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Personal development planning

As its name suggests personal development planning is “personal” to the user and its aim is to develop the knowledge, understanding, skills and abilities of participants. It has also been described as a “form of loyalty to one’s own skills and potential”. Although some development will happen as a natural consequence of work, without planning it tends to be reactive and passive rather than proactive. However, a systematic approach to development can be achieved through personal development planning (PDP), which can be self-initiated or directed by managers through appraisal sessions.

PDP is not an end itself; it is a cyclical process. This means that you can start your development at any point in the cycle.

PDP can be based on issues that arise from appraisal sessions with a manager, suggestions arising from mentoring or coaching sessions, your own ideas or problems that you have encountered in your work which suggest development in a particular area is needed. PDP may also be prompted by internal or external changes. For example pharmacists working as part of a large organisation such as a hospital or within a supermarket may experience change when restructuring occurs. On a smaller scale, community pharmacies may go through change as a result of new regulations, systems and procedures or changes in staff.

PDP also allows you to evaluate your performance, to identify training or development needs, and to think about future plans. In essence, PDP is about lifelong or continuous learning in the workplace. It can also be used to highlight future goals for development. For example, one of your goals could be to improve your communication skills or customer service skills. A useful starting point for PDP is your job description. This should identify the skills that are required to perform your job competently. These skills should be prioritised. It might also be helpful to categorise the types of skills needed to perform a job competently. For example, physical skills involve practical, hands-on work, behavioural skills involve interpersonal, management or leadership skills and knowledge-based skills involve the processing, analysis and application of information.

Key benefits of PDP include the following:

  • It identifies routes for personal progression
  • It revitalises technical skills
  • It identifies existing skills that need updating or new skills that need to be acquired
  • It builds on and reinforces transferable skills
  • It promotes continuous learning
  • It helps you to reflect on achievements which leads to a sense of achievement and growth in confidence
  • It helps you to make the most of opportunities at work
  • It increases levels of motivation and job satisfaction
  • It provides individuals with mechanism for reflecting and monitoring own performance

Download the attached PDF to read the full article.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10978354

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