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Advance Professional Development

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A finance company Finance 4 U management feels the lack of interest of their in their personal and professional skills development. The management is looking for a comprehensive Personal Development Plan (PDP) in terms of personal, professional and career development and assist the company in progression.

Personal Development Plan (PDP) helps individuals in identification of strengths, weaknesses and ways to overcome on those weaknesses.

There are different methods available for personal and professional skills development, all good and well established organisations use different techniques, methods and activities to ensure their employees skills development.

Organisations use the Continues Professional Development (CPD) in setting their employees objectives for development and then checking their process towards the achievement of their goals and objectives.

So to achieve organisational goals and objectives they need to ensure their employees personal and professional skills development.


To my Parents and Family with Love


To my teachers with great respect from whom I learnt how to differentiate between right and wrong


All praise to all mighty Allah who give me the strength and ability to complete this task, and salutation to the last messenger of Allah, Mohammad (Peace be upon him).

Thanks to my course tutor and supervisor Dr. Rajni who guides me throughout this course provide me information on what I need, she was available to help me whenever I need the most.

Thanks to my parents and family who give me moral and financial support to complere this study, when out the help of them it was impossible for me to complete it.

So many thanks to all my class fellows and friends especially Asif, Yasir, Jullian, Umaad, Rizwana, Ayaz, Rehana, Vishali, Azeem and Salma Ismail who provide me encouragement and appreciate my ideas and work.

Introduction to Scenario:

The management of finance 4 U feel the lack of interest towards personal and professional skills development among their employees, although there are a variety of personal skills development methods and techniques which can help the company employees in developing their personal and professional skills. The company management is looking for a Personal Development Plan (PDP) which aware company’s employees towards skills development.

So a Personal Development Plan is needed which help out the employees in skills audit, because skill audit is necessary to assess the skills type and level each employee posses, it will help out employees in understanding their strengths and weaknesses and deciding the ways through which they can overcome on the these problems. Introduction to Task 1:

The requirement in task 1 is to develop a Personal Development Plane (PDP) to indicate the long term plan for developing a plan, what is importance of a plan, and how a plan improves one’s personal life and what are effects of it on his / her personal and professional life.

Objectives in Task 1:

Following are the main objectives of this task

* Understanding Personal Development Plan (PDP)

* Importance of having a plan

* How plan help you to improve yourself (self improvement)

* Is PDP help in getting yourself promoted

* What are your professional objectives

* What are your short-term and long-term goals

* What are your strengths and weaknesses

* What efforts are needed to overcome on your weaknesses

* What opportunities you have

* How to plan your objectives and define time-scale to achieve them

* Define milestones and checkpoints to enable you to review your performance

What is a Plan?

Plan is a scheme of action, or we can say that plan is estimate of feature. Plan is forecasting about the future, one can plan his objectives, mission and goals.

Importance of Having a Plan:

If you plan better then there is max chances of getting better results, if you want to be good in your job, or to achieve your career goals, or if you want yourself promoted then you need to plan well in order to be successful.

“Being good at your job doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll get promoted, being promotable on the other hand increases your chances of success and helps you to take the career steps you are aiming for ” [1].

To get promoted you need to develop your professional skills and competence, business sense and relationship building skills, which seems difficult without proper planning, so to have a good plan makes the chances of your success in your objectives / career goals much more.

What is Personal Development Plan?

“Personal Development Plan (PDP) is a process by which an individual can manage their own development through a process of reflection and structured planning on how they can meet their own goal “[Training and personal development planning, University of Leeds].

The above definition shows that PDP helps individual in setting their career objectives and provide then an understanding of how to plan his / her activities to reach their target. It also helps out in indentifying his / her strengths and weaknesses, define a time scale for each goal and success criteria to assess the progress.

Importance of PDP:

As described earlier that PDP helps individual to reach their objectives, help them in understanding their strengths and weaknesses. If a person wants to get promoted he needs to have his personal development plan.

“Personal Development Plan (PDP) involves translating some of the conclusions into a form where they can be put into actions when next it is appropriate to do so” [2].

Personal Development Plan (PDP) helps you in identifying “Where are you now” and “where you want to be” [3]

It can be described as

* Where are you now (what you have achieved till date and how, and which skills and knowledge you possess).

* Where you want to be (Like a car journey, your current point where you are, and where you want to go and how to reach your destination).

The car journey example provided by www.smallbusiness.co.uk is a very simplified example in understanding PDP.

The importance of PDP can be best described by following cycle

Personal Development Plan for Finance 4 U:

Keeping the requirements and needs of the Finance 4 U, I will suggest the management of the company the following PDP to help them in development of their employees.

