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There are three groups in this scheme. – Communication, Personal Effectiveness and Leadership.  Each of these leads to a certificate that is signed jointly by the Vice-Chancellor of the University and the President of the Students’ Union. 
To achieve a Certificate of Professional Development you need to:
  • Attend and actively take part in 5 x 2 hour core units under each  group title
You may work towards achieving all three groups if you wish. If you would rather choose specific units, this is possible although no certificate is awarded. 
You are responsible for managing your learning and are recommended to keep a record of attendance at each of the units.  Please download the attendance diary on the website to help you keep a record of when you’re due to attend.  You can tick them off as having completed thereafter,  Once you have completed 5 units in the course(s) of your choice you will be invited to undertake an evaluation.  Certificates are issued in e-format and will be emailed to you around 2 weeks after completion of the course.  You can print the e-certificate at a library, University print centres or print it off yourself.

Group A 


Complete any five units 
1) Speaking & Presenting 
2) Practical Presentations
3) Listening & Awareness 
4) Negotiation Skills
5) Customer Communication Skills
6) Managing Anger & Communicating More Effectively
7) The Confidence Factor
8) Sales Skills
Upon completion of this course you should possess the necessary skills to conduct yourself verbally in the workplace.  
“Eighty per cent failure at work is due to an inability to relate to other people rather than a lack of technical skills” (Robert Bolton).  

Speaking & Presenting 

Designed to make you aware that good speaking and presentation skills are essential in all environments.  Most graduate jobs today will require a presentation as part of the interview process so this is a skill well worth mastering.  This unit covers preparation, the route of your talk, speaking techniques and creating a positive attitude towards your presentation. It gives you practice in using various resources and equipment to help you get your message effectively across to your audience.

Practical Presentations

This unit is completed either by carrying out a 5 minutes or longer individual presentation anywhere during your studies at university or attending a session at the Skills Development Service (SDS).  If you choose the former you will evaluate your presentation and obtain a witness testimony from your supervisor/other to verify that an effective presentation took place.  

If you choose to attend at the SDS you will have the chance to present in front of an audience for 2 separate sets of 3 minutes.  The first part consists of you practicing your fluency by thinking about ideas from images that are previously unseen on screen and describing what you see to the audience.  In the second part everyone present will talk on a topic of interest without notes to rely on.  You will also engage in giving and receiving feedback and evaluating yourself throughout the process.

The overall purpose of this unit is to instil brevity, confidence and fluency, attributes which help keep you going when undertaking presentations. 

Listening & Awareness 

This unit is designed to make you aware of how constructive active listening can be.  It’s very easy to lose the thread of a discussion in meetings, lectures, tutorials and transactions.  You will be taking part in many scenarios over the coming years where these skills will be invaluable.

Negotiation Skills

Many of you will encounter situations such as wanting to be able to get the best room in your student house or persuading your tutor to defer an assignment deadline.  In future you may have to persuade a manager or client.  This unit aims to improve your negotiating skills by looking at how to prepare your goals and take part in a negotiation situation.

Customer Communication Skills 

The emphasis on communication skills relates to the growing importance of the customer.  All businesses have customers, internally and externally, and being able to both behave in a professional manner and communicate the correct information in user-friendly language is considered to be of vital importance to the service being provided.  This unit concentrates on how communication plays its part in overcoming difficult customer behaviour and how to bring transactions to successful conclusions.

Managing Anger & Communicating More Effectively 

Anger is a natural emotional we all experience in response to two main triggers; feeling frustrated or threatened, physically or psychologically.  The difficulty arises when we are unable to manage those angry feelings healthily, leading to difficulties such as expressing it loudly and aggressively, or brooding and seething inside for fear of the power of our anger if we let ourselves express it.   
This unit will teach you how to deal effectively with situations that trigger your anger, ensuring you don’t hold onto it afterwards building an internal store of anger.  You will also learn how to manage and express angry feelings in a more healthy and constructive way.  

The Confidence Factor 

Are you ready for the reality of the workplace in interacting with others? Whilst work is something that can improve our confidence it can also knock us back at times. It is important that you can build resilience and learn to deal with criticism in order to maintain your level of confidence in what you are doing. This part of the course will look at ways you can boost and build confidence, focus on your positive qualities, build resilience and deal with criticism through using defusing techniques. 

