How do I produce a Personal Development Plan (PDP) Objectives by amberp

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									How do I produce a Personal Development Plan (PDP)?
A PDP is a document that you fill in, which outlines what development
objectives you have for the next year and what development activities you
plan to help you achieve those objectives. The PDP will help you to take a
broader and more structured approach to your development and should
encourage an atmosphere (or culture) where people take responsibility for
their learning.

To be effective, a PDP should be:

          Realistic -      within the capabilities and resources of you and
                           Warwickshire County Council
          Relevant -       to you and Warwickshire County Council
          Agreed -         between you and your manager
          Monitored -      to ensure development is occurring
          Reviewed -       as development is an ongoing process

And should (at least):

          Outline the agreed development need
          Identify the actions to meet the need
          Identify timescales for completion
          Indicate responsibility for implementation
          Contain suggested review dates


The objective of a PDP should be SMART:

     Specific              -        clearly stating what is to be achieved
     Measurable            -        how will you know you have been
     Action-orientated     -        specifying what needs to be done
     Realistic             -        is it within your control and capability
     Timely                -        achievable within a credible
                                    timescale (ideally with some short term
                                    actions to boost motivation)

In other words, objectives should be stretching but achievable. It should be
clear when the objective has been achieved. Large objectives can be broken
into steps or sub-objectives that are clear and actionable with realistic dates
for completion.

Objectives do not always have to be directly related to specific work tasks.
For example, a PDP goal might be to improve language skills.
How do I prioritise my objectives?
Objectives should be prioritised according to organisation / department need.

You need to be careful not to have too many objectives on your PDP. It’s
better to have a few that you can achieve than a long list that you can’t. You
may wish to consider: -

               What new skills do you need in your job and what existing
               skills must you improve
               Think about your current objectives related to your section /
               division / service plan. Is there anything in these where
               improving your knowledge and skills will enable you to achieve
               your aims or improve results?
               For the longer-term strategic objectives of your role, is there an
               obvious progression of stages?
               What timeframe do you see for your Career Development
               objectives? Is there again an obvious progression of stages
               towards your goal?
               Are there skills to learn that will increase your potential to
               expand towards your career goals?
               Will you be getting involved in new projects or activities and
               will these need new or improved skills?
               Were there any areas of work that previously gave you
               difficulties that are likely to recur?
               Have you canvassed your colleagues / customers / clients
               about thoughts they might have about your development

Development action priorities are likely to differ between “development to
meet the needs of the current role” and, “development to realise the potential
for future roles”. This should be borne in mind when realising specific
development needs, actions and timescales.

To help you identify what to put on your PDP, work through the questions in
the Personal Development Review. This will provoke thought and give you
further clarity about next steps.

Having decided on between 2 and 4 learning objectives that you achieve this
year, the next point to remember is that your PDP should be a continuous part
of your working life. The challenges it sets you will continue to be met, refined
or even redirected. New targets will be constantly added as you meet the
objectives you have set yourself and old ones will be “ticked off” as you reach
the standards you have set yourself.
How do I transfer my identified development needs into my

Having worked out your development priorities, you need to put them into a
planned format that helps you tackle each one successfully. The actual PDP
documentation can help you do this. Simply following the format of each
section and answering the questions that it asks you will basically give you the
plan that you follow for each objectives and the means to measure success.
There are a number of formats available – see tables 1 and 2 for examples.

How do I select Development Activities?
Once you have decided in which area you want to develop you can use
criteria to help you decide the best development activity for you.

Some of these are listed below. You may be able to think of other criteria you
would wish to use. If so, add yours to the list.

Prior knowledge What do you already need to know, or be able to do to
                benefit from the activities?

Career              Can the activity be readily integrated into your work
relevance           schedule, or does it demand disruptions to the schedule?
                    How appropriate is the activity to your current position,
                    aspirations and potential?

Support             Does the activity need substantial support from managers
Required            or colleagues, or can you initiate and manage the activity

Pace                 Do you decide on the pace and speed of learning, or is
                    this dictated by the activity itself?

Transfer            How easily is the learning transferred to the work

Group               Does the learning take place in a group setting, with
                    mutual support and feedback, or is it a solo activity?

Feedback            Does the activity itself provide unambiguous feedback to
                    you on progress, or must this be obtained from other
                    sources, e.g. by applying it on the job, or from managers'
                    or colleagues' observations?