Objectives / Goals




Time Scale

Success Criteria


Keys to Understand the PDP for Finance 4 U:

Objectives: where you want to be

Skills: What skills you have, or got from your experiences, and what are needed for you to meet your objectives.

Actions: what actions should you take to achieve your objectives?

Opportunities: what opportunities you have?

Time Scale: Define a time scale for each goal towards the accomplishment of your objective.

Success Criteria: Define criteria to evaluate your success.

Evidence: Did you accomplish your goal (towards your objective) or not.

My Personal Development Plan:

Objectives / Goals




Time Scale

Success Criteria


I want to be Human Resource Manager

I have good management skills, can effectively work in team, know the teaching methods, have good presentational and communication skills, and have good command on using the latest tools / software for teaching.

Skills Need to Improve: I need perfect command over English language

* Get MBA degree from University of Wales

* Get M. Phil degree

Have opportunity to work in HR Department of an organization to get practical experience

For M.phil Feb 2012

For top level management position


I complete the required qualification / education on-time

And get opportunity to have experience in HR department of an organisation

Introduction to Task 2:

As Personal Development Plan (PDP) indicate your strategy for development of a plan, and plan help individual in the improvement of his professional and personal life. But as a part of the PDP it is very important to have checkpoints and milestones which will help the person in reviewing plan time by time and to evaluate his performance, and give him idea that how much he has accomplished towards his goals and objectives.

Objectives of the Task 2:

Following are the objectives of this task

* Carry out self review of the objectives and goals set in PDP (Task 1)

* Identification of obstacles and barriers in achievements to those objectives and goals

* Description about the importance of reviewing a plan

* Why it is important to have “self -review”

* Reflective record of management examples in achieving my objectives

* Why it is sometime important to get support of others in achievement of goals and objectives.

* Provide a report which include relevant examples from PDP (Task 1)

Report on Personal Development Plan

From: Naeemullah (Manager Financial Accountancy)

To: Managing Director Finance 4 U

Subject: PDP Report

Date: 10 March 2010

Obstacles to Achieve Objectives

Following are the main obstacles in achieving my objectives as listed in PDP. Here the obstacles are listed in categories i.e. obstacles in achieving short term goals, obstacles in achieving midterm and long term goals.

Obstacles in Achieving Short term Goals:

* This is my first experience of work at any country other than my home country, so it’s hard to adjust in this multinational environment, and studying in this new area of studies as my past I have studied software engineering.

Obstacles in Achieving Midterm Goals:

* Will hard to find a right place for experience in HR department in a good organisation due to current job recession in job market.

Obstacles in Achieving Long-term Goals:

* I will need to complete M.phil within the defined time

* Getting admission in P.hd in good university will be hard, as it will be

* Before getting managerial position I need to get experience in HR department of a good organisation.

Steps to Overcome on these Obstacles:

Following steps are required to overcome on the obstacles in achieving my goals / objectives

* Improve my communication and presentation skills and ability to work in team

* Try to find out part time job to support my studies financially

* Developing awareness by studying different organizations HR departments.

* Manage my time will, and complete the degrees within the defined time

Need to Review and Monitor Plan:

If you plan well then there is maximum chances of getting better results from what you have planned. When a person plan something i.e. his career, education, journey etc, it is required to have a success criteria for the evaluation of his success towards achievements of his objectives, and how much it is needed and if he doesn’t achieve what was required then what was the reason behind this failure, indentify those and ways to overcome on those weaknesses.

Reviewing and monitoring your plan is also important because if you plan something initially you don’t have much idea of “what is best to plan” at that time as compared to that which you re-plan it when you attain some progress towards the accomplishment of task or you get failure at initially. So it is important to review and monitor your plan because it provide you insight into what you have achieved and what you want to achieve, in other words where are you now and where you want to go.

Importance of Self-Review:

An individual is best judge to review his / her as compared to others, because he / she knows his / her strengths and weaknesses which may be behind the curtain for others. There is no substitute for genuine self review, because you understand your values and have clear idea of your personality picture.

Self review is an important step towards personal development, with person taking responsibility for their own learning and for choosing the means to achieve this; it increases capacity of your thinking and willingness towards your judgment and taking responsibility for yourself.

Reflective Record of Management Experience in Achieving My Objectives:

Everyone in his life experience such scenarios in which he should take managerial decisions. I also have faced such situations so many times, where I was to lead a group of individuals some of them are stated below.

