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University Directorates > Academic & Student Affairs > Centre for Educational Development > Student Progress Files (PDP) > FAQS  

1) What is a progress file and how does it relate to PDP?

  • A progress file is required for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.It consists of a transcript of learning and achievement plus evidence of the individual's personal records of PDP in career, academic and personal contexts.

  • "Personal Development Planning is a structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement." (QAA Guidelines for HE progress files)


2) Why should a School at QUB engage with PDP?

  • It is a QAA requirement that the transcript element of progress files was in place by 2002/03. This has been available through Queen's online since June 2002. The PDP element should be "operational across the whole HE system and for all HE awards by 2005/06." (QAA Guidelines for HE progress files)
  • It can contribute to an overall strategy to promote retention and progression.
  • It can provide a basis for more personally relevant student progress monitoring.
  • It can contribute to increased graduate employablility by improving the students ability to relate their own learning and achievements to employers interests and needs.


3) What are the benefits for staff and students?


4) What are the benefits for employers?

  • “Overall, employers emphasised that PDP skills learnt by students in their undergraduate years are crucial (and indeed the first concrete step) for lifelong learning, management of their own careers and to enable the widest possible contribution to performance improvement in organisations.” Edwards, Gordon (2005). HE Academy, “Connecting PDP to Employer needs and the world of work" (Word).


5) What are the features of an effective PDP systems?

  • It is supported by staff

  • It integrated with programme delivery systems/specifications

  • It encourages student motivation by linking current activities to short, medium and long term career, educational and personal goals.

  • It is supported by an easily accessible information and recording system.


6) How is Queen's implementing PDP?

  • CED is supporting Schools in developing and customising PDP utilising existing practices and procedures. CED has also produced a PDP E-folio support system which is available to all students.


7) Who is responsible for PDP?

  • Each student is ultimately responsible for their own PDP, but the University/Schools should provide opportunities and support for students in order to facilitate engagement.


8) How much time shall I need to give to PDP?

  • After the initial planning to embed PDP into aspects of the existing curriculum, the minimum requirements are that the student shall receive information on PDP as part of their induction plus workshops and/or group meetings as well as two further individual meetings with a Personal Tutor per year. In addition to this, Schools also normally offer 3 further workshops and/or group meetings as part of an overall six event programme involving support staff and Personal Tutors at Levels 1 and 2.  Ultimately, effective PDP is an ongoing process and can contribute to other aspects of curriculum development, such as strategies to improve retention.


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