Personal Development Planning Policy

Senate has approved a Personal Development Planning (PDP) Policy for implementation by the end of the 2007/08 academic session and an associated Action Plan for 2007-08. Approaches to PDP have been trialled and an action plan for 2008-09 will be developed taking account of what has been learnt from these trials. All Schools will be required to provide their students with structured and supported PDP opportunities but students’ participation will be voluntary unless the programme or course they follow includes a PDP requirement for accreditation.

Policy and Guidelines

The University of Glasgow adopts the following definition of personal development planning as:

a structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement and to plan for their personal, educational and career development.

Personal development planning is supported and encouraged for the benefit of students whose success as graduates in all walks of life is of strategic important to the University. PDP has been demonstrated to cultivate motivation, confidence, self-awareness and a capacity for independent and critical thinking.

The PDP Policy is an integral part of the University’s Employability Strategy and it:

  • articulates what PDP is and why it is important but not how PDP is structured in degree programmes.
  • offers flexibility of approach within an institutional framework, rather than a 'one-size-fits-all' model, in recognition of the different learning styles, support structures and resources available to, and within, Faculties.

The implementation plan specifies that Colleges have responsibility for ensuring that their students know how PDP works in their College and what opportunities are available at all levels.

The following are guiding principles for the implementation of PDP:

  1. All students should be given opportunities to undertake a variety of PDP activities. Students themselves will be responsible for their engagement with PDP as part of their learning experience.
  2. It will be compulsory for faculties to offer structured and supported PDP to students, but students’ participation will be voluntary unless the programme or course they follow includes a PDP requirement for accreditation.
  3. Faculties, University services and the SRC will provide dedicated support to ensure that students receive appropriate feedback on their engagement with PDP.
  4. Students should be made aware of opportunities and support available at faculty-level inductions in their first year and, thereafter, throughout their studies, up to and including post-graduate level.
  5. All students will be given the opportunity to record their PDP on-line.
  6. Students will be responsible for their own PDP records and will determine who is permitted access to them.
  7. Staff will receive support in identifying, implementing and evaluating appropriate PDP opportunities for their students.

As students will need to be supported through the process - Colleges have been asked to put in place dedicated support to implement PDP. This will include having a named contact person from each College to be a first point of contact for students (an employability and PDP 'champion')

A detailed comparison of three software tools for the support of PDP is being undertaken by the Learning & Teaching Centre and the Careers Service, and a decision in favour of one of these for purchase by the University is expected before the end of April 2008.

Update: On 2 April 2008, a subgroup of the Learning & Teaching Committee agreed that Mahara would be the University's supported e-PDP tool.


Personal Development Planning (PDP) Policy 2007-2010 [PDF]
PDP Action Plan 2007-08 [PDF]

For the Attention of

All students and staff.

Approval and Amendments

Date effective: Immediate. By end March 2008 College websites should outline approach to PDP with links to Employability & PDP website.
Received by: EdPSC, 19 December 2007
Noted by: Senate, 7 February 2008