During my studies at engineering university I was assigned as project group leader of a group of five students. We were assigned a project relatively a bit tough than other groups, my group members were annoyed, but I as group leader take the responsibility, gather my group members, motivate them that we can do this, then I divide the whole project into different modules and assign one module to each member of the group. We sit together in a formal meeting way once in a week to discuss the progress on each module and the problems and then together we come up with solution. And at the end it was a pleasurable movement for me as team leader when our project was complete before the submission deadline.

The second managerial experience was a professional one within a very hard and difficult situation.

When Pakistan army start military operation in northern areas of the country against the terrorist groups, army ordered local population to leave their homes and towns to make the operation more effective and make the damage minimum to civilians. Those people were kept in IDP (Internally Displace Persons) camps in different areas of Pakistan. International Community of Red Crescent also arrange a camp in which provided living facilities to about 30,000 people, I was selected as in the Red Crescent team and assigned the responsibilities of “Sector In charge” in that camp with a team of six volunteers, it was very hard to work with an inexperienced team because all of them were students from different colleges and universities, and the second thing was the hot weather in that area which was almost 48 C to 50 C. I always motivate my team members and remains always in front while doing any activity from registration of IDP’s to their return to their home towns. We divided the sector into blocks and nominate blocks representatives from local community in each block, this make our task very much easy instead of dealing with each individual we just meet the community elders, guide them and they do the remaining work satisfactorily.

How it is sometime necessary to gain support from others to achieve goal and objectives:

The accomplishment of a goal / objective is sometime very difficult or we can say that “Impossible” individually. That’s why the term “teamwork” developed in management studies. To gain the help of others in achieving a goal it depends on the nature of the goal / objective that is it an individual task or a group task?

For example if we look at a football team, they try to achieve only one task that is to goal on opponent team, but they can’t do it by having just one player in the team.

So if your objective is like which you can’t achieve individually, you need to gain support from others (physical, moral support)


Introduction to Task 3

In task 3 the management of Finance 4 U wants us as consultant to look into some issues which are often considered as “Less Important”, they want to know about the different personal and professional skills that different organizations use to improve their employees skills and competencies level. And then produce all the outcomes of this research in presentation format to deliver it to the managing director and staff of Finance 4 U. and at the end prepare a report containing recommendations to help the company in getting out of the problems they are facing in their employees personal and professional development.

Objectives of Task 3

Following are the objectives of Task 3

* Investigate a research in three organisations, that how they ensure their staff various personal and professional skills.

* Produce a presentation to managing director containing the outcomes of the research.

* Write a concise and accurate report to MD making recommendations to help Finance 4 U in current situation.

What are Personal and Professional Skills

Personal and professional skills are those skills which are owned by individuals, personal skills are commonly by nature, but can be developed through certain processes and activities, when an individual use his personal skills for his organisational or professional goals / objectives, then it is referred as professional skill. The most common personal and professional skills are communication skills, management skills, interpersonal relations, innovative skills, analytical problem solving, decision making, social skills, pro activity and much more.

Analysis of three organisations

I have chosen the following three organisations to do analysis that how they ensure their staff personal and professional skills development.

1. Mc Donald’s

2. Dell Australia

3. Transport for London

Mc Donald’s

Mc Donald’s is one of the world’s most popular chains of restaurants; they have subsidiaries in all continents of the world. At Mc Donald’s the management is very ambitious towards their employee’s personal and professional skills development, and they use a very structured and systematic way, following are the ways through which the management of Mc Donald’s ensure their employees skill development.

a) Crew Development Program

Mc Donald’s have a very structured program for its crew development and this program is so influential that 40 % of the top 50 managers at Mc Donald’s join this organisation as crew member.

b) Award Wining and e-Learning Strategy

To have a healthy competitive environment among their employees Mc Donald’s have award winning scheme, employees producing better results are awarded benefits as financial, promotions etc. while to provide their employees an opportunity for distance learning they also have e-learning strategy and online resources.

c) Classroom Courses / Hamburger University Training

Mc Donald’s also having certain courses for the personal and professional skills development of its employees. Mc Donald’s institution is now certificate awarding body, which issue certificates to their employees after successful completion of course. Mc Donald’s has an agreement with Hamburger University USA to provide training to its mid-level managers and executives.

d) Scholarships / apprenticeship

Mc Donald’s have a very comprehensive project of scholarships for its employees; they provide up to $ 5,250 reimbursement in tuition fees to their employees in course which is directly related to company job responsibilities. They also provide financial assistant and reimbursement to its employees in course which are not directly related to their company job and responsibilities. In USA Mc Donald’s have national employee scholarship program which gives 52 fulltime scholarships per year in United States.

