What is reflective practice and personal development planning?

Reflective practice refers to both reflective practice in the curriculum and to reflective practice more broadly through Personal Development Planning (PDP).

Moon states that reflective practice is important to employability as: the means for students to gain, maintain awareness of, express and explore their abilities in general, and particularly in recruitment processes; it prepares students for lifelong learning; is an aspect of good quality (meaningful) learning.”

As early as 1997 the Dearing Review directed higher education institutions to develop the ‘means by which students can monitor, build and reflect upon their personal development’. This report defines PDP as a structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement and to plan for their personal, educational and career development.

The aim is to allow students to critically reflect upon their own learning, development and experiences and to plan ahead in relation to their academic, career and personal/social goals.

What form can it take?

There are lots of examples of good practice and approaches internally and externally.

Why is it important?

A recurring theme from employers is that often a graduate’s self-awareness of what they have to offer is very limited, and that they struggle to articulate the skills, achievements and knowledge gained through their studies and university experience. As a result they fail to present themselves as effectively as they could. These are skills necessary not only for a successful transition on graduation, but in an increasingly uncertain and changing labour market, are skills and approaches needed to effectively manage career development and progression long term.

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
Portal Logon