PGR Supervisor Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

What is new?

In May 2020, Senate agreed a set of principles governing professional development for PGR supervisors to include the following:

  1. All PGR supervisors will engage with ongoing professional development as a mandatory requirement, forming part of a license to supervise;
  2. Three different routes of professional development will be available as appropriate to PGR supervisors, based on their level of expertise and experience;
  3. A programme of discussion-based development activities will be available to all staff with an interest in PGR supervision via SuperVisionaries.

How does this impact supervisors?

The impact on individuals will depend on their level of supervisory experience:

  • new supervisors will be required to engage with 1 hour of online material and a further 10 hours of workshops, delivered under the SuperVisionaries umbrella;
  • Supervisors new to Sheffield but having supervised PGRs in a previous institution will be required to engage with 1 hour of online material;
  • experienced colleagues will participate in 2 hour discussion-based workshops, delivered at departmental level, every 2 years. These workshops will be based around a choice of three topics agreed at institutional level by the University PGR Committee.

Further details are being provided to Heads of Department and Departmental PGR Directors, who will be able to advise individuals further, with support from Research Services.

The new CPD requirements for supervisors will become mandatory from January 2021

What are the advantages of the new approach?

First and foremost these changes should benefit supervisors; PGR supervision is a complex practice and it is the University’s desire and responsibility to provide appropriate support in this area. Research has also shown that supervisors have a significant and crucial role in student outcomes, experience and value judgements - by improving support for our supervisors we also enhance the environment for our students. Finally, implementing this system will support our aim to move towards more of our PGRs submitting their thesis within their tuition fee period and strengthen our compliance with external Concordats and the expectations of funding bodies.