PADSHE Project - University of Nottingham

About Personal and Academic Records

The PADSHE concept centres upon academic processes and the documentation generated by them, known as Personal and Academic Records (PARs) . This introduction defines PARs, presents the rationale behind them and describes their benefits for staff and students.

What are Personal and Academic Records ?

Personal and Academic Records (PARs) are dual record systems, in paper or electronic form, used and kept by both staff and students working together. They record the academic and personal development of individual students and the processes by which a department provides them with support.

They are designed to fulfil three important functions at the same time:

  1. to support student progress and help maximise academic achievement and skills/career development
  2. to streamline student-related admin for academics, by integrating disparate activities into a system which makes the most of scarce tutorial time
  3. to encourage students to reflect upon and take increasing responsibility for the management of their own learning and personal development.

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The key principle of customisation

The PAR concept is intended to be customised. Customisation may take place at any level, as appropriate: institution, faculty, school, department, individual student. At the University of Nottingham, generally each school/department designs its own PAR, within guidelines, by harnessing existing good practice and customising sample PARs to meet any special requirements. There is not one single institutional PAR for everyone to use, since disciplines vary and it is considered essential that the PAR concept is developed in ways which suit each set of staff and students and their specific situation. Consultation with students and staff, inviting their thoughtful, constructive input, is part of the recommended customisation process. Other services within the University which are involved in supporting students are making important contributions to the ongoing development of individual PARs -- for example, the Careers Advisory Service and the Students' Union, including Community Action.

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PARs: The rationale

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Benefits for staff and students

Academic departments gain:

Students gain:


See the Guidelines for academic departments for more detail on the framework for developing PARs.

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