Professional development plan

A professional development plan is a way of recording your strategies and activities for improving, expanding and cultivating your knowledge and skills base. This is done through setting and working towards specific goals.

Goals do not need to involve just professional training. They can include any activity that furthers your professional competence, including goals that relate to developing management, organisational, communication or people skills. However, all goals should be SMART:

  • Specific and stretching
  • Measurable
  • Appropriate and attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time limited

You should set at least three development goals per year. You can choose to set more if you wish. Goals can be set across different development areas or you can have more than one goal in each area.

You should always set a time limit for achieving your goals. You should also record your short-term, medium-term and long-term goals for your career in general to keep yourself focused on the overall outcome of your continuing professional development.


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