What is Personal Development Planning?

'We do not learn from experience.. we learn from reflecting on experience.' - John Dewey

PDP is essentially a process to help you think critically about where you are now and where you want to be, and to identify the necessary steps to achieve those aims. It consists of:

  • recording work and experiences
  • reflecting on them by assessing how you performed and what you gained
  • reviewing your individual skills and abilities and measuring them against learning outcomes
  • planning for the future, setting short and long term goals to help you achieve your objectives

PDP is not meant to be a burden on you, but is rather intended as a means of stimulating self evaluation and nurturing learning habits and skills that will be useful to you throughout your working life, particularly if you do on to pursue a professional qualification within the Engineering discipline.

Questions like "When did you last work in a team and what role did you play in its success?" or " Describe a recent event in which you were involved and in which you took the initiative" are typical of job application forms or at interviews, and so keeping a record as you go along will prove invaluable when you are asked to provide evidence for the skills that employers or institutions are looking for.

We asked our Engineering Alumni what they thought about PDP.   You can see for yourself that those who responded on the whole think that PDP is worthwhile and the sooner you start the better!