Professional Development
February 05, 2008

Professional Development Plans - Checklist Review 2008

Download: Complete Bulletin (71k pdf)


The Professional Development Plan (PDP) should be dynamic and should address ALL professional development needs and activities in a school district and BOCES. It must be revised at least annually and adopted by the board of education, by September 1 of each year and, respond to emerging needs of educators. This checklist is designed to help you identify areas that need attention as you review and revise the professional development plan (PDP) and the process your school district uses to develop and implement this plan.

PDP Requirements

Does your Professional Development Plan (PDP) do the following?

1. Serve as the comprehensive document which includes all district or BOCES professional development programs and activities?

2. Reflect a systematic method for identifying the professional development needs of teachers and other school personnel, including;

  1. Analysis of formal needs assessment conducted by the district.
  2. Analysis of district student data to identify gaps in student performance.
  3. Coordination with other needs assessments conducted as part of grants.

3. Link professional development activities directly to needs supported by student achievement data (from state assessments and your school report card) and other measures of student performance?

4. Identify specific target audiences for professional development?

  1. Targets may include a focus by building, by content by experience level, or by specific student populations.

5. Define the term "substantial" professional development?

6. Address all the components of mandated district based mentoring program, (for holders of initial and transitional certificates)?

7. Include activities to address the needs of all professional and supplemental staff who work with students with disabilities?

8. Describe what activities will be "acceptable" for holders of a professional teaching certificate when they are required to earn 175 hours every 5 years to maintain certification?

9. Describe what activities will be "acceptable" for holders of a level III teaching assistant certificate when they are required to earn 75 hours of acceptable professional development every 5 years to maintain certification?

10. Include a system of documentation of professional development hours.

11. Provide professional development that is continuous, sustained and effective?

12. Identify how the impact of professional development on student achievement and teacher practice will be measured?

13. Establish a timeline when the plan will be reviewed, revised and approved by the Board of Education by September 1 st of each year?

PDP Team Composition and Process

14. Are a majority of the PDP committee teacher members appointed by the union president? If not, the union leader should ensure this occurs as soon as possible.

15. Is there a procedure for appointing members to replace those who resign or are no longer able to serve on the committee?

16. Is there a plan for rolling (staggered) teacher membership on the PDP team to insure equitable and on-going membership on the team by teachers in all buildings, levels and disciplines?

17. Does your PDP include a structure (subcommittee, task force or team) to create and monitor the district-based mentoring plan to ensure that it aligns with the goals identified through collective bargaining?

18. Are regular and frequent meetings held according to a published schedule?

19. Do the teacher members of the team understand of their roles as representatives of the teachers' union on the team?

20. Do teacher members of the PDP team regularly report to the teachers' union executive committee and membership?

21. Do you have written meeting guidelines, including meeting protocol, agenda development, attendance, voting, conflict resolution, leadership designation and a plan if guidelines are not followed?

22. Does the team leader use effective group facilitation strategies to encourage collaborative and respectful dialogue?

23. Are all required groups represented including teachers, administrators, higher education, parents, and curriculum specialists?

24. Do all stakeholders participate equally?

25. Does the PDP team assess its ongoing effectiveness as a PDP team?

26. Does the PDP team assess the effectiveness of the professional development programs and use results of evaluations to improve the quality of the professional development program?

27. Is there a feedback loop between the stakeholder groups and the individuals they are representing?

PDP as part of Comprehensive District Education Plan (CDEP)

The requirements of a professional development plan may be met by either including the plan as part of a comprehensive district education plan or a stand alone professional development plan. SED's recommendation is that the comprehensive district education plan is preferred due to its reliance on extensive research, focus on root causes, and data driven decision making. The professional development plan contained within a comprehensive district education plan must meet all the requirements related to collaboration with the professional development team in the development and review of the plan.

28. If you have a Comprehensive District Education Plan (CDEP), does your CDEP team comply with the stakeholder representation required for the development of the PDP?

For more information and a copy of CR 100.2 (dd) go to Click on NYSUT Research Bulletins and see NYSUT Information Bulletin No. 200306: Professional Development Plans.

Download: Complete Bulletin (71k pdf)