Planning Your Development

Whether you’re working on something new, looking to do something different or enhance the way you currently work; continuous learning and development enables us to be the best we can be.

The first step in finding the right learning and development opportunities is to start by looking at what it is that you need to learn or develop, before then going on to explore the opportunities available to you. 

The following step-by-step and video guides have been created for all colleagues to use, with reference to the Loughborough Development Framework and involving colleagues, such as your line manager, PDR reviewer, supervisor, mentor or peers.

Please click the button below to view our dedicated Loughborough Development Framework page.

Step-by-step guide to planning your development

The following three-step approach can assist you in planning your learning and development at your own pace, whilst selecting the right learning and development opportunities for you.

Step 1 - Identify your learning and development needs

Start by assessing what you are required to do in your role. This might involve lookingat your job description, and speaking to your Line Manager, PDR Reviewer or Supervisor to consider which skills, knowledge and behaviours are needed for you to be able to perform effectively in your current role; both now and in the future, as new challenges arise.

Now reflect on your own skills, knowledge and behaviours. Consider any gaps in your knowledge, areas within your role where you feel your skills are lacking or any feedback from a line manager, PDR Reviewer, Supervisor or colleague on something you’d like to work on.

It is also important to think about the skills, knowledge and behaviours that you may need to develop in the future for your current role. Most roles evolve and change over time, which means that you may be required to work on different projects and take on new responsibilities.

You might find it helpful to look at the Loughborough Development Framework Lenses that are most applicable to your role or roles you are aspiring to.

Use our Personal Skills, knowledge and behaviours analysis ‌to capture this information, and begin to look for any gaps between the skills, knowledge and behaviours required for your role, and those you already possess.‌

At this point you might find it useful to talk this through with your Line Manager, PDR Reviewer, Supervisor or a peer, so that you can work together to define your development needs.

When defining your development needs it’s important to be as specific as possible. This will help you later down the line when you come to review your plan and measure your success.

Step 2 - Create your own development plan

Once you have identified your learning and development needs, you can put them into a plan, complete with timescales, resources and measures of success.

It is important you take time to consider how you like to learn and what options are available to you. These might includeshadowing meetings or colleagues as they perform particular tasks, working on new or different projects, reading a book, article or blog, working with a coach or mentor or completing an online learning package or session, in addition to more traditional training courses.

Considering a range of options to meet a particular learning and development need is always advised, as it might be that your preferred option is not feasible in the short term due to costs, timing or resources.

You might find it helpful to use our Personal Development Plan‌‌ when completing your plan.‌

Involving your line manager, PDR Reviewer or Supervisor is essential at this point, so that together you can consider implications such as cost, timescales and the urgency of the development need.

Step 3 – Engage in meaningful learning and development opportunities, whilst reviewing your progress

As you work through your Personal Development Plan, it’s important that you review and track your progress.

You may find that you develop skills, knowledge or behaviours that you didn’t plan for. Remember that learning and development can happen in informal ways too, for example, networking and on the job training. It is worth recording all of these on your Personal Development Plan, so that you can build up a record of ongoing growth and progression.

Your learning and development needs and priorities will be ever changing, so it’s likely your plan will need to be adjusted over time. Try to dedicate some time to reviewing your plan and practicing self-reflection on a regular basis. It is important to ensure your plan remains up to date and doesn’t become a good intention which is quickly forgotten about.

We hope that you found this step-by-step guide useful; taking ownership of your own learning and development and seeing the difference it can make to how you do your job and prepare for future opportunities can be extremely motivating and rewarding.