Individual Development Plan

IDP and 8 hours PDWhat is an IDP?

An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a professional development tool used to help an individual identify strengths and areas for growth, and set attainable goals. IDPs are standard practice in the workplace and have long been used as a career planning tool in industry, government, and education.

When IDPs moved into the academic arena, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students found they were more productive, more satisfied with their experience, and had fewer supervisory conflicts. Creating an IDP will help you prepare for work in academic and non-academic careers.

While completion of your IDP cannot be counted as part of the eight-hour professional development activities for graduate students, it is designed to complement other professional development activities.


The U of A Calendar states that all graduate students at the University of Alberta are required to submit an individualized professional development plan to the department and their program of studies (Graduate Coordinator or Graduate Chair) for review and approval:

  • Within 12 months of your program's commencement for full-time Master's students
  • Within 24 months of your program's commencement for part-time Master's students
  • Within 18 months of your program's commencement for full-time doctoral students
  • Within 36 months of your program's commencement for part-time doctoral students

If you would like guidance, please attend our Professional Development Requirement sessions and/or complete our Part 2 Online Workshop: Getting Your IDP Started--Exploring Career Values and Success (also eligible for PD credit).


The PD Online Platform is being discontinued. If you have any concerns, please contact