Personal development reports
An online system that supports people (particularly young people) to identify their personal skills and qualities and to be able to track/measure their personal development throughout their involvement in a project or activity over a period of time.
The system will help participants to monitor their personal achievement/progress and evidence learning and development and will need to include a function that allows people to print off a formatted report that they could use in a portfolio or attach to a CV.
This could be used towards accreditation schemes and as evidence of personal growth – useful for individuals and for practitioners supporting young people.
The system could work something like:
Stage 1: Sign Up
- Participant takes part in some interactive activities designed to explore their personality and skills
- Participant answers some specific questions about their interests and skills (provides a rating on a sliding scale)
- Participant is given a summary of their skills, talents and interests (at this stage the system could optionally provide recommendations for potential activities or career interests or educational pathways etc, depending on the implementation of the system by an organisation)
Stage 2: (ongoing)
- Participant is able to update their initial profile using similar steps as at stage 1 (but they cannot see the answers they provided at stage 1!)
- The system analyses the difference in responses and provides a ‘progress report’ indicating areas of progress (or not)
- Based on responses the system could provide links to resources to help develop particular skills
Stage 3: Final
- Participant enters information again (without being able to see previous responses)
- Participant is able to download a pdf summary that indicates their personal ‘journey’ and a summary of their skills, talents, interests
- Based on final report further recommendations
What social need does it address?
This could be a huge asset for those involved with informal education and those looking to support people to develop ‘soft skills’ – the useful skills you really need but can’t get any qualifications in!
It would be an asset for practitioners supporting children and young people in all sorts of settings (and arguably some adults) and would also be an effective tool for helping children and young people gain the maximum personal benefit when involved in projects and activities.
It would provide a facility for young people that do achieve very good personal development during their involvement in informal activities to gain recognition and evidence of the progress they really did make, and to provide this in a format that is credible to others.
The system could be developed as a framework that organisations could adopt towards their own priorities – eg. educational institutions using it to support young people to make choices about courses and training, or a youth agency using it to support young people to identify effective ways of using their skills towards community activities and campaigns.
What’s new about it?
Nothing like this exists! There are lots of things that touch on it such as self analysis surveys or personality tests, but this should be developed as something that records a persons actual personal development over a period of time (not something they can guess the ‘right’ response in order to make their result look cool!)
What inspired you?
Complete frustration!! I’ve been involved with so many young people that have had really impressive ‘learning/development journeys’ but its impossible to credibly measure this. We’ve tried diaries, videos, award schemes – they’re all too fiddly, too academic or just don’t capture that development has happened. Its often very difficult for a person to look back and accurately reflect on where they were to where they are now.
I also think there is a need for something more meaningful than the endless ‘accreditations’ that young people gain. Potential employers are much more impressed by what potential candidates are able to discuss about themselves – their skills, interests, experiences than they are by ‘wads’ of certificates. It would be nice to provide something that allows people to back up those good conversations about themselves!
Idea submitted by Mike Amos-Simpson
Mike set up and runs YoMo – a social enterprise that provides training and resources to support young people to contribute to their local communities. Their training is led by young people that have come through the training themselves and YoMo works all over the UK and Ireland, as well as supporting projects in Malawi.