Unit 13 Personal and Professional Development

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Introduction


Aim

This unit aims to help the learner become an effective and confident selfdirected employee. This helps the learner become confident in managing own personal and professional skills to achieve personal and career goals.

Unit abstract

This unit is designed to enable learners to assess and develop a range of professional and personal skills in order to promote future personal and career development. It also aims to develop learners’ ability to organise, manage and practise a range of approaches to improve their performance as self-directed learners in preparation for work or further career development. The unit emphasises the needs of the individual but within the context of how the development of self-management corresponds with effective team management in meeting objectives. Learners will be able to improve their own learning, be involved in teamwork and be more capable of problem solving through the use of case studies, role play and real-life activities.

Learning outcomes


1 Understand how self-managed learning can enhance lifelong development

Self-managed learning: self-initiation of learning processes; clear goal setting, e.g. aims and requirements, personal orientation achievement goals, dates for achievement, self-reflection
Learning styles: personal preferences; activist; pragmatist; theorist; reflector, e.g. reflexive modernisation theory; Kolb’s learning cycle
Approaches: learning through research; learning from others, e.g. mentoring/coaching, seminars, conferences, secondments, interviews, use of the internet, social networks, use of bulletin boards, news groups
Effective learning: skills of personal assessment; planning, organisation and evaluation
Lifelong learning: self-directed learning; continuing professional development; linking higher education with industry, further education, Recognition of Prior Learning, Apprenticeships, Credit Accumulation and Transfer Schemes
Assessment of learning: improved ability range with personal learning; evidence of improved levels of skill; feedback from others; learning achievements and disappointments

2 Be able to take  responsibility for own personal and professional development

Self-appraisal: skills audit (personal profile using appropriate self-assessmenttools); evaluating self-management; personal and interpersonal skills; leadership skills
Development plan: current performance; future needs; opportunities and threats to career progression; aims and objectives; achievement dates; review dates; learning programme/activities; action plans; personal development plan
Portfolio building: developing and maintaining a personal portfolio
Transcripts: maintaining and presenting transcripts including curriculum vitae

3 Be able to implement and continually review own personal and professional development plan

Learning styles and strategies: types of styles; awareness of own personal style; impact of personal style and interactions with others
Learning from others: formal learning and training; observation; mentoring; supervision; tutorials; informal networks; team members; line managers; other professionals
Evaluation of progress: setting and recording of aims and objectives; setting targets; responding to feedback; re-setting aims and targets; establishing and recognising strengths and weaknesses; directions for change; cycles of activity (monitoring, reflecting and planning)

4 Be able to demonstrate acquired interpersonal and transferable skills

Transferable skills: personal effectiveness (ability to communicate effectively at all levels, initiative, self-discipline, reliability, creativity, problem solving)
Verbal and non-verbal communication: effective listening, respect for others’ opinions; negotiation; persuasion; presentation skills; assertiveness; use of ICT
Delivery formats: ability to deliver transferable skills using a variety of formats
Working with others: team player; flexibility/adaptability; social skills
Time management: prioritising workloads; setting work objectives; using time effectively; making and keeping appointments; reliable estimates of task time

Resources


Essential requirements

Activities carried out in this unit could be part of the mainstream academic activity and could be integrated into the whole programme of study. Learners would benefit from links with the learning outcomes of other units and if review meetings are held regularly.

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