Personal development planning

People working in health are encouraged to review their goals and achievements on a regular basis and to maintain a personal development plan (PDP). 

It's about working out where you want to be and setting goals.

Career planning is a must for everybody working in health and goal-setting is important for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision into reality.

Your goals should be clear, realistic, desirable and achievable. A first step is to look at yourself – your strengths, your preferences, your values, your preferred learning styles. 

What is a personal development plan (PDP)?

A PDP is:

  • an individual plan to suit you
  • a systematic way of identifying and addressing your educational and professional development needs
  • a tool that can identify areas for further development and encourage lifelong learning. A PDP can identify goals for the forthcoming year and methods for achieving these goals

What makes a good PDP?

  • time and thought
  • one that identifies your learning needs - what you want to develop for either your current role or for a future one
  • is achievable
  • is a product of reflection

For each learning need, ask yourself:

  • what do I want/need to learn?
  • what will I do to achieve it? 
  • what resources and/or support will I need?
  • how will I know I have been successful? What are my learning outcomes?
  • what are my target dates for completion and review?

Tips for a useful PDP 

Your PDP must be:

  • personal to you
  • a working document, something you continuously update
  • flexible (used as a guide only)
  • supported by evidence
  • reviewed regularly

Good personal development planning will help you achieve your potential as it will help you to identify your skills gaps and improvement areas/learning needs.

Moving on

Health organisations are committed to offering learning and development opportunities for all full-time and part-time staff. No matter where you start within the health sector, you'll have access to extra training and be given every opportunity to progress within your organisation. You are likely to have an annual personal development review and development plan to support your career development and may be encouraged to extend your range of skills and knowledge to take on new responsibilities.

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