Individual Development Plan (IDP)

Vision, Action, Reflection: Build your Personalized Plan for Career Success

Individual Development Plan

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, 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.

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 SGSPA workshop series pages. Throughout the 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.

More information on participating in the IDP coming soon - including an online module.

  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 finalize your learning goals.
  4. Leverage social support either through supervisor, cohort, and monthly sessions.
  5. Check the SGSPA website regularly for learning opportunities.
  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-up workshop to help with this, and hear from other participants.

“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.”

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

As a guide, think about it like this:

  • Core expectations – Go through the workbook, plan your IDP,  and reflect on what you have done.
  • Attending the launch and wrap-up workshops; discussing your IDP 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.

The following guidebook is intended for supervisors to help guide and support their students in the IDP process.

The Supervisors Guidebook to the IDP (234 KB)

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.