Find the purpose!

You need to be convinced of the purpose of the RARPA and ILP process and you need to convince your learners.  Take the time to look through the ILP documents and understand them.  If you still have questions or concerns talk to your manager.  See the ILP spider diagram for one way of approaching ILPs with learners.

Make it relevant!

If the form doesn’t suit your learners, talk to your manager about changing it.  Check the ILP Audit Record (  to make sure a new format allows you to fulfil all the criteria.

Once you are happy with your format, make sure you complete all sections at the relevant point in time.  For example if there is a mid-point review or space for Tutor feedback, make sure you complete these sections.  Learners won’t buy into a process that the tutor seems to be ignoring!

Don’t forget to make it relevant to the individual learners by making SMART targets which stretch and challenge learners at their own level.

Class time is precious!


Reduce the amount of time lost by:

  • Making sure the ILP form isn’t unnecessarily repetitive
  • Making sure learners aren’t writing the same thing again and again (see below)
  • Type in class outcomes before photocopying to avoid learners having to copy write onto the forms.



Make comments useful!

Of course comments should be positive and encouraging but they should also be meaningful.  Learners may well need help and training to learn how to make a useful reflection on their learning.  This is not a waste of time because you are helping them to evaluate their own work and therefore become more independent learners.

Examples of tutor and learner comments on a sliding scale of usefulness:

Session   outcome:  Baking a cake


After   today’s session I can… bake a cake


Tutor   feedback:  you made a cake – good   work


Session   outcome: Baking a cake


What   I have learnt: I   have made a nice cake


Tutor   feedback: Well   done you made a lovely cake!


Session   outcome: Baking a cake


What   have I learnt: I found this hard   work but it was a tasty cake.  I need   to double check my weighing.


Tutor   feedback:  Well done – you   kept on with beating the mixture until it was light and fluffy so that your   finished cake had a nice texture.  Next   time remember to check that you are not mixing up pounds and grams (imperial   and metric).


It may take you a few more seconds to write each comment but you are really adding value and reinforcing learning.

Note how some formats might encourage more bland statements; eg:

“After today’s session I can….” encourages learners to rewrite the session outcome.

It might be useful to think of the question as “What did I learn about my learning?” because this encourages learners to think about the learning process rather than just the knowledge they have acquired.



One thought on “Individual Learning Plans – advice for tutors

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