Sales Skills 

This unit will focus on the customer journey and how the seller must adapt their style and approach with different personality types.  We will explore objection handling during the customer interview and sales aftercare. 

Group B 

Personal Effectiveness

Complete any five units:
1) Motivation 
2) Problem Solving 
3) Successful Networking
4) Time Management
5) Teamwork
6) Dealing With Perfectionism
7) Commercial Awareness
8) Stress Management
9) Striking The Balance 
Personal Effectiveness is all about a get up and go “can do” attitude, meeting challenges as you face them or by planning ahead.  However, an overactive attitude to work is not effective so knowing how to balance work and life is very important.  Upon completion of this course you should possess the necessary skills to be able to manage yourself more effectively and face up to responsibilities with freshness, enthusiasm and optimism.  A recent survey showed that employees performed badly in areas such as teamwork and going “the extra mile”.


Why are we able to accomplish some tasks with relish yet abhor others?  How can we be flexible enough to accomplish those things we don’t like doing.  This unit is an interactive journey to help you understand how to create drive and energy in order to raise your standards and accomplish all tasks with enthusiasm.

Problem Solving 

What differentiates an optimist from a pessimist?  The most successful organisations and individuals change the word problem into “opportunity.”  You will be entering environments where the buck will stop with you.  This unit introduces you to a range of methods which help identify the sources of problems and provide both theoretical and practical advice to help solve them.

Successful Networking 

Networking has been referred to as the “new way of working” and is thus a critical skill that everyone should master.  There are going to be occasions where you need the confidence to sell yourself and the ability to ask the right questions at the right time.  This unit will teach you how to recognise and quantify your assets, create a positive impression and maximise the opportunities to get yourself known by potentially influential people.


Teamwork is effective when qualities which individuals possess are harnessed in order to contribute to team success.  The ability to work effectively as part of a team is becoming increasingly important in every business environment.  During this interactive unit you will have the chance to take part in a team challenge which will provide the chance of reviewing how effective teams should work. We will also look at all the “roles” required to make the “ideal” team. 

Dealing With Perfectionism 

“When you aim for perfection, you discover it's a moving target’ - George Fisher”
Over-perfecting can be debilitating and persons prone to perfectionism are often putting themselves under pressure to succeed or worrying about what others may think of their work and can often feel disappointed with the work they do. Are you frequently self-critical?  Do you have such high standards that you feel low, anxious or worried because you cannot attain them?  If this sounds like you then this unit is here to teach you techniques and ideas (cognitive-behavioural) to help you gain a healthier balance in your life.  To help you focus on achieving a high, realistic standard, rather than pressurising yourself to attain the unattainable.

Time Management 

Ever wondered why you’re always doing that essay at the last minute or you’re always late for meetings?  Time management is designed to help you prioritise and organise your life so you can get the most out of all your commitments.

Commercial Awareness

A CBI survey recently found that 35% of employers were dissatisfied with the business and customer awareness of graduates.  Put simply "commercial awareness" is the ability to view situations from a commercial perspective. It is an understanding of what makes any business or organisation successful and the factors that influence this success. Employees from all disciplines need to show business awareness of their market, not only to beat the competition for jobs but to perform in that role and deliver value for money. Learn simple steps you can take to help you become commercially aware during your time at university and ensure that, when the time comes, you’re all set to wow employers and turn that dream job into a reality.       

Stress Management

“What I fear the most about stress is not that it kills, but that it prevents one from savoring life." - Jean-Louis Seven-Schreiber
Remember stress is normal!  We all need a certain amount of stress to help us focus on goals and realise it is important.  If we were completely relaxed all the time, we would not bother about meeting deadlines or prioritising tasks!  Stress though is a large factor of University and work life - so why not learn to manage it now?  This unit looks at what gets you stressed, how to avoid it and what to do when it happens.  

