Skill/Ability definition Examples

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Personal Development Planning
Skills Audit

Skill/Ability definition


Your current evidence of this skill

An example of how you will develop this skill further

written communication

The ability to produce concise, grammatical and well expressed text

in a manner appropriate to different readers, presenting a persuasive argument.

  • Essay/report writing

  • poster designing

  • writing for (student) newspaper

  • secretary of societies - recording minutes of meeting

Oral communication using speech to express ideas and give information or explanations effectively

The ability to verbally express ideas to others or give a presentation in a clear and ordered manner, including use of audio equipment and overhead projector. Perhaps, simply, giving accurate instructions, or, more influentially, being a spokesperson.

  • giving a presentation as part of course work

  • working on a reception desk

  • participation in tutorial groups/seminars/workshops

  • presentations to other students and academics

  • committee work in societies

  • debating

  • work on Nightline

  • Community Interaction Volunteers - S.U.

  • Community Service Volunteers - national group

  • presentation Skills Workshops offered by Employers/AIESEC

problem solving

identifying and using an appropriate method or technique to arrive at a solution

The ability to identify the key issues of a problem, and to then use your knowledge and understanding to find a creative and appropriate solution. This may involve conceptual thinking, analytical thinking, strategic thinking, thinking on your feet, innovativeness and improvisation.

  • developing a new product or service during a vacation work placement

  • workshops and tutorials

  • attending employers' vacation placement/workshops

  • management business games

  • organising (social) events for Hall or Society

  • dealing with accommodation problems or travel plans

  • work-based projects in vacations

  • Community Interaction Volunteers - S.U

decision making

identifying options, evaluating them, and then choosing the most appropriate

Evaluating available information, identifying options and reaching effective conclusions. Making decisions which can be realistically implemented and taking responsibility for them.

  • secretary of a Hall Committee deciding which events you should organise with the funds available

  • participating in employers' vacation placements/workshops

  • completing your action plans for skills development in the SPD

  • holding office with responsibility for events or budgets

  • making career decisions

  • choosing optional courses


holding discussions with people in order to reach a position of mutual satisfaction and agreement

The ability to influence another person and reach agreement on a contentious topic, through mediation or bargaining.

  • Student Rep. on Staff/Student committee

  • settling accommodation problems with landlord

  • bargaining over prices

  • negotiating on behalf of Societies/Halls

team working

ability to work effectively with others to achieve objectives

Working with others to effectively achieve a goal; involving co-operation, being sensitive, listening to other team members, sharing ideas.

  • project work - sharing observations and analysis

  • vacation work

  • voluntary work

  • Teambuilding Course

  • management business game

  • team sports

  • committee work - Students Union, Societies, Halls

  • charity fund-raising

leadership being able to lead and motivate, set direction, and win the commitment of others

The ability to organise and motivate others, requiring initiative and acceptance of responsibility. Overcoming problems through a positive attitude.

  • leading a group project or sports team

  • training or supervising and instructing others, e.g. through vac. work, voluntary work

  • vacation schemes, e.g. STEP programme (Shell's Vacation Placement Scheme) where you devise and manage a project

chairing discussions or leading group

Project management

The ability to set objectives and time scales, to monitor them and see them through to completion. Working under pressure to meet deadlines.

  • vacation project work e.g. STEP (Shell's Vacation Placement Scheme)

  • voluntary project work - e.g. through committees or S.U. work


working out how to schedule available resources and activities in order to meet an objective

Reflecting and setting attainable goals; scheduling the sequence of work to achieve your goals.

  • arranging a summer vacation trip abroad for a group of friends, including finding ways to raise the finance

  • planning course work and leisure activities

  • planning skills development and completing your SPD action plans

  • setting long-term goals e.g. planning your career, organising overseas travel or a year out

researching information

finding information appropriate to an issue from a variety of sources

Locating, collecting, classifying and summarising information (including data) in a systematic way.

  • preparing for writing a dissertation

  • researching and reading for essays, course work, tutorial assignments and projects

  • using information databases including the Web

  • vac work e.g. in research or information management

ICT literacy

understanding and being able to use a range of software such as word processing, spreadsheets and databases

Knowing how to use a popular word processing, spreadsheet and database package, and how to use email and the Web.

  • using databases in your academic work;

  • doing a society's accounts on a spreadsheet

  • computer packages in workshops

  • wordprocess academic work

  • learn new computer packages through academic studies, vac. work or independently

  • use email

numeracy ability to use and understand numbers

The ability to understand and interpret facts or ideas expressed in figures and non-verbal data. Enables you to estimate, spot accounting errors and manage a budget.

  • analysing data for a project

  • acting as treasurer for a fund-raising event

  • processing laboratory data

  • tutorial and workshop problems

  • numerical reasoning tests available in Careers Advisory Services

  • managing your own finances

  • treasurer of Societies/Halls committee

  • charity fundraising

business awareness

interest in and knowledge of the commercial environment

Having an interest in and understanding of some of the economic considerations in business.

  • reading the business pages of quality newspapers to demonstrate a knowledge of the economic climate

  • use vacation work to find out about how businesses are run

  • use Networking and the Web to find out information on companies

  • reading newspapers, the Economist, The Finanacial Times

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