A professional development evaluation is a written assessment of an employee’s development goals, usually written jointly an employer and the employee. The professional development evaluation can include anything from training courses and certifications to learning activities and is used to define an employee’s immediate and long-term development goals within his or her profession. Professional development evaluations are used in a variety of professions, particularly those in which it is necessary to constantly hone skills in relation to technology, new and updated techniques, or intellectual advancements within the field.
An employer and an employee will meet as part of a professional development evaluation to discuss the employee’s professional development history, areas of strengths and weaknesses, and short and long-term goals in the field. The employer and employee will use this information to create a plan based on the professional development evaluation, which will include training courses, instructional workshops, new skills to learn, and so on. Because a professional development evaluation is usually tailored to the specific needs of the individual employee, no two professional development plans will be identical.
In some professions, the employer pays the majority of or all of the costs of professional development. Furthermore, a stipend may be given to an employee who achieves professional development goals in many cases. In other professions, employers require professional development evaluation and participation as part of an employee’s regular responsibilities; as a result, no additional stipends or funding are provided to the employee. Employers or, in the case of education, the school district or state department of education, define such practices.
Some employees participate in professional development evaluations because they are interested in continuing education and lifelong learning, while others are required to do so. Teachers in most states, for example, are contractually obligated to participate in professional development evaluations. They must keep up with new technology and techniques, but they may also be required to participate in professional development in order to maintain their certification. Certification requirements differ state, so teachers must stay up to date on what classes, exams, and activities they need to take to keep their teaching certification valid and current. Professional development activities for teachers may also include curriculum development and writing, peer mentoring or coaching, and career track activities (such as credit and non-credit classes).