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Contribute to Drawing Up Own Personal Development Plan

Personal Development Planning

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

To achieve this assessment criteria you will need to provide evidence that you have collaborated with your manager to create your own Personal Development Plan (PDP).

The most useful piece of evidence will be your PDP itself but you can also support this with minutes from your PDP meetings, mentions of your PDP in supervisions/appraisals and a testimonial from your line manager.

You should be able to show how you have:

  • thought about and reflected on your strengths, weaknesses and goals
  • discussed your learning needs with your line manager
  • agreed with your line manager on objectives for your personal development
  • worked towards your objectives
  • reviewed and updated your objectives, as necessary

Example Answer

Along with my manager I have been fully involved in creating my personal development plan. In a recent supervision, I suggested that I work towards my Diploma in Health & Social Care Level 2, which my manager agreed with and we set a timescale for doing it within 12 months, with me to report back on my progress in each supervision. I have requested practical first aid training on multiple occasions but, as yet, have not received any. In another supervision, my manager asked me to be the Key Worker for a particular client, which I agreed to.

1. Level 2 Diploma12 mths1. Enroll on course (done)
2. Complete nine core units (done)
3. Complete optional units (in progress)
2. First Aid Training6 mths1. Ask in supervision (done)
2. Ask again in supervision as not been actioned (done)
3. Await manager response. Bring up in next supervision if necessary.
3. Become Key Worker3 mths1. Learn key worker responsibilities (done)
2. Practice key worker responsibilities in work (in progress)


Describe the Process for Agreeing a Personal Development Plan and Identify Who Should be Involved

Personal Development Planning

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

A Personal Development Plan is an invaluable tool for the health and social care worker because learning new skills, updating existing skills and increasing understanding and efficiency are essential to the role.

What is a Personal Development Plan (PDP)?

In a nutshell, a PDP is a way to identify your learning needs and document what you need to do to achieve them. You will usually complete your PDP with your line manager and discuss what training or self-study would be useful to you and increase your effectiveness in your role.

Formalising and documenting your personal development has the benefit of turning ideas into something more concrete that is actionable and time-specific. You will usually plan your learning for the next 12 months so many organisations find it useful to tie-in creating a PDP with Annual Appraisals.

Other individuals that may have some input into your PDP are in-house Training Managers, other colleagues and even clients. Ultimately, however, the final plan will be decided by yourself and your manager.

When deciding your training needs, you should keep in mind that your learning should benefit the organisation you work for. For example, it is unlikely that a health and social care company would be willing to pay for it’s staff to go on a welding course!

Several factors will influence how you and your manager decide on your learning needs. These include:

  • Your current skillset (e.g. do you need any refreshers?)
  • Your weaknesses (e.g. maybe you need to brush up your Numeracy or IT skills)
  • Your career goals (e.g. leadership training for those wishing to advance)
  • Organisation needs (e.g. do a certain number of staff need to be trained as first-aiders or fire marshalls?)
  • Service/setting needs (e.g. do staff need training on certain equipment in the service such as a hoist?)
  • Client needs (e.g. does the client require staff with specialist medical training such as epilepsy or diabetes?)

How to Write a Personal Development Plan

A good place to start on your PDP is to look at your current strengths and weaknesses. What are you good at? What needs improvement? If you’ve recently reflected on some work you did, you may have identified a need for some specific training. Then take a look at your own long-term goals and see what sort of training and development is essential or desirable to achieve them. Also look at how this training would be beneficial to you organisation.

Then, discuss this with your line manager. You manager should also be able to help you with guidance and advice and may offer some organisational specific suggestions.

Next, write a list of your personal development goals for the year along with specific deadlines for achieving them, the actions that need to be taken and by whom. For example:

GoalBy when?Action neededBy whom?
1. Complete Level 3 DiplomaJan 2020Seek provider
2. First Aid TrainingMay 2019Arrange with Training ManagerMe

Over the following months, keep your PDP updated as and when you complete your goals and keep reviewing it to make sure you are on track.

In twelve months time, you and your manager should sit down again and discuss your PDP. Did you complete or you goals? If not, why not? Have your career aspirations changed over the year? What goals should be set for the following twelve months?

Personal Development Planning is a continuous process and will provide you with a roadmap to stay organised and keep on top of your learning.

