Digital PDPs

Written by John Swallow on 5 December 2016


I am looking for a better way of individuals managing their PDPs. We have a "solution" of sorts within our LMS but aside from this, rely on excel templates. Does anyone out there use a digital stand alone solution for this? maybe as an app which could be reported on centrally to define training needs?

All help appreciated, John


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Submitted on 6 December, 2016 - 11:29

Dear John

I may be off piste but I thought immediately of the cultural context within which any digital solution sits - what would make the difference between "boring bureaucratic task" and "valuable way of managing my learning and career progression"? This is partly contextual.

I wonder also what limitations you are trying to overcome with your solution.  Is it the ability - which you mention - to use data easily to define training needs?  Anything else?

I don't have any suggestions re apps etc. (which others might) so I'm simply seeking to understand what you would like a better solution to deliver.



PS And to get the ball rolling...


Submitted on 9 December, 2016 - 11:25

Hi Dorothy

Thank you again and yes, we are on the same page.

I would like to see PDPs as an everyday tool that can be hopped in and out of, that fits in with today's user preferences of social media and smartphones.

Defining training needs is one key thing but if I think of my own, it is an excel template that sits on my desktop. Many others will file their PDP under "check when someone asks" after their review and some will probably never have one at all.

How can we get a PDP to become something aspirational to work towards, that people can dip in and out of every week, almost like a smart vision board?

Ideas gratefully accepted, there must be someone using something great out there?





Submitted on 19 December, 2016 - 11:53

Hi John

I can offer ideas and discussion points but no apps (as yet ;-) ).  I thought I'd add to the thread to keep it live - perhaps someone will have something to offer if they actually see the thread.

In my mind, I would want to design something that has parts which are for the person seeking to develop only and parts that they might want to share.  For the individual, there might be a "wildest dreams" or "what I want to do when I grow up" section which they might choose to share or not.  Maybe key development themes for this year (top three);  share or not.  Key areas for development at work; share.  What help they would like from their line manager; share.  from L&D;  share.  You get the gist.




Submitted on 20 December, 2016 - 10:22

Hi John

I have not personally used, but have been rather interested in, Learning Locker: 

It's also free to download and use in your organisation. We haven't got an LMS, so I've not been able to test it, but I've looked into it and would try it if I could. 

I'd be interested in hearing what it's like if you do try it out!

Best regards


Submitted on 21 December, 2016 - 10:09

Hello John,

At our University I introduced a review process entitled ROAD MaP (Reflection, Objectives, Achievements, Development, Management and Performance) but as this is quite new it hasn't been moved to an on-line version as yet. However, I can recommend Marshall e-Learning who have a product entitled PABLO that might suit your needs. We use them for other products (E&D, Unconscious Bias etc) but not PABLO (yet) so can't comment on its performance


Submitted on 24 January, 2017 - 11:06

Hi Liisa, Nick and Dorothy,

Many thanks for your ideas. I have just realized that I didn't respond back on here. Apologies and thanks again for your help!




Karen Waite

Submitted on 16 March, 2017 - 11:32

Hi John

Getting the balance between an effective online portfolio and motivating staff to use it and change their practice is a challenge.  I am a Fellow of CIPD and also have a role as a Lead External Quality Adviser and most of our centers are in the transition from paper based to online to record their PDP.  Individuals, especially 'Millenials' are more demanding of what they want for their own continuing professional development and expect that support. Universities/Colleges are mainly using Blackboard and Moodle which are Learning Management Systems.   My background is in professional development and I have an interest in digital learning and social media.  In my experience, generally, the larger companies have their own systems and the smaller ones use a mix of free systems and bought in soft ware that is usually not specified for inspiring PDP.  As founder of a company that has the solution please do take a look at our video :     and please do get in touch to discuss it further.

Hope this helps.

Many thanks