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← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

Personal development plan ("Persoonlijk ontwikkelingsplan" or POP)

Country of implementation
General short description of the innovation
A POP is wide-ranging policy instrument focusing on career counseling and competence development. It is used both as an instrument an sich and as a part of other policy instruments (for instance career guidance). As POPs are applied in different settings, the overarching definition of the instrument is not very concrete. The more specific modalities vary among the different contexts (e.g. POPs for poor people, POPs in social economy and POPs in companies) in which POPs are set up. All POPs, however, consist of a supported process which aims to enhance the labor market-oriented development of an individual. In this process, the individual reflects on his career and competences. Subsequently, a target is set up with regard to this career and competences, based on the reflection. This target is translated in an action plan, which is carried out and evaluated. As said, this process should at least partially be supported. How the support should be given is not defined, but it is suggested to work with coaching cycles. The overall aim is to increase both functional and career competences, in order to strengthen the position of the individual on the labour market.
Target group
Total Populaton
Policy Field
    Type of Policy
    • public
    Duration of the policy
    POPs are used in different contexts. The idea was first mentioned in policy documents in 2004, and since 2009 applied in several policy fields and projects. The POP instrument is still in exploratory stage.
    Scope of innovation
    • Scope: depending on the specific policy or project. Several POP-projects are being set up, with different scopes. As the POP instrument is still in an exploratory stage, the answer to this question will be evaluated in light of the results and effects of the POPs.
    • Budgets: depending on the specific policy or project.
    • Number of intended beneficiaries: depending on the specific policy or project.
    • Spatial coverage: regional (Flanders)
    General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
    Facilitate transitions from being unemployed to being (self-) employed, strengthen the position of employees and employers on the labour market and facilitate transitions to more suitable and sustainable jobs. This should be achieved through the development of both functional and career competences.
    Nature of the innovation-short-term perspective
    support people with career questions and labour market transitions, increase functional and career competences, increase the self-management of people in the field of career development.
    Nature of the innovation-long-term perspective
    strengthen the labor market position, facilitate fluent labor market transitions, enable people to find sustainable jobs, increase the self-confidence, increase the employability, stimulate positive attitudes towards life-long learning.
    Type of ideal-typical strategy for the innovation
    • encompassing security
    Type of innovation
    • new policy, practice or measure
    New outputs
    • job guidance, coaching and/or counselling
    • lifelong learning
    Intended target group
    Depending on the project. Several POP projects have been set up, focusing on different target groups. Examples are POPs for poor people, POPs for people in social economy and POPs for students. This answer also applies for the other questions in this header.
    Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
    • employees (organised or individual) (organized )
    • employers (organised or individual) (organized and individual)
    • private for-profit organisations (commercial)
    • private not-for-profit organisations (e.g. Third Sector organisation or NGO)
    • regional government
    Intended output
    • job guidance, coaching and counselling (A POP is a specific form of career counseling)
    • lifelong learning (POP projects should stimulate competence development )
    Intended and unintended outcomes
    depending on the POP-project
    Clarification of outcomes in terms of impacting resilience and labour market inclusion
    The outcomes of the policy instrument with regard to job quantity and inclusion have not yet been studied. Only part of the outcomes regarding to job quality have been studied. / / POP?s could strengthen the position of vulnerable groups on the labour market through the development of both functional and career competences and in this way facilitating transitions from being unemployed to being (self-) employed. /
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