All students in vocational education and training (VET) in Finland are required to have their own personal competence development plan (PCDP), usually drafted and updated together with their mentor teacher during their studies.
What problem or issue has the innovative practice aimed to tackle?
Since the reform of vocational education and training (VET) in Finland in 2018, each student is required to have their own personal competence development plan (PCDP). Usually there is a dedicated mentoring teacher who guides the students in their specific field of study from the start to finish. The PCDP is drafted at the beginning of the studies, and updated regularly throughout the qualification. The aim is to ensure that also competence and relevant skills acquired e.g. in the world of work, another school, international exchange, work placement periods or through hobbies ad other non-formal learning are being identified and recognised in the qualification. After recognising this previous learning related to the qualification, the plan is made to acquire only the missing skills of the qualification.
What have been the achievements?
For the student, the aim is to ensure that they have a personal list of goals to achieve, and optional pathways to take during their vocational education. For example in Luksia, in the first phase of writing the PCDP, one of the questions in the template is to mark whether the student is interested in international possibilities during their studies. The studies can then be planned accordingly, to include for example additional language studies or preparatory study module for international mobility and working life. The overall purpose is for the student to develop ownership and commitment to their own study plan.
The PCDP maps and recognises the skills the student may already have, and outlines the competences and ways to acquire them during the studies. The plan also includes information on possibly needed supportive measures for the student.
The plan includes also career planning component.
For more information on the personal competence development plans, check for example:
Who was involved and how?
Student and mentor teacher, and for under 18-year old students also the guardian are involved in drafting the personal competence development plan.