Striking The Balance 

Are you always trying to juggle what life throws at you? This unit looks at how you can strike a balance in your sleeping, eating, exercise and activity. Finding a balance that works for you can be difficult but it is important to not feel guilty about taking time out for you!  We will look at ways of managing guilty feelings and thoughts like ‘I shouldn’t be doing this’ or ‘I should be doing that’. Finally we will round off with some information about improving mood and symptoms of stress with 5 simple strategies.  

Group C


Complete all five units:
1) Leadership Styles
2) Leadership In Difficult Situations
3) Coaching Skills
4) Assertiveness For Leaders
5) Team Briefings (e-learning format)
Upon completion of this course you should possess the necessary skills to lead effectively and deal with the problems and issues which leaders face. “When selecting candidates, we look for people who will have a positive impact on others.” (Ed Fox, Barclays Bank).

Leadership Styles 

This unit covers the roles and functions of leadership, the different types of leader and how to develop leadership qualities and characteristics within you.

Leadership In Difficult Situations 

Many people are put off from attaining leadership roles because they fear possible confrontation and adverse reactions from the members of staff they will be responsible for.  Others handle these situations indifferently resulting in a bad working environment.  This unit looks at how effective supervision helps smooth the transition from team member to team leader and how to overcome some interpersonal challenges you may face in the leader role.

Coaching Skills 

When you are coaching, whether you regard it as such or not, you are likely to develop a special relationship with the other person.  This unit aims to help you mentor, motivate, and inspire others without harming their self-esteem.  It will help develop sensitive skills and techniques which you can use to show someone that every little piece of effort is a significant step in leading to greater achievement.


Assertiveness - an essential skill for leaders of people.  Do you ever wish you had that little bit more self-confidence to be able to delegate or make yourself heard?  This unit explores the different kinds of behaviours which have an adverse effect upon working and personal relationships.  It also aims to help improve your confidence and enable you to state your points in a firm but assertive way.

Team Briefing (e-learning)

More and more organisations recognise the value of passing on vital information to subordinates in an effective fashion.  Team briefing is about good face to face communication between three parties – the manager, the team leader and the team.  This unit covers how to select appropriate material and the actual briefing process.  As this unit is completed in e-learning format there won’t be any dates and times advertised but you will be emailed the link after completion of the other 4 units.

Professional Development Diploma

New for 2016-17, the pilot Professional Development Diploma rewards those students who have successfully attained all three Certificates of Professional Development in Communication, Personal Effectiveness and Leadership.  Students will be invited to consider working towards this once all 3 certificates have been completed.  However, the award is optional not mandatory. 

To attain the Diploma students must have completed the 3 CPDs above for access to the award.  Then complete a case history that:

1)    Identifies 2 unit titles from each of the 3 groups
2)    States why they have chosen these in this connection
3)    Links theory to practice by outlining critical incidences where usage of the 6 units has had particular effect.

Evidence indicators:
In order to meet criteria 1 and 2 it is necessary to state the 6 units being discussed and why you think they are important in your personal and/or professional career.
In order to meet criteria 3 it is necessary to cite content from each of the 6 units and describe how you have utilised it or intend to utilise it in your own area/situation.  The examples should be specific to you and not be generalised.

The most appropriate way to address this is to have 3 sections in your account, 1 for each element of criteria.  In the first section, list the 6 units you are going to integrate into your report.  In section 2 describe why they are important to you and your own situation.  In section 3 describe scenarios whereby you have utilised or will utilise the 6 units citing content from each of the unit titles chosen.  You may if you wish concentrate on one scenario in your report providing all 6 units are connected with the situation.  For example, you might have an interpersonal difficulty with another team member and might draw on content from say Listening & Awareness and Customer Communication Skills from Communication, Problem Solving and Teamwork from Personal Effectiveness and Leadership In Difficult Situations and Team Briefings from Leadership. 

Students should write approximately 2 sides of A4 at size 12 font.     

The record should be titled, legibly written, filed and saved as a Word document and presented online to John Steele, Head of Training & Development, SteeleJ@Cardiff.ac.uk for verification.  Deadline for submission strictly 30 June 2017.  Deadline for re-submission following any alterations strictly 7 July 2017.  Thereafter the scheme will be expunged.