Use of Individual Development Plans to Help Map Educational and Growth Opportunities for Staff of the Missouri Department of Conservation

Wednesday, September 11, 2013: 9:00 AM
Fulton (Statehouse Convention Center)
Vince Travnichek , Missouri Department of Conservation, St. Joseph, MO
Continuing education beyond formal college or university training is not an uncommon opportunity provided by most employers.  However, most employers do not ask employees to formally devise a roadmap for their personal development tailored for their own goals within their respective agencies.  Recently, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) created what are called Individual Development Plans (IDPs).  The IDP is a strategic tool to identify resources and options for personal development both short- and long-term that provide staff the skills they need to help them complete their current job as well as provide them skills needed to advance within MDC, if so desired.  An IDP is completed by each employee within MDC, and it identifies competencies needed for their current position as well as for any other position within the agency.  Comparing current Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) of an employee’s current position with a position they might desire to have in the future allows them to chart their own training needs to have the KSAs needed for that future position.  Along with the IDP, the Missouri Department of Conservation has developed internal training courses such as stream ecology, reservoir management, and warm- and cold-water hatchery production as well as utilizing external training on topics such as principles of electrofishing or fish health to educate staff on these topics if they did not receive them during their formal education in college.  The IDP is a living document that should be reviewed annually to help determine if an employee has the needed KSAs for an employee’s current position, and if an employee is gaining the needed KSAs for a future desired position within MDC.