When you start the Professional Development Award you will be asked to complete a Self Audit and Personal Development Plan. This is where you analyse your current skills, experience and abilities and put them in the context of your placement role and then set goals for the course of the placement.
The Self Audit helps you to concentrate on what skills you posses and what skills the job requires whilst clarifying what it is exactly you will be doing whilst on the placement and ensuring that you are more aware of the business and its activities.
Personal Development Plan
Your Self Audit will now form the basis for your Personal Development Plan. In your plan you will need to:
- Identify between 3 and 5 personal goals/objectives for your placement.
- Try not to choose knowledge-based goals instead try choosing goals that are related to your personal attributes, for example ‘I would like to improve my initiative’. You want to be able to take away from your placement what you learn and apply it to other scenarios, make your new skills transferable.
- Set realistic targets for these goals taking into consideration the type of work that you do; what you need to achieve; the standards that you need to work to; the timescales involved; problems that may occur, etc. Try and remember to set SMART goals, that is to say ensure they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.
- When planning your strategy for achieving each of your goals, take into consideration your preferred learning style.
- Consider what might help and what might hinder you in achieving your goals, these can be both personal restraints and also things that you have no influence over.
- In order to know whether or not you have achieved your goals you must be able to measure your development and success. How will you assess your progress?
Personal Goals and Expectations for Placement
When thinking about your personal goals and expectations for your placement you should think about what:
- You would like to learn (knowledge)
- New skills you would like to acquire (skills)
- How you would like to develop as a person (personal qualities)
It is important to spend time considering your goals as they must be skills and qualities that you want to develop that can assist you in your future development.