Personal development plan (PDP) Personal development plan (PDP)

Within each appraisal you should aim to include information on the progress you've made against last year's PDP objectives, as well as deciding upon new PDP objectives for the coming year.

Last year's PDP

When preparing your appraisal, note down the progress you've made against last year's PDP objectives in the appropriate section of your appraisal form.

We recognise that a PDP is a fluid entity and your objectives can and may change over the course of a year. The important point here, therefore, is to demonstrate the progress you've made, your reflections upon this and any subsequent impact on, or changes to, your clinical practice.

This year's PDP

During your appraisal you will discuss your PDP for the coming year with your appraiser, and agree on between three to five objectives. Your objectives should ideally reflect your full scope of work, and be based on learning needs identified throughout the year – for example, linking to a recent significant event, audit, PUN or DEN, or even following on from a previous PDP objective. It's worth going to your appraisal with some ideas for your new PDP – there will usually be a section within your appraisal form where you can make notes.

SMART objectives

Your objectives should, as far as possible, be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound). Read our short guide to the SMART model here.