Professional Development Needs. For the initial application, professional development needs are guided by the results of the Management Assessment. Subsequently, professional development needs are guided by the results of a multi-rater or 360-degree assessment of professional development needs, an assessment that is required by the Credentialing Program within the first five years of entering the program. Because conditions and circumstances can change rapidly, a member may identify a specific need at any time, and members are encouraged to review and modify this section as appropriate.

Learning Goals. Learning goals to address identified professional development needs should be covered in two timeframes. First, there should be a statement of overall learning goals for a longer time period (for example, the next three or five years). Second, there should be a statement of short-term learning goals, i.e., what will be addressed in the coming year. 

Planned Professional Development Activities. This section should illustrate that a member has given appropriate consideration to how his or her learning goals for the year will be met. It is recognized that specific planned activities for the coming year are subject to change for many reasons. However, members are encouraged to be as specific as possible regarding conferences, meetings, workshops, seminars, and other professional development activities that they plan to attend. If studying books is anticipated as a part of the professional development plan, these book titles should be identified. 

Completed Activities. Completed activities must be more than a recitation of activities attended. What is required is a written discussion of the outcomes of the professional development activity. This can be in the form of a reflection on how the activity has improved the member as a person or a manager, or it can be in the form of a narrative of how the member applied the information obtained from the professional development activity in his or her work. This can also be in the form of "lessons learned" or "takeaways" from the activity. 

Note: Generally, professional development consists of structured learning such as participating in workshops or studying books. Casual reading of newspapers and magazines is not considered structured learning. The structured learning itself is the professional development activity and counts toward the 40-hour professional development requirement. For example, completing a strategic plan is not professional development. Attending a workshop or studying a book to improve your strategic planning skills is a professional development activity.