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Personal development Planning Higher Education

Personal Development Planning (PDP)

What is PDP?

Personal development planning or PDP is a structured framework you can use to:

  • become aware of skills you have
  • identify and develop skills you need
  • work out what you want to achieve and how to achieve it
  • focus on potential study, career and personal development options and goals
  • develop a source of information
  • for CVs, job applications and interviews
  • to support appraisals at work
  • to demonstrate your readiness for promotion or for development opportunities.
  • You may come across a PDP process as part one of your level one modules.

    What's it all about? This video introduces you to the Personal Development Planning process and highlights how it can be used to develop different aspects of your life. 2 min 40 sec

    What is Personal Development Planning?

    Personal development planning is a process, which can help you to achieve your goals in three key areas.

  • Your Career and employability
  • your Study and
  • your Personal development.
  • The time and effort you invest in planning around these areas will enable you to continue developing effectively throughout your life.

    So, what does Personal Development Planning involve? There are five stages.

    1. Identify – First identify your strengths, the skills you wish to develop and then set yourself realistic goals for each area you wish to focus on: careers and employability, study, or personal development. Are there smaller short-term goals that will lead to your larger goals?
    2. Plan – Plan what resources you need and when you intend to work on the goals that you’ve set. Think about how much time you have available each week. Be realistic to ensure your plans are achievable.
    3. Action – Carry out the tasks you’ve set yourself for each goal, and be aware of any new skills that you’re picking up along the way.
    4. Record – Record how the process is going: the progress you’ve made and the skills you’re gaining. Where might you need to develop further? Recording your insights will help to inform your CVs, job applications and developmental reviews. It may also reveal other aspects involved in achieving your goals.
    5. Review – Take a step back, collate everything you’ve recorded and review what you‘ve learnt. You should be more aware of your skills and also be able to identify the next area or skill for development.

    Remember that this process is flexible. You may identify new areas for development at any time, or realise that you’ve gained a new skill through your work or day-to-day activities. It's important to record what you’ve achieved and use each stage of the process to help you develop further.

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    How are joint programs developed in higher education?

    Where there is a need, two institutions can draw from each ones strengths and develop an articulation agreement. For example, in New Jersey, there was a need for dental assistants, dental hygienists, medical laboratory technicians, etc. These programs where too expensive for community colleges to run. The University of Medicine and Dentistry, not authorized to award associate degrees, but had the facilities, formed an articulation with a number of community colleges and created joint programs to satisfy the states need for these occupations. The students took their general education cou…

    Related facts

    • Personal development planning is the process of creating an action plan based on awareness, values, reflection, goal-setting and planning for personal development within the context of a career, education, relationship or for self-improvement.
      The PDP (personal...

    • Stella Cottrell is the Director for Lifelong Learning at the University of Leeds, UK. Prior to her current position, she was Director for Lifelong Learning at the University of Luton and before that worked for ten years in educational development at the University...

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