Example Diploma Answer

My personal development plan is usually discussed between myself and my manager in my supervision. During this meeting, my manager will also pass on any ideas for training that senior management think I will benefit from. We will then agree on some objectives for my personal development and discuss what methods we can use to achieve these objectives, whether it be formal training (either internal or external), working towards a qualification or doing my own research. Finally, we will set a timescale for me to achieve these objectives and arrange a schedule to review my progress.

Identify Sources of Support for Planning and Reviewing Own Learning and Development

'Learning & Development' in the centre, surrounded by sources. Clockwise from top-left: Manager, Training, Feedback, Research, Mentor, Policies/Procedures

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

Professional development is a very important part of the job in the health and social care sector. It is important to keep up-to-date with changing legislation and best practices and there is always room to improve. It is prudent to have a good understanding of the sources of support available to help with learning and development.


The best source of support for my own learning and development is my manager. I have regular supervisions with her to discuss any training that I think I need or she thinks I could benefit from. I also have regular formal observations (where my manager observes me doing a support task), professional discussions (where myself and my manager talk about a work-related subject) and an annual appraisal. These are documented and and go into my personnel and training records and my manager will offer guidance about how I can improve my practice.

Training & research

My company provides regular training and regular refreshers for training we have already undertaken. We have a dedicated training and development manager whom I can approach to discuss my needs. I can also do my own research to learn about topics that I feel I should know more about from books or the Internet.

Feedback from others

I find talking with my colleagues and other professionals from the care sector can be great sources of information. Regular team meetings allow the staff team to discuss work and learn from one another. A good example of knowledge-sharing between other professionals are the Registered Managers Networks run by Skills for Care (they are free and you don’t have to be a registered manager to attend, although you should contact the Chair first).


For some people, a mentor can be a valuable source of learning. This is someone who is good at their job and give you pointers and advice about your work and how you could do it better. You can also learn from observing them and incorporating their good practice into your own. Similarly, if you are enrolled on a course or training program, your tutor/teacher may be able to give you valuable advice.

Policies & procedures

Company policies and procedures can also be great sources of information regarding my own personal development. By reading and understanding them, you are much better equipped to deal with situations in the correct manner and you can learn a lot about how your organisation and the health and social care sector as a whole work.


There is no better teacher than experience. By doing your job on a day-to-day basis, you will instinctively learn how to do it effectively and to the best of your ability. It is also useful to reflect on your work to aid your learning and development.


So, in summary, the main sources of support are:

  • Informal and formal conversation with manager
  • Supervisions
  • Appraisals
  • Observations
  • Professional discussions
  • Regular training
  • Own research
  • Talking with colleagues
  • Talking with professionals
  • Team meetings
  • Registered Managers Network
  • Mentors/tutors
  • Company policies and procedures

Next Question: Describe the process for agreeing a Personal Development Plan and who should be involved in a green arrow pointing to the right

Example answer

Support for planning and reviewing your development can be obtained from many sources. Asking for feedback from colleagues, clients, client’s families and other professionals can help identify areas of development to consider. Quarterly supervisions and annual appraisals can also be used and mutually agreeable targets between yourself and your manager can be set. Quarterly observations and professional discussions can also be useful.  Team meetings are also a great forum to discuss the service provision. Externally, you can get support online from a myriad of Internet sites as well as formal training on personal development.

NOTE: In my Diploma portfolio, I also included a copy of our Supervision Policy & Procedure for evidence.

Explain Why Reflecting on Work Activities is an Important Way to Develop Knowledge, Skills and Practice

Silhouette of a man reflecting on activities

Reflective practice or self-reflection is an important skill for any health and social care worker to have. In fact,

…reflective capacity is regarded by many as an essential characteristic for professional competence.

Mann, K., Gordon, J. & MacLeod, A. Adv in Health Sci Educ (2009) 14: 595. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10459-007-9090-2

It involves looking back on something that you have done and actively and impartially considering your work, what went well, what didn’t go so well, what you could have done better and what you have learned.

It has the benefits of developing emotional intelligence, empathy and compassion and can increase creative thinking skills.

Reflecting on work activities is also a fantastic way of developing knowledge because it gives you breathing space to stand back, assess a situation and identify what you have done well and how you would do things better should a similar situation arise in the future.

It can be thought of as a way of bridging the gap between theory and practice, using the following three-step process:

  1. Learn: This could be from books, the classroom, watching others, talking to others or other sources of learning/development.
  2. Do: Use what you have learned in your practice.
  3. Reflect: Think about your practice and critically examine the pros and cons.

