Eight Hours of Professional Development Activities: Guidelines

The University of Alberta Professional Development Requirement has two components that must be submitted to your graduate coordinator or graduate chair prior to convocation:

  1. An individualized career plan document called an Individual Development Plan (IDP); and
  2. The completion of eight hours of professional development activities inspired by the career plan.

As you complete the Individual Development Plan (IDP) self-assessment of your skills and competencies in the IDP package, you should be able to identify your career or life goals. You are encouraged to find the professional development activities that align with your individual career interests and develop skills not included in your programs to fulfill the eight hour requirement.

The professional development activities, which should be approved by your department, must be completed within the first three years for most doctoral students and time of completion for master's students.  Please consult with your department regarding which tracking and completion forms are required.

How to Chose Your PD Activitiesfour graduate students


What PD Activities Count 

Professional development activities can take place on or off campus, and may include training that graduate students participate in through their professional work/employment role.  A professional development activity fulfills the University of Alberta Professional Development Requirement if it contributes to the acquisition of skills, knowledge or mindset and includes all of these three components:

  • Comprises of formal training and include active learning, with an assessment component (self-assessment, reflection, quiz, write-pair-share, evidence of knowledge application). Learning activities under the tutelage of Indigenous elders fall under this consideration where students may provide a self-assessment, application of knowledge, reflection, or practice that aligns with the learning of Indigenous knowledge.
  • Falls outside of research methods training, capstone project, thesis or equivalent, and required practicum.  Practicums and internships that have assessment, reflection, and feedback components can be applied towards the PD requirement (e.g. GSIP). 
  • Supports the career goals and/or seven skills/competencies identified in the individual development plan

University Sanctioned Committees

As a pilot, graduate students who are members of University sanctioned committees/boards (e.g Graduate Students' Association,  CTL Advisory Committee, Department Council) can apply to have 2 hours PD credit for training achieved through their work experience.  Students will need to identify learning outcomes and how they were achieved during their experience. After students submit their form for approval by the committee chair/supervisor, a 2 hour PD credit will appear in campusBridge.


You can demonstrate that you have attended sessions through a variety of ways. Departments will determine what they consider acceptable evidence. Options include:

  1. Attendance record in campusBRIDGE. Guide to campusBridge: Registration and Proof of Attendance
  2. Signed Declaration of Attendance. The presenter/host of the session/workshop also signs the form to verify attendance. These are used when no other record or proof of completion is available.
  3. Certificate of participation or completion 
  4. Departments may choose to develop and use a PD record book. Attendance can be verified by having session presenters sign the document. 

To help keep track of your professional development hours you may want to use a Record of Activities.