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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

Personal development planning

Personal development planning (PDP) is a structured and supported process undertaken by a learner to reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement and to plan for their personal, educational and career development. It is an inclusive process, open to all learners, in all HE provision settings, and at all levels. ​QAA Scotland works with the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and Centre for Recording Achievement (CRA) to help higher education institutions in Scotland to implement  PDP.​

PDP Toolkit


The PDP Toolkit is designed to help all staff at all levels within institutions to consider, reflect and develop their strategies and policies for the implementation and enhancement of PDP. It achieves this by using a series of self-assessment questions (SAQs) which encourage reflection on the important issues in implementation and development.

The Toolkit was developed for QAA Scotland by Kirsty Miller, Jonathan Weyers, Stuart Cross, Lorraine Walsh and Eric Monaghan of the PDP Consultancy Team at the University of Dundee. In 2011, the Toolkit was extended to include reference to PDP within placement learning and work-based learning.

The Toolkit builds on previous work on the Effective Learning Framework and the Individualised Support for Learners through ePortfolios (ISLE).