Professional Development For Strategic Managers

1. Be able to assess personal and professional skills required to achieve strategic goals
1.1 use appropriate methods to evaluate personal skills required to achieve strategic goals
1.2 apply techniques to assess the professional skills required to support the strategic direction
2. Be able to conduct a skills audit to identify learning style
2.1 carry out a skills audit to evaluate the strategic skills needed to meet current and future leadership requirements
2.2 apply appropriate techniques to identify preferred learning
3. Be able to conduct a skills audit to identify learning style
3.1 construct a personal development plan that meets leadership development requirements identified in the skills audit
3.2 use suitable methods to assess the outcomes of a personal development plan against personal work objectives
3.3 evaluate the impact of own learning against the achievement of strategic goals
Notes on exactly what must be done to succeed in the assessment are written below, then followed by a reminder of the content of the module, organised according to the assessment criteria above.

Assessment Criteria Notes

For 1.1 and 1.2, learners need to use appropriate methods to evaluate personal skills and assess the professional skills needed for effective leadership and management. To meet the strategic goals and direction of the organisation, learners need to link their evaluation to leadership requirements for a specific goal.

For 2.1, learners will need to demonstrate they can conduct a skills audit, to evaluate current and future leadership requirements. Learners need to benchmark against suitable criteria such as National Occupational Standards for Management and Leadership. This can help inform their preferred learning style for 2.2.

For 3.1 and 3.2, learners will construct a personal development plan using the information from their skills audit. They can use a standard template or construct their own plan, but it must include SMART objectives and an identification of the resources needed to achieve the objectives, as well as assessing the outcomes against personal work objectives. To be of value, the plan needs to be implemented for at least six months in order for learners to evaluate the impact of their learning against the achievement of strategic goals for 3.3.

Unit Content – linked to Assessment Criteria

1 Be able to assess personal and professional skills required to achieve strategic goals

Personal skills: time management eg using time effectively, analysing time spent to improve productivity, setting SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-based) objectives, prioritising work tasks, dealing with time wasters, effective delegation; stress management; problem solving; decision making; effective communication eg active listening, questioning, handling conflict

Professional skills: counselling and mentoring to support staff with their own learning and development requirements; coaching skills; leadership skills; multi-tasking; using occupational standards to identify competencies; continuing self-development to meet requirements for professional bodies eg learning new skills and knowledge, developing in current and future job roles; leading and chairing meetings; delivering effective presentations

Achieving strategic goals: importance eg to ensure that staff can perform their job effectively, to provide opportunities to meet individual learning needs, to improve flexibility and adaptability when responding to change, to ensure business success, to create a learning culture; methods eg using conceptual tools to identify own strengths and limitations, developing personal networks, management development and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes

2 Be able to conduct a skills audit to identify learning style

Skills audit: to assess skills and competencies against organisational and personal objectives; personal profile using appropriate self-assessment tools, psychometric testing, personal SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis – listing strengths, weaknesses, identifying opportunities for improvement or career progression, identifying threats to progress; assessment against relevant National Occupational Standards (NOS) and NVQ competence standards; importance of feedback from others eg peers, line manager, customers; methods of feedback eg appraisal, supervision, performance review, mentoring; defining the gap, identifying learning and development needs to meet strategic objectives

Identify preferred learning style: methods such as learning style inventories and questionnaires, psychometric testing eg Kolb (converger, diverger, assimilator, accommodator), Honey and Mumford (activist, reflector, theorist, pragmatist), Fleming’s VAK/VARK model (visual, auditory, reading/writing, kinesthetic), Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI); criticisms of learning style theories

3 Be able to implement a personal development plan

Personal development plan: importance of having a plan – to provide a systematic or structured approach to decisions about what is needed to learn and how to plan to learn it; setting objectives for life and career planning, identifying resources and support needed and available to meet objectives, identifying obstacles to achieving objectives and how to overcome them, reviewing and monitoring plan; the importance of self-review, providing a reflective record of management experience; gaining support from others to achieve goals and work objectives

Monitoring and evaluation: importance of keeping a working document; to help manage learning; to evaluate progress of achievement towards goals; to become a critical, self-directed learner; to develop a clear understanding of strengths and areas for development of leadership skills; review on regular basis; compare achievements against original objectives, reflect on learning, record results, agree whether objectives were achieved or not, set date for next review; set new objectives when others have been achieved


This Assignment is based upon the Pearson Edexcel Strategic Management and Leadership from August 2010 Programme Specification found at