Why you need an Individual Development Plan

idp-graphic.jpgAn Individual Development Plan (IDP) gives you the ability to objectively look at your current career path and plan out your future.  This isn’t just fluff, it’s a concrete action plan with individual steps you can take to reach the level of professional development that you desire.

An Individual Development Plan is a simple document that helps you identify and outline your knowledge, skills, and abilities while also providing you with a well-thought-out path for professional development. Think of it as an annual review of your existing talents that you can then use to prepare for your future. When well-written, an Individual Development Plan can help you improve your performance, sharpen your professional competencies, and strengthen your weaknesses. Created to help you reach both your short- and long-term career goals, it is an organized approach to get what you want.

A successful plan can be found at the intersection of three key elements: organizational needs, passion, and competence.

  • For STEM Researchers: myIDP 
  • For Humanities and Social Science Researchers: ImaginePhD

Build your skills toolkit

USask opportunities

The Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning (GMCTL) offers a variety of professional development workshops and career-related courses.  Courses available to PDFs are non-credit and free of charge.  Professional Development opportunities will be posted to your PAWS feed and can be found in the  Hub Community.

The following are just a few of the courses available to you.

GPS 989: Philosophy and Practice of University Teaching - For graduate students preparing to teach. Students are introduced to instructional approaches and ways to build the classroom environment that may be applied beyond the university classroom. This is a pass/fail one-term course, and completion appears on the university transcript.  Students taking this course are eligible to apply for Instructional Preparation Certification.

GPS 974: Gradual Professional Skills Certificate -This innovative, non-credit program focusing on strengths-based professional skills development will support you in a multi-disciplinary cohort while you set and work to achieve goals, compose your mission statement, and build a professional eportfolio that documents your growth.

GPS 984: Thinking Critically - This multi-disciplinary course will help you develop and practice critical and reflective thinking skills (must complete prior to or at the same time as GPS 974).

For information on how to register contact pdf.coordinator@usask.ca.


Attend and reflect on your experiences with peers in MITACS and other professional skills workshops around campus. 

EDGE by Mitacs Training provides advance degree graduates and Mitacs program participants with access to courses that supplement their education and research experience with skills that are in demand from today’s workforce.

LinkedIn Learning

Self-directed online learning on LinkedIn Learning offered free of charge to University of Saskatchewan PDFs who sign up with their USask email address.