People development planning

What is a people development plan?

A people development plan describes the learning priorities for the members of a team or department/faculty and the activities that will deliver these. These learning priorities are clearly linked to the department’s goals.

Why have a people development plan?

Having a people development plan that is part of any overarching plan or strategy you have for your department can help you to:

  • Ensure you are making best use of your limited resources by prioritising the learning needs you and your team(s) have identified
  • Link everyone’s learning to your overall goals as a department so that everyone understands how their learning contributes to the department’s success
  • Demonstrate to an Athena SWAN panel that you are being strategic in your thinking about people development

How can I produce a people development plan for my team/department/faculty?

A people development plan should begin with your department/ faculty’s strategic objectives.

  • What are you aiming to achieve?
  • If you are to succeed, what knowledge, skills and behaviours will you need across the department and in your team?
  • Where are your strengths and where are the gaps?
  • What do you therefore need to prioritise in terms of developing your people?
  • What do your PDR reviewers tell you are the learning priorities for your people?
  • What are your staff experience/student surveys telling you about priorities for action?

Try our sample case study to see how one fictional department went about producing part of a people development plan.