Career development

Career development plan

Download: Career development plan template


Performance summary (refer to your most recent performance review) and 9-box grid position

Referencing your most recent performance appraisal / review, summarise your key strengths and development areas. Ensure you focus both on your delivery against objectives as well as performance against the relevant competency framework for your role, (For example, I successfully achieved all my work objectives using my organisational skills and fostering good relationships (delivery at pace), but I need to learn to delegate actions more effectively to my direct reports).

Career goals

Following discussion with your line manager, set out your personal aspirations and career goals. This would include where you would like to be by March 2017/18 (For example, "by March 2017, I would like to understand better how NHS England works") and in the medium / long term (For example, "in three years time I would like to be promoted to a director of nursing post in a national regulatory body").


Against ‘potential’ characteristics your current areas of strength

Include strengths you have agreed with your line manager, based on your career conversation / development centre focussed on the ‘potential’ characteristics (For example, consistently simplifies complex information by identifying and distilling key facts and takes a long term view when planning work and making critical decisions. Try to include examples of things you have done that demonstrate your identified strengths).

Development areas

Against ‘potential’ characteristics your current development needs

Include key development areas you have agreed with your line manager, based on your career conversation / development centre focussed on the ‘potential’ characteristics. It is useful to categorise your development areas as knowledge, skills or behaviour gaps as well as their relevance to medium / long term career goals or short term learning and development needs.

You should also refer to the NHS Leadership Model, your self-assessment and 360 degree feedback.

  • Identify immediate knowledge, skills or behaviour you might need to develop in the next year in order to deliver your short term goals in the most effective way possible (For example, learn more about specified policy / regulatory area or governing body).
  • Identify longer term knowledge, skills and behaviour you might need to develop to achieve your career aspirations (For example, clarify career goals and extent network as required / identify a relevant mentor at senior level within specified organisation / area of specialism).

Career development plan

Summarise the agreement you have reached with your line manager about how you will meet the learning and development needs set out in the previous boxes. For these purposes you should include anything that addresses the need identified.

Using the categorisation you applied to your learning and development needs, consider the appropriate interventions taking into consideration the following.

  • Interventions your organisation provides access to: e.g. CSL, NHS Leadership Academy, organisation or role-specific programmes / options, on-the-job learning including: shadowing, project work, mentoring, learning about other work area in your organisation, employer-supported volunteering.
  • External options: e.g. the Health and Care Leaders Scheme (HCLS) development programme,other skills such as policy development, educational opportunities such as studying for an MBA, using the SLB/DH network, e.g. for shadowing, mentoring, secondments, short term project work, attending external events, action that you wish to take to connect to the front line, where this is not already covered.
  • Personal options – consider activities that you carry out in your own time, e.g. volunteering, acting as a trustee etc. as these can contribute to your personal development.


Development goal

Success measures

Development options


Obstacles and enablers


E.g. to develop a clear understanding of the health and care system at a national level.

  • Clear and demonstrable knowledge of the remit, scope, organisational structures, relevant roles and locations of DH and each of its ALBs.
  • Understanding of the political context and its impact on national systems leadership.
  • Use organisations’ websites to develop basic knowledge.
  • Build and utilise network achieved through HCLS cohort.
  • Identify and secure mentor in appropriate role and level in relevant ALB or DH.
  • Identify and secure short term secondment / project / interchange with relevant ALB(s) /DH
  • Build basic knowledge immediately.
  • Networks – Oct 16 to October 2017.
  • Mentor – by April 2016 and for a period of at least 6 months.
  • Secondments / placements – from October 2015.
  • Day job / work priorities.
  • Organisational line manager support.
  • Coach
  • Availability of mentors / development opportunities in other organisations.

To be done through reviews with line manager (and coach as appropriate). To include progress review and impact of development intervention against development goal.


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