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Individual Development Plan

Version 1.0 Updated 19 Mar 2018
Forms & Checklists Manage

Who can use this form?
This form can be used by all employers.


An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a useful tool to maximise employee development and productivity leading to greater gains for organisations. Use of an IDP can foster development for improved performance in an employee’s present role, or preparation for a role of greater responsibility.

Individual development planning is important for the following business reasons:

  • Productivity increases when employees develop and fine-tune their skills they are generally more committed to their workplace;
  • Profitability increases when employees can see a connection between what they contribute and the organisation’s mission; and
  • Employee retention increases because employees consider that their employer is contributing to their career growth.


It is important to note that IDPs are not for poor performing employees. In such instances, a performance management process should be followed instead. IDPs are for individuals who at least meet the expectations of performance in their role and whose performance can be enhanced in their current role. IDPs may also be part of a succession planning strategy for the business.

The following steps should be considered when executing an effective IDP process:

  • Management Assessment: Development begins with an employee’s manager(s) sharing a view of their assessment of the employee’s abilities and what role the employee should play in the organisation.
  • Employee Assessment: The employee conducts a self-assessment. In particular, the employee should consider the feedback received against their career motivations, interests and aspirations. Once an employee has completed this, they are prepared for a development discussion with their manager.
  • Discussion: Together the employee and manager identify strengths and growth opportunities for the employee. A manager should always be as open and candid in providing feedback as possible.
  • Choose a Plan of Action: The employee, with their manager, creates a plan to develop two or three areas that will make them more effective in their present role, or prepare them for future roles. In some instances, both can occur.
  • Execute the Plan: The IDP should be approved by the employer prior to execution. Further, the employer needs to ensure that the employee has the resources required to meet the plan.
  • Follow up: There should be ongoing discussions between the employee and their manager(s) to review IDP progress and to fine-tune the IDP, where necessary.
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