Personal Development Planning
What is Personal Development Planning?
A research degree is about more than academic research. During your programme you will develop and acquire skills and knowledge that complement your academic work. These skills are the key to a strong CV and are what employers are looking for in potential employees.
The University supports postgraduates in developing their skills by ensuring that you are able to self-assess your own development requirements, that there are suitable training and development opportunities, and that you are encouraged to recognise your personal achievement. The process used to facilitate this is called Personal Development Planning (PDP).
What's in it for you?
Personal Development Planning aims to improve your capacity to understand what and how you are learning, and to review, plan and take responsibility for your own learning. It relates to your development as a whole person and helps you to:
- become a more effective, independent and confident self-directed learner
- understand how you are learning and relate that learning to a wider context
- improve your general skills for study and career management
- articulate personal goals and evaluate progress towards your achievements
- consider the value of learning throughout life.
A continuous process
Personal Development Planning is an active and continuous process of self-appraisal, review and planning of personal and professional development.
How to assess your training and development needs
In addition to holding specialised knowledge a person with a PhD should be able to demonstrate a diverse range skills and competencies that are appropriate for a wide range of careers. These include an ability to demonstrate personal effectiveness, communication, networking, teamworking and career management skills.
However to plan your training and development activities, you need to first assess your current skills and the competency levels of any given skill. This is process is known as a skills audit and can be completed using the Vitae RDF Personl Development Planner - a fully downloadable and portable self reflection tool to support the continuing professional development of researchers. The tool enables you to identify the areas in the framework you want to develop further, create an action plan and record evidence of your progress. Once you have assessed your skills we recommend that you discuss your training and development needs with your Supervisor.
Recommendations on the amount of training
It is expected that you will spend a total of at least two weeks each year in formal activities that develop your personal and professional skills. It is anticipated that this time will be spent participating in induction programmes, undertaking graduate development training workshops and seminars at either discipline, School or Faculty level. Your research discipline may also encourage you to attend and give seminars and participate in reading groups or other such activities. Two weeks is anticipated to be the minimum time required each year, however given your prior level of competency, it may be desirable or even advantageous to undertake more training.