The SMART model was developed by psychologists as a tool to help people set and reach their goals.  It’s a simple approach that lends itself to creating good PDP entries in your revalidation portfolio.

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Attainable

  • Relevant

  • Time-bound

Is your goal well-defined? Avoid setting unclear or vague objectives; instead be as precise as possible.

Instead of: To be a better GP
Make it specific: To develop my consultation skills, especially those relating to communication.

Be clear how will you know when you have achieved your goal. Using numbers, dates and times is one way to represent clear objectives.

Instead of: Get an attendance certificate or Feel better about my consultations
Make it measurable: Better patient feedback questionnaire outcomes, reduce complaints

Setting yourself impossible goals will only end in disappointment. Make your goals challenging, but realistic.

Instead of: Master consultation skills by the end of the month
Make it attainable: I will go on a consultation skills course and read ‘The naked consultation’.

Try and step back and get an overview of all the different areas of your professional life: Practice, Teaching, Academic, other roles. Consider how relevant each objective is to the overall picture.

Set a time scale for completion of each goal. Even if you have to review this as you progress, it will help to keep you motivated.

Instead of: I will address these issues.
Make it time-bound: Set a date.




(Adapted from