College of Science & Engineering

Personal Development Plan

After conducting a review of the required experience, knowledge, skills for the reviewee's role/career and starting to agree learning objectives the next step is to put a Personal Development Plan(PDP) in place.

Completing a personal development plan

PDP Template Form

The reviewee's PDP should outline the development requirements and create a plan for minimising the identified learning gap(s) in the context of current and potentially future roles.

Everyone’s needs are different so there is no right or wrong way of planning staff development.

Be clear about what needs to change and how the chosen learning activity will help to achieve this change. The annual Performance and Development Review (P&DR) is an ideal opportunity for this discussion with the reviewee's line manager/reviewer.

Once learning and development needs are identified the next step is to set clear priorities and deadlines to make it more likely that you will achieve this change.

Key questions to answer:

  • What do I want/need to learn?
  • What will I do to achieve this?
  • What resources and/or support do I need?
  • How will I know I’ve succeeded?
  • How will this be reviewed?
  • By when will/must the change be accomplished?

Based on the answers to these questions it is clear why learning and development needs can also be written as objectives and added to the P&DR documentation as an objective for the forthcoming year.

More information on SMART objectives

After having prioritised the development need and outlining this as an objective, the next step is to consider the most appropriate learning and development activity for resolving the learning need.

Identifying appropriate development activities

In our experience, some professional bodies offer their own very useful packages and formats (paper and online) that you may wish to use. In some instances, it may be required that you use their own documentation, i.e. if you are seeking chartered status with them and you have to illustrate your commitment to Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

In such cases CPD plans can be embedded in the personal development plan as appropriate and relevant.