The Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a crucial part of graduate student professional development, and is a tool to assist your career planning. The IDP offers you an opportunity to think about how you will complement the disciplinary knowledge you develop through your program with skills, competencies, and experiences academic and non-academic employers are looking for. The IDP is an opportunity to set you on a path to achieving your professional goals.
The IDP Online Platform is an exciting addition to the nationally recognized suite of professional development programming offered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR). The IDP Online Platform offers students the opportunity to learn about the Professional Development Requirement in an interactive, "gamified" space. The platform also provides you with the opportunity to complete your Individual Development Plan online over a single or several sessions.
The IDP workbooks can be used as a complement to the online platform or in place of the platform for those that wish to completed the IDP in a paper format. Students can choose from two workbooks that support students who have been on a continuous post-secondary path or are returning from a professional experience.
What 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 a 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 IDP Online Course (also eligible for PD credit).