Personal Development Plan (PDP)

5HURM001W HRM Essentials

Assignment 1 – Personal Development Plan (PDP)

Assessment criteria

  • Evaluate what it means to be an HR professional with reference to the CIPD’s HR Profession Map, 2018.
  • Be able to apply Continuing Professional Development (CPD) techniques to construct, implement and review a personal development plan.
  • Undertake a learning needs analysis of HR professional practice capabilities to identify CPD needs.
  • Evaluate and select different options for self-development and evaluate effectiveness and suitability of these options.
  • Produce an action plan to meet personal development aims using SMART objectives.
  • Your PDP will focus on the ‘Core Behaviours’ section of the 2018 Profession Map.


The CIPD’s HR Profession Map is essentially a statement of professional standards. Put simply, it lays down what HR professionals need both to know and be able to do at different stages of their careers. It was formulated following extensive consultation with the HR community and focuses on adding value (see lecture 1). To access the profession map, click on the following link:

You will very quickly notice that the overall map is intended for those already working in HR. Clearly, as a student you do not fit in to this category. However, you do aspire to a career in HR and the challenge for you when you graduate will be to find an entry-level position in what is certain to be a very competitive market. This assignment will help you to improve your employability by giving you the opportunity to think about how you can develop some of the behaviours that the CIPD believes early career HR professionals need.  You will be focussing on the ‘Core Behaviours’ aspect of the model. Please see diagram below.


We are asking you to do two things:

  • Produce a personal development plan. For this you will need to benchmark yourself against the ‘Core Behaviours’ section of the HR profession map. This is sometimes known as a personal skills audit or a ‘gap analysis’ (approximately 1500 words).
  • Produce a critical account of CPD (500 words).

Personal Development Plan

As discussed, the Profession Map is designed for those already working in HR. However, there are some behaviours at which you can begin to develop without actually working in the field. You must choose six of these behaviours and make an honest assessment of where you are now in relation tothem.

Below is a list of behaviours proposed by the CIPD’s 2018 profession map:

  • Ethical Practice
  • Professional Courage and Influence
  • Valuing People
  • Working Inclusively
  • Commercial Drive
  • Passion for Learning
  • Insight Focused
  • Situational decision making

To find out more about each of the core behaviours, please explore this link –

This will help you to ascertain your learning needs and where your strengths and areas of development lie.

Within each behaviour please pick one (or two)of the behaviours to explore from the ‘standards’ table. Because you are just starting your careers, please choose aspects of the core behaviour from the ‘Fundamental level’ list.

From a marking perspective, we are interested more in quality than quantity. Please make sure you explore in enough depth the aspects chosen of the core behaviour. If you click on each core you can access the ‘standards table. Below is an example of where you would click for valuing people:

Below is an example, of the format that needs to be used for each core behaviour (this is not prescriptive). We have kept with the example of using ‘Valuing people:’

Valuing people

CIPD Core Behaviour – Fundamental LevelLearning needWhy is this important?Action plan
  Contribute views and opinions clearly                                              I do not feel I am articulate enough when communicating my ideas. I feel under confident about judgment that may be passed on my opinions.                                      In my career in HR, I foresee that communication is critical when working with stakeholders from different parts of the business.   At university, group work is a common practice and contributing ideas not only means I am a good team player but could add value to the overall quality of the work.                    I will book onto a university run ‘Communication’ workshop in the next two weeks. I will have to ensure I am able to timetable this with my busy university schedule.   I will undertake a psychometric test to understand my communication style in the next 6 months to increase my self-awareness. There is often a cost implication for psychometric tests so I will have to seek free tests.  

Critical evaluation of CPD (500 words)

Imagine that you have applied for an entry level HR role and that the organisation has told you that you should expect to be involved in a group discussion exercise, the topic of which will be ‘CPD – does it live up to expectations?’. Prepare some structured notes in preparation for the exercise, supporting your arguments with evidence from the literature.

In summary, you need to:

  • Produce a PDP which involves choosing six ‘behaviours’ from the CIPD’s Profession Map, benchmarking yourself against the ‘Core Behaviours’ to identify learning needs and giving a fully justified account of the actions you will take to meet the learning needs identified; and
  • Write a critical evaluation of CPD.
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