Career Development Conversations

26 June 2024

Do you have a standard performance review process? Is it fit for purpose? The Champions of Change Architecture Group believes that regular development-focused conversations are a much better way to support individual professional growth. The group has developed the Career Development Conversations toolkit to encourage practices of all sizes to implement a process of regular meaningful conversations throughout the year.

Tara Keast explains the value of regular career development check ins.

Regular check ins

Development-focused conversations play a crucial role in fostering gender equity within the workplace. These discussions are instrumental in professional development and promoting accountability.

Career Development Conversations: A transparent approach to pathways and promotion examines how regular development-focused conversations between management and individuals can enrich a team member’s purpose, ownership, connection and career pathway.  It provides practices with a framework including implementation guidance and case studies.

The process emphasises forward-looking, positive collaboration – bringing together practice leaders and team members for regular check-ins throughout the year. These discussions aim to foster professional development and accountability through a set of meaningful, constructive conversations and tangible actions.

What is in the toolkit?

The toolkit provides a step by step process to successfully introduce career development conversations into practice. The actual discussions can be as simple as a walk around the block or a more formal discussion. The idea is that they are regular.

The document explains the benefits of Personal Development Plans (PDPs) and includes case studies from DKO Architecture, COX Architecture, Bates Smart and Grimshaw. These case studies discuss the introduction of PDPs and provide a status update on the pilot phase, participant feedback, insights, challenges and key takeaways. Resources include an example of a simple PDP and an example of a competencies-based PDP.

This toolkit complements Role Descriptions Tool and Competency Map.


Download Career Development Conversations

Career Development Conversations was developed by the Champions of Change Architecture Group, led by Tara Keast and Richard Does (DesignInc), Margot McGinness (Cox), David Randerson and Gemma MacDonald (DKO), Thihoa Gill (Grimshaw) and Linda Mason (Bates Smart).