A professional development plan includes goals and specific steps for achieving them. The plan contains a timeline for completion and identifies tools for assessing progress.
Although an individual may create a professional development plan on her own, such plans are usually created in collaboration with a second party, such as a supervisor. In some situations, groups of people come together to create a professional development plan. For example, educators in Wisconsin work with professional development plan teams.
The creation of a professional development plan begins with an assessment to identify areas for growth and improvement. The individual completes a self-assessment. The supervisor and anyone else involved also completes an assessment of the individual's skills.
The individual then meets with the supervisor or team to select goals for the professional development plan. These goals are based on the results of the assessments. The goals should be specific, measurable and achievable.
The professional development plan outlines tasks the individual can complete to meet the goals. Tasks can include attending a seminar, working with a mentor or volunteering. Individuals should document the work they do. The plan also includes information about assessing the work. Individuals meet regularly with their supervisors or professional development teams to discuss progress towards the goals and to revise plans as needed.