Guidance for Managers

What happens before the conversation?

You should arrange for your member of staff’s conversation to be as near to the anniversary date of them starting in that position wherever possible.

Staff should spend time prior to the meeting to consider their previous objectives and their performance, and should have completed their Career Conversation with these reflections and evidence of their performance. Those staff who take the time to prepare for their career conversations will get the most out of it.

How do I get information on my team to check their Conversation due date?

The monthly appraisal report details the conversation due date for all permanent and fixed term members of staff. You can request this from HR to check when individuals in your area need their conversation completing.

Bank staff are not obliged to have a Career Conversation, but a general conversation can take place around their performance.

What does the Conversation involve?

It gives you and your member of staff the opportunity to have a meaningful conversation about their performance and how they demonstrate the Trust values and behaviours, and knowledge and skills for their role. In addition, you will be able to evaluate how they have evidenced their knowledge and skills, and how they have met their objectives.

What is included in the booklet?


Personal Reflection

This is their opportunity to analyse what they are good at, what skills they want or need to develop, where they want to go, and what they need to get there.

It should give you a good idea of how they view themselves and their aspirations, and can start you thinking how you can support them.

You and your member of staff can have a wider discussion about their career and aspirations, where they see themselves progressing and what they need to do in order to achieve that.

This is your time to have a conversation about what support is available, such as a particular course or undertaking shadowing opportunities to gain further understanding about different areas of the Trust. An individual should be encouraged to think about things they can do for themselves to aid their own development (with the support of information from the Aspire site) as well as formal education or courses where necessary.


A Career Conversation is the opportune time to have a wellbeing check in with your member of staff. Start with an open “How are you?”.

My Knowledge and Skills

You will evaluate the evidence the individual has included to determine whether or not they are meeting, exceeding or not meeting in demonstrating their knowledge and skills. Does the individual demonstrate that they have learnt from incidents and events and/or are aware of and have embedded wider learning?

It should be made clear to the individual that meeting the required level for their role is a great achievement. That the individual is meeting everything that is expected of them by the Trust and they are able to demonstrate this.

To be exceeding, that individual would need to consistently demonstrate they are working above and beyond their job role, and have shown the ability, aptitude, attitude and motivation to do so.


The individual’s previous objectives should have been added from a previous appraisal (if this is the first conversation this can be left blank).

You will evaluate whether someone is ‘meeting’, ‘exceeding’ or ‘not meeting’ their previous objectives. Again, meeting objectives is a great achievement and this should be fed back to the individual.

If an individual has not met their objectives, a development and support plan can be put in place. If an individual is rated as not meeting, they require your support and attention, and maybe some further development. In order to develop a plan to support this individual, please contact the HR department.

New objectives should be set that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time specific). One should be a personal development objective.

Training and CPD Review

This section allows you to fully address mandatory training requirements for your member of staff. It acts as a reminder to ensure these are up to date. Have you considered the CPD opportunities available to your member of staff through SWAST CPD or other providers?

Anyone performing a Operational Commander, Tactical Commander, Strategic Commander, NILO or Loggist role, will need to review the following additional requirements.

– Compliance with CPD requirements as per command policy and NARU interoperable capability standards
– Identification of training/CPD requirements and support required
– Review of command competence/performance
– Review of command CPD portfolio

This does not replace centralised reporting, so you must still send completion forms through the usual routes.

Within this section it is also important that every member of staff is checked for signs of dermatitis, sore cracked skin or discolouration, and any appropriate action taken.

You and the individual can write a brief summary of the conversation and how the individual is doing in their role in general.

Talent Recognition

If you believe the individual does consistently demonstrate above and beyond for their role the ability, drive, motivation, knowledge, skills, values and behaviours, you will be able to recommend that they are added to one of the Talent Pool.

You will send the Career Conversation booklet and any other evidence to the County Commander (CC) or Head of Department (HOD), who will make the final decision.

What happens after the conversation?

Once the conversation has taken place and you have received confirmation from the CC or HOD that the individual should be placed in the Talent Pool,  you should complete and submit the form below.


Career Conversation Completion form