Costs               What is the actual cost of the training, e.g. a book on
                    'delegating' may cost £15; a course on the same subject
                    may cost £500?
Payoff            Are the costs incurred justifiable in relation to the benefits

Timescale         Over what length of time does the activity take place to
                  achieve competence, e.g. a day-release course of one
                  day per week for 18 months?

Time consumed     How much time is actually spent on the activity, e.g. day-
                  release course might take 70 days?

On-the-job        Can the activity be carried out as part of your normal work
                  schedule or does it require time away from normal duties?

Planning and      How much planning and organising is required from you,
organising        trainers or managers to set up and run the activity?

Company focus     Is the activity relevant to Warwickshire County Council
                  and your area?

Preferred         Is the activity best suited to your learning style? See
learning          Section 3 “What are Learning Styles”

You may wish therefore to also refer to Section 5 “Other Learning Methods
and Development Services”. Activities could then include:

      Books, video, audio (see Section 7 for Corporate Resource Centre)
      Courses (see Section 4 - Menu of Solutions for full details of courses
      available in WCC)
      Work based development activities – many PDP objectives can be
      achieved through learning in the workplace e.g. projects
      One to one coaching
      Having a Mentor
      Action Learning Sets
      Development Activities from Management Competencies Development

What help and support might I need?
To avoid the obvious dangers of adopting a self-reliant approach, it is
important to ensure support is obtained. You must continually ask the
questions “What help do I need to ensure I am making progress?”
What about Contingency Plans?

Unforeseen obstacles can bring a plan to a complete stop. However, with
some forethought, may obstacles can be anticipated and contingency plans
can be put into place to reach the objective by a different route.

It is also important to ensure your PDP is realistic, for example the timescales
you have set to achieve your objectives.

How do I measure my success?
Objectives need clear indications of success if they are to retain their
motivating power. These can be expressed in terms of both improved job
performance and direct benefits to the person e.g. promotion, more leisure

Some of the best rewards might be less tangible ones, e.g. having less stress
on the job, feeling a sense of achievement, or receiving recognition for a job
well done.

Ask yourself the questions “What evidence do I need to convince me that I am
making progress against my objectives? This will help you identify the signs
of improvement, which indicate progress.

Also ask yourself “What factors will confirm my improvements in the eyes of
my manager? In other words, clearly agree the practical evidence that will
provide tangible evidence of improvement.

What review mechanisms and dates should I set?

It is important to set either target dates for the achievement of goals or review
dates to monitor progress. These targets should be agreed with your
manager, as your successful development will be heavily dependent on these
reviews. Unless clear deadlines can be set, it may be better to set a review
date, which allows sufficient time for development to occur.

Where regular one-to-one meetings are the norm, the PDP can be scheduled
as an item for discussion. It may be useful to prepare a short progress report,
summarising what has been achieved and what remains to be done. This
could also to reflect on your learning and demonstrate to your manager what
you have achieved.
On average, the PDP should be reviewed quarterly, though more frequent
reviews might be needed in the early stages to ensure it gets off the ground.

Key points

      Agree plans will all involved
      Record plans
      Monitor progress
      Seek support, feedback and encouragement
      Make your development a priority
      Be prepared to redraw plans
      Anticipate and be prepared for problems
      Make it enjoyable
      Keep your development plan stretching and achievable – not too big

How do I successfully manage my PDP?
Having put your PDP together, there are a few suggestions you can follow to
help you manage it effectively: -

      Sharing your plan with a colleague can give them an opportunity to
      help you
      If you do get other people involved it’s a good idea to keep them
      regularly updated on your progress
      Different people can help you in different ways. A good listener is ideal
      to talk to about your plans and your progress. Someone you know to
      have a lot of knowledge and experience makes a good technical
      sounding board. Someone whose feedback you value as specific and
      non-judgemental can help you objectively assess your progress
      Watch out for significant differences between your planned and actual
      progress. Check the reasons and decide if you need to take action
      You may need to be methodical when monitoring your progress. It
      may be a good idea to schedule time for this in your diary
      Whenever the unexpected occurs, take time to look at the development
      plans you have made. There may be changes to make, activities to
      cancel or reschedule or new opportunities to take that can help you get
      nearer to your goals
      Remember to take time to think and review
      Always ask for feedback at every opportunity and use it to review the
      progress of your plan
      Learn from the things that go wrong, analyse them to do better next
      time and whatever happens don’t be put off
      Make a point of enjoying the success you achieve. However at the
      same time make a point of analysing your success and building on it

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