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Human Resources and Organizational Management


Human Resources and Organizational Management

Headquarters Marine Corps

Your Individual Development Plan (IDP)

The Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a developmental tool to help Employees reach performance objectives and career goals within the context of the organization’s mission and goals. It works best when the Employee and the Supervisor work together to create the IDP. Employees benefit by enhancing their knowledge, skills and experiences to help them achieve personal and career goals. The organization benefits by developing improved Employee capabilities and job performance.

What is in an IDP?

IDP formats vary from organization to organization, but they all have common elements such as:

  • Goals -- The employee's short and long-term career goals
  • Developmental objectives -- Brief action statement that describes the knowledge and skills the employee wants to improve and why
  • Developmental activities -- One or more specific developmental activities to enable the individual to achieve the desired knowledge or practice and improve the desired skills
  • Timeline -- Realistic target dates are established for each activity, and completion dates are entered when the activity is finished
  • Results -- Upon completion, the employee and supervisor discuss and document the level of proficiency gained in reaching the developmental objective. If results were less than desired, another developmental activity may be added to the IDP
An IDP is a developmental partnership between the individual and supervisor. IDP preparation involves feedback, clarification, and discussion about developmental needs, goals, and plans. Supervisor-subordinate communication is key to the success of the IDP process.

Steps for Developing an IDP

Step 1. Draft short-term goal(s)
Step 2. Draft long-term goal(s)
Step 3. Review your goals.
Step 4. Identify Developmental Objectives
Step 5. Identify one or more developmental activities for each developmental objective
Step 6. Create your draft IDP following the instructions in the HQMC IDP Format
Step 7. Review your draft IDP with your supervisor, make adjustments if needed, sign, and implement the actions

For more information regarding the development and implementation of an IDP, including a template for developing your own plan, please refer to the HQMC IDP Handbook.

For a suggested list of training activities and sources, consult the Training and Workforce Development page, or click on the "Training Opportunities" button to your right.