Have you got a Personal Development Plan?

Within the new CPD scheme you may come across the term Personal Development Plan or PDP.  We are going to look at what a personal development plan is and how to make one.

In summary a PDP is a reflection on where you are now and where you want to be.  It details the steps that will be required to put your plans in place.  It can include both your career and lifestyle.

Having a PDP gives you a record of your career that you can use to inform future applications for study and osteopathic positions.  It will help you to be aware of who you are and what you want.  It will help prevent professional drift and stagnation.  It will help you identify the skills and experience that you need.

A personal development plan gives you a focus for your life, helping you to avoid frustration and disappointment.  Just because you make a plan doesn’t mean the plans won’t change or end up in a completely different direction but it means you have more purpose and direction.  If you think of an analogy with a car journey – you usually start out knowing where you are travelling to.  Sometimes unforeseen events might occur such as a road being blocked or the car breaks down, this causes you to re-evaluate and plan whether to wait, take another route but on the whole you will eventually reach your direction somehow.  Sometimes along the way you might see something interesting and decide to change course to investigate and then go on a completely different route but nonetheless you still go on a planned journey to a planned destination.  You never know what might happen on any journey but you can see how planning and adapting those plans is involved and this can easily be applied to the Personal Development Planning of the journey of life.

Personal Development Plan – Where are you now?

You could start by looking at the following:

What are your qualifications and learning achievements?

What particular areas of skill and experience do you have?

This is where a SWOT analysis can be helpful – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.  I find it helpful to consider these in different areas of life separately – me as an osteopath, my practice situation, and sometimes my life in general.

Personal Development Plan – Where do you want to be?

Some people find it helpful to break this down into 1 years time and 5 years time so the plans can be more easily broken down into achievable steps.

Personal Development Plan – Action Plan

Plan how you are going to achieve your goals.  Be very specific about what you want to achieve, how you can achieve it, and the specific timescale for achieving your objective.  You may then need to list the different actions required.  It is also helpful to think about what help you might need to achieve your goals and what might prevent you from achieving those goals.  At some point you need to reflect by looking at this plan and identifying what progress you have made, which goals have been achieved and then plan how to progress with the action plan.

If you don’t meet your plans, don’t despair it is all part of your skills development you can reflect on what you need to change in order to meet those plans.  This would demonstrate your ability to ‘re-evaluate situations’.

Every experience you have has a purpose and therefore using reflection can help you to identify skills and continue your personal development.

Putting plans into writing will help prevent plans remaining as dreams and hopefully turn them to realities.  You need to be realistic over time-frames.  If you have a desire to have a 10 practitioner successful practice the initial goal might be to start a practice and aim to have 20 patients a week by the end of the year.  Make plans that you can really do and achieve.

It is recommended that personal development plans are rewritten every year in order to re-evaluate and set goals. Start today and make your personal development plan, turn your dreams into plans….

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