Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons

Professional Development

site header

Queen’s Graduate Individual Development Plan (IDP)

“Build your personalized plan for career readiness”

On this page you will learn how participating in an IDP can help you attain your career goals, what your time commitment will be, how you can get involved and what are the steps when you are ready to begin!

How will an IDP help me?

The Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a professional development program designed to provide direction, support, and tools to help you:

  • Set flexible career goals that align with your values, skills, and interests, while being made aware of job-market options and realities
  • Identify strengths and gaps in your skills, leverage resources, and make plans to build additional learning experiences into your graduate education to move you closer to your goals
  • Complete your degree and successfully transition from your education program into the next stage of your career and ready to tell compelling stories about your graduate experience and the skills you have learned

While your graduate experience will offer many opportunities for growth and learning, working on your IDP is an opportunity to further customize your experience and ensure you develop the skills you want as a professional. Through professional development planning, you will articulate career goals, develop plans to achieve them, and track your successes along the way.

What is your time commitment and What are you signing up for?

How much time you put into your IDP, is entirely up to you.

“My biggest lesson was to not wait on others, but to take the initiative. I did find that I was waiting for opportunities or on other people to solve my questions. However, I realized that what I make out of my experience is really based on what I decide to do and not what other people tell me to do. My own initiative really triggered my learning experience.”

As a guide think of it like this:

  • Core expectations – Go through the workbook, plan your IDP, reflect on what you have done.
  • Attending the launch and wrap up workshops, or discussing with your supervisor is not essential but highly recommended.
  • Additionally consider how much time you want to spend on workshops, activities and group work.

The IDP does not have to be completed in one term, you have your whole degree to complete it. Remember it is a guide.  You can start and stop as many times as you like. The IDP framework will help guide you and keep track of your goals.

How Can You Participate In the IDP?  When does this happen?

This tool is for all graduate students, supervisors and departments to use if they wish.

For the Fall term, the Expanding Horizons website will be your go to website for all things IDP, including the  SGS workshop series pages. Over Fall we will showcase opportunities and activities for you to consider, and provide access to the workbook and other materials for you to use. It’s as simple as that!

When you start your IDP however is up to you. Each semester we will offer both introductory and wrap up workshops, along with opportunities for you to engage with others doing their IDP.

The first introductory workshops will be held on Thursday 14th October online and Thursday 28th October in person (if we are able to). Both from 4pm – 6pm.

The wrap-up workshop at the end of the semester will be advised but around (April- Aug,  Dec – May)

Steps to Begin Your IDP

  1. Download and review the IDP workbook (1.8MB)
  2. Consider signing up for the IDP workshop and benefit from the facilitators’ and other participants’ experience.
  3. Complete the first phase of your workbook and finalise your learning goals
  4. Leverage social support either by supervisor, cohort and monthly sessions.
  5. Check in regularly on the learning opportunities listed on the SGS website
  6. Track your learning and check in with your supervisor or support group along the way.
  7. Reflect on and reset your goals and learning plan each year. You can attend the IDP Wrap workshop to help with this, and hear from other participants.

Resource for your Supervisor


School of Graduate Studies  Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a collaboration with our partners from Career Services, Student Academic Success Services, the Centre for Teaching & Learning and the Faculty of Arts & Science.