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An Official Web Site of the United States Government

Current PMFs

Training and Development

Individual Development Plan

A realistic, well-researched, clearly written Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a valuable tool for charting a successful two-year PMF experience. PMF regulations require your agency to establish an IDP for each of its Fellows that sets forth the specific developmental activities designed to impart the competencies of the occupation or functional discipline in which you are most likely to be placed.

You should use the IDP to outline with your supervisor expectations for attaining clearly defined learning objectives and competencies during the next two years through training and developmental assignments. IDP planning allows supervisors to clarify employee performance plans, as well as staffing and budget plans. Additionally, the process will help you discern which developmental activities will be most appropriate for your career advancement.

You should work closely with your supervisor, Agency PMF Coordinator, and Mentor to outline the core competencies and technical skills that you will need before conversion to your target position. IDPs should specify how and when the learning objectives will be met, and determine how you are evaluated. IDPs should include PMF Program sponsored trainings and activities, as well as agency-sponsored career development activities to enhance career and continuing education goals. To be most effective, IDPs should be developed within the first 3 months of the fellowship. You are also encouraged to use your IDP to plan longer range career goals. Ideally, the IDP should be aligned with your performance plan, target position, and career development goals.

Many agencies have a specific IDP form that must be used by their employees. You may use the optional OPM Form 1302, PMF Individual Development Plan, if your agency does not have a required form. The form can be found under the Resources webpage.

Each IDP should be individually tailored around the following elements:

  • Target Position:  A brief description of the target position, and the specific skills that will be needed to qualify for the target position upon successful completion of the two-year program.
  • Learning Objectives:  The learning objectives should include general management areas, as well as specific technical skills and experiences, which will qualify you for the target position at the end of the fellowship.
  • Details and Timeline:  The IDP should clearly indicate when and how the learning objectives will be accomplished. The plan should outline the required developmental assignment as well as the 80 hours of formal interactive training each year of the fellowship, including training opportunities provided by the PMF Program Office.
  • Demonstrated Success:  The IDP should include a means for tracking accomplishments of all IDP objectives at the end of the two-year fellowship. You and your supervisor are partners in determining the objectives set forth in the IDP are accomplished. Should events preclude you from attaining specific learning objectives by a particular date, alternative arrangements should be made with your supervisor.

NOTE:  The IDP is a living document that should be discussed between the Fellow and their supervisor throughout the year. Once an IDP is in place, it is typically reviewed during the initial, mid-year, and annual performance discussions beteen the Fellow and their supervisor. All training and developmental activities should be recorded on your IDP. It is the Fellow's responsibility to provide supporting documentation, if required, as proof of participation or completion of any training and developmental activities; this includes participation in any PMF Program Office sponsored orientation webinar or forums.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has developed the Executive Core Qualifications, or ECQs, required for entry to the Senior Executive Service. The ECQs define the competencies needed to build a Federal corporate culture that drives for results, serves customers, and builds successful teams and coalitions within and outside the organization. (Many agencies have also developed similar competency frameworks to guide their employee development and training.)

These competencies, often referred to as leadership competencies, are recognized as building blocks for a leadership career. When developing an IDP, you should consider your strengths and weaknesses to determine what competencies you wish to develop.

View OPM's ECQs with the related competencies.

UPDATED: 05-25-2017