Individual Professional Development Plan

Using Competency-Based Assessment to Drive Teacher Excellence

An Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) is a tool helping your professional growth and expand your knowledge and skills. It is a process as well as a document that guides your professional development and reflects changes over time.

Your IPDP enables you to analyse your development needs, set specific annual goals and target opportunities to meet these identified goals. This achievement of your professional goals will, ultimately, benefit your students, school and your learning organisation.

An Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) follows a five-step process for continuing your professional growth. The process is ongoing, and includes:

  1. Self-Assessment (What are your current interests, knowledge and skills?)
  2. Set Goals (What would you like to learn more about?)
  3. Strategies (How will you do this, and what resources will you need to make it happen?)
  4. Timeline (How much time will you need to complete each goal?).
  5. Document (How to track your development through your accomplishments)?.

For teachers, a personal and professional growth process necessarily integrates the goals of the teacher as a professional with the goals of the school, division and region for better student outcomes. The standards, processes and tools used in the IPDP are based on the Teacher Competency Assessment (TCA) model which is organised around eight domains covering all aspects of a teacher’s job performance, as shown below:

  1. Understanding the Curriculum
  2. Planning and Assessment of Instruction
  3. Management of Classroom
  4. Effective Instruction
  5. Standards for Student Achievement
  6. Appreciation of Diversity
  7. Professional Responsibilities
  8. Student Outcomes

Behaviour Indicators

Each of the above domains has a number of indicators. Indicators are observable and measurable statements that provide evidence of the application of knowledge and skills in practice.

These Indicators may be visible during individual lessons or over the course of the year. In turn, the information can be used as an input to an individual professional development plan (IPDP).

Continuous self-assessment and reflection are central to a useful, effective IPDP. The TCA competency model for the teaching profession can and should be used for self-assessment and to identify areas for growth and further professional development. The TCA identifies what each Indicator looks like in practice at four levels of Performance as shown below.

Level of Performance Labels for the Index Description
4 Expert Teacher has almost all the competencies for effective teaching at high level. These are the identified strengths. Strengths have to be sustained and enhanced; however professional development needs  have to be continuously address.
3 Effective Teacher has majority of the competencies at high level for effective teaching. Strengths have to be enhanced. Training and professional development needs have to be addressed.
2 Developing Teacher has average of all the  competencies at high level for effective teaching. These strengths have to be enhanced; however, training needs have to be addressed as  priority.
1 Beginning Teacher has very few of the competencies at high level for effective teaching. Training needs have to be given priority and addressed urgently.

Linking your IPDP to the Teacher Competency Assessment

The information taken from the individual TCA will be utilised in the formulation of the teacher’s Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) that shall also serve as input to the school- based capacity building of teachers.

One way to consider your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher is to respond to focused, guiding indicators related to effective teaching practices. Any indicators to which you respond at levels 1, 2 or 3 of performance may be areas for growth.

Remember that the TCA  tool is not intended as an external tool for evaluation. This is an opportunity to be personal and honest in your assessment for self-improvement. You may wish to do this activity with a trusted peer or colleague to allow for additional discussion and reflection.

Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) Cycle

The professional development cycle consists of four phases:

  • Conduct a self-assessment using the Teacher Competency Assessment (TCA).
  • Develop professional development SMART goals for your IPDP
  • Identify possible strategies and resources that you need to make it happen

Implement action plan

Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP)

Any format of an Individual Professional Development Plan must include the four basic components:

  • Self-Assessment
  • Setting Goals
  • Strategies/Resources
  • Timeline
  • Documentation

Teachers Self-assessment

Self-assessment is a powerful technique for improving achievement. Continuous self-assessment and reflection are central to a useful, effective Individual Professional Development Plan.