Personal development planning, often known as PDP for short, is a structured process in which an individual reflects, and then systematically records their skills, learning outcomes and achievements.  By undertaking this process, it will help you to understand which areas need more work and development.

PDP is often addressed through the personal tutoring system, although there are a range of other support mechanisms and skills sessions that will help you to address and understand your personal development plan.  Web-based resources such as Mahara, provide an ideal opportunity for you to record your personal information and achievements in one place, allowing for reflection at any point, and also the ability to share selected information with others.


expand   Why is PDP so important?

Spending time to develop and focus on your PDP will help you in the long-term to prepare for graduate recruitment and employment. Having a good degree is no longer enough to secure a graduate-level job!  You need to be able to stand out from the crowd, and most importantly, be able to demonstrate and articulate to employers the skills and experiences you have.  Therefore whilst you are at University, use your time wisely to improve your employability skills and gain the experience you will need to put together strong applications  and prepare yourself for that all important; interview.

expand  How does PDP work?

By undertaking PDP you will start to:

  • Think about where you are now, where your interests lie, what your strengths and weaknesses are and the improvements you would like to make.
  • Plan where you want to go, what skills and knowledge you need to get there and how you will acquire them via learning opportunities open to you.
  • Take action, set personal targets, record the progress you have made and identify when you will have achieved your goal.
  • Reflect on your learning and achievements and areas for further personal, academic and career development.

expand  Tips for starting your personal development plan

Whilst you are at the University of Bolton, take the opportunity to:

  • Familiarise yourself with the Careers Service and the resources that are on offer to help you with your PDP.  Arrange to see a Careers Adviser for help with career planning, preparing CVs, job applications etc.
  • Ensure you attend your personal tutor sessions. Us the time and expertise of your tutor to assess the skills you have gained from your degree course.
  • Set up a personal record or e-portfolio to evidence your skills, acheivements, work experience, volunteering activities etc. or maybe keep a diary or blog.
  • Research and attend skills sessions that may be delivered by academic staff or by the Careers Service.

expand  Resources

There are a wide range of resources available to help you with your PDP.  Please speak to a Careers Adviser to help you choose the best resources for you.

  • Check out the news and events pages of the Careers Service website for all of the skills workshops available to support you with your PDP.
  • Visit our career planning pages of the Careers Service website.
  • Visit  Prospects Planner : this system offers you a systematic way of defining your own interests, skills and motivations matching these to relevant occupations.
  • Visit our online career tools section for more interactive resources.