Personal development plans: making them work, making them count
Personal development plans (PDPs) are a central requirement to remaining in good standing for the Continuing Professional Development programme of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. They are also integral to the framework now agreed for consultant appraisal in the National Health Service. This paper sets out the context which makes PDPs increasingly important and discusses the link between appraisal and revalidation, covering ‘360-degree’ techniques such as Ramsey questionnaires (which may ultimately figure in revalidation mechanisms). It then describes the practicalities of generating PDPs, especially in peer group settings. Experience from pilot workshops is used to illustrate how PDPs can be made to work and how learning/developmental objectives can be made meaningful.