The requirement to provide structured and supported opportunities for students in higher education to engage in personal development planning (PDP), is the first national policy mandate for provision of a form of learning across the sector (Jackson et al 2004) . The approach, at the University of Salford, has been to agree a University wide policy and required outcomes, with Schools being given discretion on how these are achieved. This paper reviews progress in the School of Environment and Life Sciences, drawing on “change management” literature, to analyze and assess the approach adopted and reflect on the role of a School PDP co-ordinator as a “change agent”. It concludes that the complex and autonomous academic cultures which characterise higher education institutions necessitate a combination of prescriptive and emergent approaches and a valuing of small scale incremental, and not always linear, progress
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