In United Kingdom Mc Donald’s provide apprenticeship to 6000 persons in 2009, currently they have 800 persons and will provide apprenticeship to 10,000 people becoming the UK largest apprenticeship providing organisation in UK.

Dell Australia

Dell is world known company providing computers, laptops and other accessories to its customers worldwide.

Dell Australia has a big number of customers providing services all in almost all cities of Australia. To achieve its organisational goals and objectives Dell focuses on their employee’s personal and professional development using various approaches, some of them are stated below.

e) Training & Development

To provide the basic skills to its employees initially Dell uses the approach of pre job and on job trainings. While to enhance its employees competencies and skills, Dell have a very good structured development program. They also provide their employees job security, in order that they show their full loyalty to the organisation.

f) Leadership Development Program

To develop their employees leadership skills that they may work better on their current positions and are ready for future improvements in the management hierarchy of the company. Dell has an agreement with TAFE and Australian Institute of Management, and with collaboration of these two Dell organise leadership development courses for their employees.

g) Arranging Social Events

To enhance their employees social skills, Dell arrange different social events for its employees where their families are also invited, through this program Dell try to enhance their employees skills through social gatherings and provide them opportunity to attend those events alongside with their families that they may recognise that for their company they value the most.

Transport for London (TFL)

Transport for London is the official company look after the public transport facilities around the Greater London, from a taxi cab to Buses and Trains to underground tubes, TFL is working hard to provide the best public transport facilities in the most historical city of the world “London”. To achieve the goal of providing best public transport facilities TFL has a very comprehensive program for the personal and professional skills development of their employees.

a) Training and Development

Transport for London provide extensive training both pre job and on job trainings to their employees to make their personal and professional skill improved. TFL have signed ten years training program with London City & Guilds, Barnet College and four counties to help TFL in delivering courses to employee and work on their skill development.

b) National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)

TFL arrange different courses during vocations for its underground frontline employees, in these courses the main focus is on development of their professional skills and update them with latest tools that may TFL going to deploy in near future.

c) College Placements

TFL help its employees in getting up with updated knowledge and skills by college placements. Every year TFL help a big number of its employees to get admit in colleges for courses, like technical courses.

TFL also provide apprenticeships opportunities to graduates and other technical workers to work with TFL and enhance their skills in their relevant field. They also provide trainings to its employees (taxi cab drivers) on how to read maps and make route selections, training n topography is also provided.


From: Naeem Khan

To: Managing Director Finance 4 U

Subject: Investigation of 3 organisations Skill development methods

Date: 05 Apr. 10

Currently Finance 4 U employees are not focusing on their skills and professional development, the management of the company is keenly interested in getting out of this situation and producing a solution to the problem. This report includes recommendations for company management. These recommendations are based on research which I have done in three organisations Mc Donald’s, Dell Australia and Transport for London. Following is list of valid recommendations for management of Finance 4 U

1) Create awareness among company’s employees through seminars and general discussions, and let them know the importance of personal and professional skills development.

2) Motivate employees to participate in the activities arranged by company for employee development.

3) Prepare a structured and comprehensive program for development of employees skills

4) Provide employees pre job and on job trainings

5) Design courses and curriculum for employees development

6) Finance 4 U must design scholarships program for their employees who want to qualify certain courses that may support their job role.


Introduction to Task 4

In this task the management of Finance 4 U wants to achieve their goal of employee personal and professional skills development through applying the available methods for skill development. Its required to look into the skills development methods which the three (discussed in task 3) organisation use for their employees personal and professional skill development and provide the management of Finance 4 U examples of Continues Professional Development (CPD) and describe how CPD helps in the personal and professional skills development.

Objectives of Task 4

Following are the main objectives of task 4

* Describe the various methods of available for personal and professional skills development.

* Analysis of the skills development methods currently using by the three organisations selected in task 3

* Examples of CPD

* And the contribution of CPD in skills development

What is skills development method

Skills development methods and techniques are the activities or actions taken by an individual or an organisation to explore the hidden potential of their employees and make their capacity more for performing certain task and activities to achieve the organisational goals and objectives.

Various Skill Development Methods

Following are the three organisations I have selected in task 3 of APD

* Mc Donald’s

* Dell Australia

* Transport for London

These three organisations use a variety of personal and professional skills development in their organisation to ensure their employees skills development and make them able to achieve the organisation goals and objectives. Following is the list of skills development methods currently in use by the management in the above three organisations.

1) Crew Development Program is use by the management of the Mc Donald’s, this is a very structured program in which they train their crew member for future leadership and management of the company, and is also a very successful one because 40 % of the top 50 mangers of Mc Donald’s worldwide join this organisation as crew member.

