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Free Personalized Learning Plans for ATD Members

Monday, September 8, 2014
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Did you know that ATD Members can create personalized learning plans for the job they have or the job they want…for free?! 

It’s true. One of the most valuable member benefits is the ability to be able to self-assess against the ATD Competency Model™ with the ATD Career Navigator.

The ATD Competency Model identifies what skills those in talent development, including Learning & Development departments, should have. And you can use the ATD Career Navigator to self-assess against this model. 

There are two different assessments you can perform:

  1. Using the Self-Assessment menu, you can assess your skills for your current job. 
  2. Using the Career Planning menu, you can assess your skills for the job you want next.

Once you have submitted your assessment, two valuable outputs are automatically created for you:

  1. a list of your strengths and skill gaps (that is, any skill where you self-assessed as having proficiency below that defined in the model)
  2. a personalized learning plan that identifies exactly what learning opportunities are available to help you close any skill gaps.

From your personalized learning plan, you can craft your short-term development plan, answering the question, “What do I want to work on first?” 
Why take this step? 

Some people have many skill gaps, and therefore, it is neither possible—nor desirable—to try to close them all at one time. Additionally, the personalized learning plan provides several resources to close a skill gap. For example, some people learn better from books, some from workshops and programs, some from podcasts, and some from articles. Therefore, the personalized learning plan makes it possible for you to select the learning opportunity that best fits your desired learning preference. 

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By creating a development plan, you can focus on your short-term plan with target completion dates, which will send you reminders to ensure you are making progress toward your goal. You may even add free-form activities to your development plan, both formal and informal, including on-the-job projects, coaching, or current learning and development offerings from your own organization.  In this way, you will have one comprehensive plan that you control for your own development.

Creating the development plan is only one step in your journey toward excellence.  Once you complete the activities on your plan, it is time to reassess your skills in the model, which you can do as frequently as you desire. By doing so, you learn what skill gaps remain, and can determine which ones you want to close next, iteratively closing all your skill gaps over time.

If you have few or no skill gaps for your current job, you can assess yourself for the job you may want in the future. Add activities from your career action plan (the personalized learning plan generated from career planning) to your development plan, to help you prepare for that next career move.

One last tip: If there is some development activity on your development plan that requires additional organizational support or funding, consider sharing your personalized learning plan with your manager to provide justification. It’s optional, but may prove helpful.

If you are an ATD Member, check out and create your free personalized learning plan with the ATD Career Navigator.  If you are not an ATD Member, sign up now so you can take advantage of this valuable member benefit!

Want to see the ATD Career Navigator in action? Register for a special free Career Week webcast, “Create a Personalized Learning Plan for the Job You Have or the Job You Want,” on Wednesday, September 17 from 12-1 p.m. EDT.


About the Author

Cheryl Lasse is SkillDirector’s managing partner. Her goal is helping people and companies achieve their potential. Cheryl has extensive experience with competency model development and implementation, and enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion with others. Check out the LinkedIn group Competency Models For Professional Development.

She believes people are intrinsically motivated to excel, if they are given access to a competency model for their role, the opportunity to assess themselves against that model, and personalized learning to help them close gaps and meet aspirational goals. This philosophy has been embodied in the Self-Directed Learning Engine, the engine behind the ATD Skill Tracker.

Cheryl has a strong background in consulting, marketing, and sales, mostly in technology companies, where training has played a chief role throughout her career. She holds bachelor’s degrees from Syracuse University in computer science and HR, and an MBA from the University of South Florida.

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