Skip Navigation
Office of Human Resources Management
USDA Virtual University
United States Department of Agriculture

Creating Your Individual Development Plan

Creating Your Individual IDPThe Individual Development Plan (IDP) is an effective employee development tool, and part of a long term career planning process used to create activities that will lead to a more engaged, effective and skilled USDA workforce. The IDPs play an important role in succession planning by helping employees develop skills that will be needed in the future, and also help close employees’ competency gaps.

According to OPM, when using an IDP, supervisors develop a better understanding of their employees' professional goals, strengths, and development needs. Employees take personal responsibility and accountability for their career development and acquiring or enhancing the skills they need to stay current in their roles. USDA’s policy promotes the use of IDPs as a positive way to develop effective and engaged employees.

The newly launched “Creating Your Individual Development Plan (IDP)” course, guides employees in the development of their IDP focusing on specific competencies (knowledge and skills) needed to enhance current technical, program and/or leadership competencies and/or prepare for new responsibilities. By completing this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Determine their role and responsibilities in the development of their Individual Development Plan (IDP).
  2. Effectively prepare for the IDP meeting with their supervisor.
  3. Identify at least three basic types of developmental experiences to choose when developing an IDP.

Getting Started

To take the course: got to AgLearn, search it by name; add it to your To-Do List, then take the course. Here is how:

  1. Log into AgLearn: http//
  2. From the Home page in the menu column on the right, click on the Browse link.
  3. Once on the Catalog Search page, in the Search field type: Creating Your Individual Development Plan (IDP).
  4. Click on the Go button.
  5. The search results will return a list of courses.
  6. Scroll through the list and select the course by clicking the Add to To-Do List button located on the right of the page.
  7. Launch the course from My To Do List.

The Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a map for attaining goals that specifies immediate and long-range developmental need, and it should be updated and modified as an employee grows in experience and competencies.