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United States Department of the Interior
Montana State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Montana 59101-4669

October 24, 2011

1400-410 (MT933.RM) P
Information Bulletin No. MT-2012-002
To:             All Montana/Dakotas Employees
From:         Deputy State Director, Division of Support Services
Subject:     Individual Development Plans (IDPs)
The 2010 Federal Employees Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) identified the need to improve employees’ work experience by empowering employees to invest in, as well as obtain support for, their individual career development. This information bulletin serves as a reminder that the IDP can be a useful tool for you and your supervisor to assess your skills and expertise in relation to current or future career goals, and then to develop a plan that identifies appropriate training and other developmental experiences to achieve those goals within a specified timeframe. Development of an IDP is not mandatory for any employees in the Montana/Dakotas organization; however, it is encouraged.
Once you and your supervisor have agreed to incorporate an IDP into your developmental framework, it is important to establish a timeframe to use as a measurement of progress that is representative of your and your supervisor’s schedule. In addition, your IDP should be a live document that allows for a continuing cycle of planning, implementation, evaluation, and updating. An IDP can be administered in concert with the annual EPAP; October 1 to September 30 of each year with a mid-year review in March, but the IDP is not to be used to assess performance. 
Developmental opportunities can take many forms, and a mix of training and experiential learning should be included on the IDP. Besides formal training in a classroom setting (the most common--and costly--option), other excellent developmental opportunities include details, mentoring, distance learning through the internet or intranet, assignment to a project team, cross‑training, exposure to supervisory responsibilities, involvement in outreach efforts, and temporary assignments in other offices.    

An IDP is not a binding contract or a guarantee of available funding. It is an agreement entered into by an employee and his/her supervisor by which each makes a commitment to follow through, communicate, and utilize available resources to allow for success.       

The following link provides access to BLM’s online IDP developed by the National Training Center:  BLM Online IDP, or you can use the form: Montana/Dakotas IDP Form. 

If you have any questions or would like additional information regarding IDPs, please contact Connie Raynock, HR Training Specialist, at (406) 896-5229, or email Connie_Raynock@blm.gov.
Signed by:                                                                   Authenticated by:
Diane M. Friez                                                             Aleta Zahorodny
Deputy State Director,                                                Staff Assistant (MT930)
Division of Support Services

Last updated: 06-28-2012