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. Everyone seems to just put in courses or new service developments as their PDP. This is not correct. Going on the course isn’t personal development, it is an activity undertaken in order to help you with your development. It is only a small part of that PDP. So is setting up a new service.

Below I have given examples 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 need by –

These are incredibly unhelpful terms for guiding what to write in the PDP box,

but 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, ect.

Below are some examples of poor PDP , and how it could be improved

1. What to write if going on a Course as PDP

My Comments – 

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 PDPfor CPD is as below – 

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 good / safe?
  • Do I have the appropriate skills and expertise for eg; a new service development eg 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. I would counter that in 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.