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Higher Education

Higher Education

Higher Education

This section seeks to document ways in which Higher Education Institutions are developing and using such processes, and particularly the Personal Development Planning and related elements.

In 1997 the Dearing Review of Higher Education recommended...

"...that institutions of higher education, over the medium term, develop a Progress File. The file should consist of two elements:

  • a transcript recording student achievement which should follow a common format devised by institutions collectively through their representative bodies;
  • a means by which students can monitor, build and reflect upon the personal development." This latter is referred to as Personal Development Planning.


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The current 2009 QAA Guidelines to support the implementation of the HE Progress File can be found by clicking

Here Personal Development Planning is more fully defined as: 'a structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and / or achievement and to plan for their personal, educational, and career development.'

These also note that engagement with such processes will be supported by, and lead to the further development of personal records of learning and achievements, progress reviews and plans. In turn, these might be used to clarify personal goals and can provide a resource from which material is selected to produce personal statements (e.g. CVs etc) for employers, admissions tutors and others;

The development of such practice is further recognised within the QAA Code of Practice for Research Students and within the e-learning strategy produced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (2005) which emphasised the encouragement of ‘e-based systems of describing learning achievement and personal development planning (PDP)’ within its Joint Implementation Plan.

Help in getting started with implementing Personal Development Planning can be found by clicking here. Examples of current practice can be found here.

For further information, please contact Rob Ward, CRA Director.

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