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Office of Human Capital Services

People focused. Mission driven.

OHCS is moving all of our content to an intranet site specifically for NOAA employees located here. During this transition, this website will no longer be updated. Please contact hrwebmaster@noaa.gov with any questions or comments.

Individual Development Plans (IDPs)

An individual development plan (IDP) is a tool to assist employees in career and personal development. Its primary purpose is to help employees reach short and long-term career goals, as well as improve current job performance. An IDP is not a performance evaluation tool or a one-time activity. It should be looked at like a partnership between the employee and the supervisor. It involves preparation and continuous feedback. It is highly encouraged to have an IDP. 

Individual development planning benefits the organization by aligning employee training and development efforts with its mission, goals, and objectives. When using an IDP, supervisors develop a better understanding of their employees' professional goals, strengths, and development needs resulting in more realistic staff and development plans. Employees take personal responsibility and accountability for their career development, acquiring or enhancing the skills they need to stay current in required skills. Some of the benefits of an IDP are:

The IDP process involves five phases:

Pre-Planning - supervisor and employee prepare independently for meeting
Employee/Supervisor Meeting
 - discuss employee strengths, areas for improvement, interests, goals, and organizational requirements
Prepare IDP - employee, in consultation with supervisor, completes plan for individual development
Implement Plan - employee pursues training and development identified in plan
Evaluate Outcomes - supervisor/employee evaluate usefulness of training and development experiences

Supervisors and employees work together to complete the employee's development plan, however, employees are ultimately responsible for taking the initiative for their professional development.

IDP Tools:


NOAA IDP Template

Sample NOAA IDP with examples

DOC IDP Manual

DOC IDP - Fillable form  

Discover Helpful Resources:





Please reach out to Jill Walther (Jill.walther@noaa.gov) if you have questions about IDPs.  

Page last edited: November 8, 2018

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