Person-centred planning (PCP)

Person centred planning (PCP) provides a way of helping a person plan all aspects of their life, thus ensuring that the individual remains central to the creation of any plan which will affect them.

Person centred planning is not an assessment. It should be about making changes in a person’s life and planning for the future. It is increasingly widely used across the UK, and has been adopted into school reviews held for all students with a Statement of Special Educational Need from year 9 (age 13-14) onwards.

The way in which people communicate should always be respected. For those who do not communicate verbally, it is vital to prepare support for their preferred method ahead of a planning session. This could be through DVD clips, photographs or using objects of reference.

The person remains in control over how these plan are made, who is to be involved in them, how they are to be recorded, and whose help they will need to make the plans happen. Person centred plans need to be revisited regularly as a person’s requirements naturally changes over time.

The key questions to think about in person centred planning

Who are the important people in a person’s life?

These are the people the person wants to be involved in developing their person centred plan and who can help them make things happen.

These are the committed people in the person’s life: family, friends and others who know and care about them. They are the person’s circle of support.

What are the person’s strengths (or gifts)?

Finding out what the person is good at and what other people consider their strengths to be can help people think about future planning. 

For example, the kinds of employment, educational course, career paths, day or social activities they may wish to pursue should be based on the person’s strengths.

What is important to the person now and in the future (their dreams)?

This helps the person think about what is important to them in their life. Some things will already be present and will need to continue, whilst other things will need to be planned for. 

Learning about what is important to young people can also help others to understand their preferences.  Similarly, blue sky thinking (asking what a person’s dreams are) can provide ideas about what to pursue in the future.

What kinds of support will the person need to achieve the future they want?

People will need to identify key areas in which support is needed, and to talk about how they can get that support.

Looking after health needs will be particularly important for some people and person centred plans should incorporate the person’s health support needs. The best way to do this is to add a Health Action Plan to the person centred plan.