Enhancing skills development and reflective practise in students during their programme of study

Janis MacCallum, Samantha Campbell Casey


The transition to the workplace can be challenging for new graduates. At Edinburgh Napier our approach is to work proactively with students to prepare them for the world of work. Staff within the School of Applied Sciences have partnered with both internal and external stakeholders to provide opportunities for students to gain experience and develop skills to support this transition. This led to the development of the Skills Passport project within the School and a strong focus on graduate employability. At the core of this is a Skills Evidence and Evaluation Record (SEER), modelled upon employer competency frameworks, and aiming to help students understand the professional development required by industry, assess gaps in their personal skills, and proactively engage with opportunities in order to tailor a plan for their own professional development needs. There are a number of key challenges with this approach: firstly, getting students to engage with these opportunities (see their value as integral to their personal development); secondly, ensuring a joined up approach (building links from year to year and across modules); and lastly, ensuring staff buy-in. Continued and appropriate support is required  to ensure we can effectively support these issues and we encourage all stakeholders including staff, students and employers to reflect on the effectiveness of this approach. Here we present some data and reflections on how our approach has worked and where it needs further refinement into a flexible tool that will stand the test of time, continue to support students effectively and also meet the changing needs of industry

Keywords: Employability skills, flexibility, reflective practice, competency frameworks, professional planning


Employability skills; flexibility; reflective practice; competency frameworks; professional planning

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