Identifying your learning and development needs

A learning and development need is the knowledge, skill or behaviour that you need to acquire in order to carry out the duties of your role.

You and your line manager will talk during your annual appraisal about your learning and development needs, and you will work together to identify a personal development plan. This will then feed into an overall Faculty/Service Staff Development Plan, which is discussed by a nominated representative(s) and Human Resources, in order to progress development needs within the plan.

If you are new to the University your line manager will talk to you during your induction about the priorities of your job role and any development you need within the first few months of employment. Once you have passed your Probation Staff Guidance you will join the normal appraisal cycle for your Faculty/Service.

See below for advice about planning your development.

Planning your development

A personal development plan allows you to identify your development needs and plan what learning activity you will put in place to meet them. It also gives an opportunity to agree a timescale for when development activity will be completed. Your development plan is agreed between you and your line manager.

Development planning can be focused on:

  • Enhancing performance in your current role
  • Preparing for new responsibilities
  • Increasing potential for career development

Personal development planning is your responsibility and is encouraged as part of your appraisal

The process below will help you produce your own Personal Development Plan

  • Identify the learning need
  • Planning the approach
  • Monitoring and assessing impact
  • Evaluating impact

To get the most out of your own personal development, you should be very specific about which areas of your performance you need to improve on.

Information on how to identify opportunities to help with your Personal Development can be found in the YOUR Development YOUR Options.

You may find the ‘KUSAB’ model (described below), useful when considering your development needs. Also think about your job description, any annual objectives, any career plans and feedback received to help you identify areas you need to focus your attention on.

  • knowledge eg any changes to systems, trends and best practice that affect your work (research, reading, lecture, presentation)
  • understand the implications for your own work (explanation, discussion)
  • training in the specific skills (demonstration, practice)
  • awareness of your own attitude (discussion, challenge, reflection)
  • assess your own behaviour, for example in difficult situations (practice, monitoring, feedback

Progress against the personal development plan and implementation of learning will be discussed during your regular 1:1 meetings with your line manager as well as during your 6 month appraisal review meeting. Your personal development plan will feed into an overall team/department development plan and may also feed into a wider Faculty/Service development plan.

Identifying Strategic Development Needs

There will be occasions when development activities are identified, usually by managers as part of the annual staff development planning process, that relate to strategic initiatives. They may be required across a team, service, faculty or even the whole university.

As with any development, we must ensure that the activity is relevant to the development need and provides return on investment.

If you require funding or other resource for strategic development activities, please complete the online form, which addresses all the key areas. Organisation & Staff Development will contact you when they receive the form.

This page was published on 7 May 2019