The process of managing a situation and reflecting on it afterwards can give powerful insights about how to make improvement both personally and professionally and gain experience.


Describe the Duties & Responsibilities of Own Work Role

When thinking about how to describe the duties and responsibilities of your own role, it is important to think about the things that you do as part of your job function (duties) and the professional obligations that you have towards others (responsibilities). You can make a good start by looking at your current job description for your duties and by reading company policies and procedures for your responsibilities as an employee.


All jobs have duties that must be performed as part of a contract with an employer. It is important to be fully aware of what your duties are and that you can perform them competently. As well as the day-to-day operational tasks, there are other duties that you will have to do as an employee of the organisation you work for.

Duties towards clients

This includes all the general care you provide from day to day to your client(s), whether it be offering medication, taking them to activities, helping them to make friends, supporting them to cook meals, helping them to plan their future etc. etc. These duties should be well-documented in the individual’s care plan.

Duties towards employer

Your employer will also expect you to complete several other duties such as completing your timesheet, inducting/mentoring new staff, attending training and taking responsibility for own personal development, attending meetings, communicating with other professionals and colleagues etc. etc.


Although, quite obviously, you have a responsibility to the individuals that you support, you should also think about the responsibilities you have towards your co-workers, managers, company directors, other supporting professionals that you may be called to work with and society as a whole.

Responsibilities towards clients

Working in health and social care means that we are often responsible for helping our clients achieve the best possible outcomes. This will not always be possible – we cannot force clients to do anything or behave in a particular way – but we should encourage them. And we should always be accountable for our actions. Some responsibilities you may have towards your clients is ensuring they are offered their correct medication at the correct time or ensuring they wake up in time for work.

We also have a responsibility to respect the beliefs, attitudes and views of the individuals we support, even if we don’t agree, and don’t force our own opinions on them.

Responsibilities towards co-workers

For example, The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 says that all employees are responsible for the welfare of their colleagues, site visitors and general public and must work in a way that does not put anyone at risk. In addition, if an employee observes a hazard to health and safety, they must by law report it to a manager.

Responsibilities towards manager and organisation

You also have a duties an responsibilities towards you manager and the organisation that you work for as a whole. This will include things like turning up to work on time, behaving in an appropriate manner whilst at work and not bringing the organisation into disrepute.

Responsibilities towards other professionals

You may find that you have responsibilities to work in partnership with other professionals that are not part of your organisation. This could be working with a dietitian to support an individual to eat healthily or maybe working with a social worker to look after the best interests of a client.

Responsibilities towards the general public

We also all have a duty of care to safeguard others, whether we work with them or not, and a responsibility to report any suspicions of abuse to the relevant authorities. This could be your manager, an in-house safeguarding representative, social services safeguarding team or even the police depending on severity.

Example answer

My current role is to assist two young adults with learning disabilities and autism to live as independent a life as possible. This includes:

    • helping with meal planning and preparation and maintaining a healthy diet
    • helping to plan and organise activities
    • finance management
    • assisting with personal development
    • helping to maintain a good standard of health and hygiene
    • helping to maintain a clean and clutter-free household
    • assistance with medication

I also have responsibilities to the organisation work for, which includes:

    • minimising legal risks
    • following company policies and procedures
    • working in a cost-effective manner
    • seeking opportunities for personal and professional growth

As well as following internal policies, I am also obliged to ensure I work within legal guidelines including health and safety legislation and CQC compliance.

I work with a person-centred values approach, which means that I always treat each service user as an individual and support them in a way that is preferential to them using a mutually agreed care plan.

Describe how your own values, beliefs and personal experiences might affect your working practice.

Differing values, beliefs and personal experiences between people can affect the way they feel around one another and can lead to conflict, however it is important to respect the views of others  and try not to let it interfere with working practice. For example, I have a strong belief that fishing is a cruel sport and really do detest it, however I have still supported clients to go fishing on many occasions because otherwise I would be depriving them of the liberty to make their own choices. I have also worked with individuals that have done some very despicable things in their past but I try not to judge them and treat them with the same compassion that I give everybody. It is also important for me not to treat those that do share similar values and beliefs to me more favourably than those that don’t. By being non-judgmental and compassionate, I am able to communicate well with individuals and learn to understand other people’s point of view, which in turn helps reduce conflict and increase compromise.

Explain how the people identified above can help you appreciate your strengths and areas for development.

