Personal or professional development plans
The personal or professional development plan (PDP) is a formal means by which an individual (normally working with a teacher, mentor or supervisor) sets out the goals, strategies and outcomes of learning and training. Again this is in alignment with the professional programme of study and is often written to meet requirements from regulatory or statutory bodies around continuing professional development (CPD) and revalidation to retain a licence to practise, stay on a professional register and demonstrate professional standing.
The plan should clearly define time frames, activities and outcomes to meet the defined goals, and specify dates for review and meetings with teachers, supervisors or line managers. Plans will vary between individuals. Learning activities may include formal and informal training, reading, attending meetings, observing colleagues, practising clinical skills, refreshing or learning new study skills, or developing new skills to meet a career goal.
For a critical review of PDPs in relation to contemporary medical education and revalidation, see Jennings’ (2007) article in the Journal of Postgraduate Medicine.