your research, and identify one example of development for each of the eight core competencies on your DDP summary. 

Evidencing Development Summary - further guidance

Process for submitting your Evidencing Development Summary

When you've completed your summary, it should be reviewed and approved by your supervisor, who will need to sign it.

You should then submit your signed summary to Research, Partnerships and Innovation (RPI) via We will check it and forward it to your relevant Faculty Officer, who will confirm the successful completion of your DDP, based on your summary.

If you are a student in the Faculty of Health, you should complete your summary in PebblePad, rather than fill in the full form. However you will still need to obtain your supervisor's signature on the form and forward this part to RPI as per the instructions above.

Please note you do not need to submit a copy of your TNA alongside your DDP summary. And lastly, it’s important that you don’t leave your Evidencing Development summary until the last minute, as it could delay the awarding of your degree.