2) Class room Courses / Certificates this method is also widely used now days at almost all good organisations, to provide their employees the opportunity to enhance their skills and learn the latest knowledge through formal class room courses and they are awarded certificate which may help them in getting better positions in future.

3) Scholarships and Apprenticeship all the above three stated companies provide their employees opportunity to get further qualification in their respective fields, these organisation provide them scholarships for the expenses of their studies and also provide the facility of apprenticeship to newly graduates to became ready for the acquiring good job placements.

4) Training and Development is a key method to improve skills of employees, to improve the employees basic skills initially the pre job training is provided and to enhance the capabilities of employees on job training is provided also a series of skill development activities is carried out.

5) Leadership Development Program is an important program in practice in good and well structured organisations. In this program they select the potential employees for taking over the future management positions and then provide them training, and educate them on how to carry out management activities.

6) Social Gatherings is also an important activity through which these companies try to socialise their employees, and provide them opportunity to attend these gatherings alongside with their families to give them insight on how to socialise with different people and for their company they value the most.

7) College / University Placement is the method of skills development in which different organisation arrange different courses for their employees in collaboration with good universities or other degree awarding institutes to cope them with latest knowledge and skills of their field.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

‘Continuing Professional Development is the systematic maintenance, improvement and broadening of knowledge and skill, and the development of personal qualities necessary for the execution of professional and technical duties throughout one’s working life’. [1]

The process of CPD is a combination of approaches, ideas and techniques that will help you manage your own learning and growth. The focus of CPD is firmly on results – the benefits that professional development can bring you in the real world. Perhaps the most important message is that one size doesn’t fit all. Wherever you are in your career now, and whatever you want to achieve, your CPD should be exactly that: yours.

The process of CPD

CPD is not a fixed process. Fundamentally, it’s a question of setting yourself objectives for development and then charting your progress towards achieving them. It’s about where you want to be, and how you plan to get there. Our approach is based on reflection that focuses on outcomes and results, rather than ‘time spent’ or ‘things done’.

CPD is about capturing useful experiences and assessing the practical benefits of what you have learned. There is one decisive question that you should ask yourself to evaluate every piece of learning: what can you do now that you couldn’t do before? Similarly, when you record your CPD, it’s the value of the activity that counts. It’s not what you did, but how you can use what you learned. By using CPD it is recommend reviewing your learning over the previous 12 months, and setting your development objectives for the coming year. Reflecting on the past and planning for the future in this way makes your development more methodical and easier to measure. This is a particularly useful exercise prior to your annual appraisal.

The key features of the CPD process are following

* CPD needs to be a documented process

* Be self-directed: driven by you, not your employer

* Focus on learning from experience, reflective learning and review

* Help you set development goals and objectives

* Include both formal and informal learning.

How CPD contributes in Skill Development

The CPD helps in skills development in various ways, it provides an individual an overview of your professional development to date and reminds you of your achievements and how far you’ve progressed, it helps in directing your career and helps you keep your eye on your goals, it uncovers gaps in your skills and capabilities and opens up further development needs, it demonstrates your professional standing towards the achievements towards his career goals and objectives and helps you with your career development or a possible career change.


* There are different methods available for skills development and different organizations use these methods for their employees skill development

* Finance 4 U can benefit from the skills development methods the three companies are currently using.

* Continuous Professional Development helps in making improvement personal and professional skill.

Introduction to task 5

Skills audit is one of the most important activity in personal and professional development, skills audit helps individuals in identification of skills they possess, what are their strengths and weaknesses, it simply give them insight into their skills and competencies. To perform skill audit different methods are used, one of which is the skill audit form, through this form information is collected about a person and then different tools like tables and charts are used to perform skills audit and provide a clear picture of the skills that individual posses.

Objectives of Task 5

Following are the main objectives of the Task 5

* Identification of seven individuals paying attention to their background and area of work

* Develop a skill audit form to gather information from those individuals

* Use appropriate tool to perform skill audit

* Write a report on the findings of the activity and make relevant conclusion and recommendations.

What is Skill Audit?

Skills audit is a process that can be used to identify the skill gaps for an individual. The outcome is a training and development needs analysis that identifies where training and development programs are needed. Skills audit results in

* An understanding of the skills required and the gaps the organization currently has.

* A targeted analysis of development needs.

* A listing of skills which need development.

* Information that can be used for dynamic succession planning.

Identification of seven individual

To perform the skill audit of team members I have identified the following seven member who are focused about their personal and professional skills development and paying attention to their background and area of work.

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