Good PDP

Filling out the PDP section should be simple, but it is actually not, because people don’t understand what is meant by PDP.

Doctors seem very worried about writing more than one sentence in the boxes. I would recommend writing more. Many appraisees just put in CPD courses or new service developments as their PDP. This is not correct. Going on a course isn’t your personal or professional development, it is an activity undertaken in order to help you with or inform your personal or professional development. It is only a small part of that PDP. So is setting up a new service.

Below I have given an example of what doctors COMMONLY put in their PDP, and then what they SHOULD have put. Copy the ideas from here for your PDP if it’s helpful to you.

The words in the PDP box you find in your appraisal form is as below –

  • Learning need or goal –
  • Action –
  • Achieved By –
  • Will demonstrate success by –

These are unclear terms for guiding what to write in the PDP box. Do not just put your CPD, courses and new services as your PDP. Put WHY you chose that course, WHY you chose to develop that service, WHY you wanted to learn that skill,

Below is an example of poor PDP , and how it could be improved

eg: Going on a Course as PDP

Poor PDP

This is poor PDP.

Attending a course could mean sleeping at the back with no learning. There is no evidence on how the you will further develop these skills from the course and then prove competence in those skills.

A better and more robust PDP for CPD is as below – 

Better PDP

Key questions to ask yourself in making PDP –

  • How can I improve what I do? eg: Why go on a course, and then what?
  • If I want to improve my clinical skills or techniques, how can I learn those skills and then get better and then evidence that I am competent / safe?
  • Do I have the appropriate skills and expertise for eg; a new service development such as organisation skills, people management skills?
  • Have any non-technical skills been highlighted in my MSF or any SUI or complaints eg communication, time management, self-awareness?
  • Are there leadership skills I could develop?
  • Are there IT skills I could develop to improve my efficiency eg better at PowerPoint?
  • Do I need any help/support/mentoring?

It could be argued that all I have done is add extra words to the PDP. However, by writing those extra words, you are having to REFLECT on the reasons for undertaking that CPD and/or the service development activity, and give more evidence for discussion with your appraiser ie turn the process into something that may be useful.