The individuals above can help me to appreciate my strengths and weaknesses because they may be more experienced than me or have had more training in a particular area. They may also provide ideas and insights that I do not notice myself or explain something from their point of view that I may not have even considered without their input.

Identify people who can help you develop your knowledge, understanding and practice.

As mentioned previously, my manager can help develop my knowledge, understanding and practice by giving me feedback in my supervisions, appraisals, observations and professional discussions. Other members of my team are also a good source of information and the individuals I support and their families can also offer me insights into what I need to improve. Other professionals can also offer advice about the way I work.

Identify Sources of Support for Planning and Reviewing Your Development.

Support for planning and reviewing your development can be obtained from many sources. Asking for feedback from colleagues, clients, client’s families and other professionals can help identify areas of development to consider. Quarterly supervisions and annual appraisals can also be used and mutually agreeable targets between yourself and your manager can be set. Quarterly observations and professional discussions can also be useful.  Team meetings are also a great forum to discuss the service provision. Externally, you can get support online from a myriad of Internet sites as well as formal training on personal development.

Explain how a PDP can help a social care worker identify improvements in their knowledge, understanding and practice.

A Personal Development Plan (PDP) is a record of a social care worker’s professional achievements over time. By keeping an up-to-date PDP, a social care worker can see how their knowledge, understanding and practice has progressed as well as the current objectives and goals. Also, writing a PDP forces a social care worker to think about any gaps in their knowledge or areas where they would like to perform better and design a roadmap to get to their objectives.  In addition, it provides evidence of continuous improvement to others.

Personal Development Plan Example

Design a template for a personal development plan (PDP) that you could use to improve your learning, development and professional practice. For each heading in the template, provide a brief summary describing what should be included.

Goal (the outcome to be achieved)Milestones (for longer goals, mini-objectives along the way)Target date (the goal/milestone should be complete by this date)Other info (any other info e.g. support of others, extra tasks that need to be complete, equipment required to complete goal etc.)
Complete Diploma Level 3Unit 302

Unit 303

Unit 304

Unit 305

Unit 306

Unit 307

Unit 311

Unit 316

Unit 374










Also need to complete observations and Functional Skills
Complete in-house ‘Working with Forensic Clients’ workshop31/01/16Need to book myself on workshop before Xmas
Research Anger Management therapies for people with learning disabilities28/02/16Use library and internet to look at studies and clinical trials regarding helping people with learning disabilities to control their anger. Write up results and implement.

Mentor Meeting Feedback Notes

You arrange a mentor meeting to feed back to the social care worker. You have comments to make which include both praise and constructive criticism.

Write notes to prepare for your meeting. In your notes, explain:

  1. Why is it important for a social care worker to seek feedback on performance?
  2. The different ways that people may react to receiving constructive feedback.
  3. Why it is important for a social care worker to use feedback to improve their practice.

Notes in preparation for mentor meeting with John to ensure all major points are covered.

24/11/16 11:00am at Office

Importance of seeking feedback

Explain to John that seeking feedback is a very important part of the role of a Social Care worker because it allows us to improve the service we provide to the clients and and become better at our jobs.

We can get feedback from our peers, managers, subordinates, our clients, our client’s family/friends and other professionals. Similarly, we should give feedback to others in an effort to help them improve. We should also be proactive and ask others for feedback about our work.

As well as helping us with our professional development, feedback can also make us feel appreciated and encourage us to continue doing what we do well or make changes where necessary.

Reactions to receiving feedback

Ideally, John will thank me for the feedback, ask questions, take it on board and continue to improve his work. Hopefully, he will also feel motivated and encouraged by the positives I raise.

However, I should be prepared that he may be offended by the constructive criticism and become defensive, upset or angry. This could result in him trying to avoid or change the subject or blaming other factors for the problems. He could also possibly walk out of our meeting or reluctantly agree to everything I say. Another reaction would be that he becomes anxious and worry about his work.

I must ensure that I keep calm myself and stick to the facts, offer solutions and remind John about the reasons for feedback and its importance. If necessary, I may also need to reassure him.

Using feedback

It is important that social care workers use all the feedback that they receive to continually improve their practice. Feedback can help identify areas where you work well as well as areas where you may need more experience or additional training. Without feedback, a social care worker would be oblivious to any areas of their practice that they could do better or are not performing up to the required standards. By using feedback, not only do you improve your own practice but also the practice of whole service. It also demonstrates that you are willing to listen to others and develop new insights and ways of thinking.