How to Write SMART Personal Development Plans for NMC Revalidation


As part of meeting NMC revalidation requirements, all nurses and midwives must identify and undertake activities supporting their continued professional development. This involves creating at least one written personal development plan (PDP) focused on advancing specific aspects of their practice. In this article, we clarify what constitutes an SMART personal development plans for revalidation purposes. We also provide practical guidance on crafting PDPs genuinely enhancing your nursing skills and practice to confidently meet NMC expectations.

What are SMART Development

Plans for Revalidation? Well-structured PDPs for revalidation incorporate the SMART goal-setting methodology by being:

Specific – Target defined nursing competencies, skills or knowledge advancing practice

Measurable – Quantify aims and outcomes demonstrating meaningful development

Achievable – Within existing scope aligning with organizational support/resources

Realistic – Match current capabilities while providing an optimistic stretch

Timely – Completed within registration period before next revalidation

This creates PDPs intentionally progressing particular nursing abilities.

Tips for Writing Robust SMART PDPs

Follow our top tips when drafting PDPs as part of your nursing revalidation:

  • Set Clear Development Goals: Define specific nursing capabilities and competencies you aim to advance. For example, improving wound care techniques or enhancing patient communication skills.
  • Outline Practical Actions and Resources: Detail practical steps, available resources, and feasible timeframes essential for goal achievement. Identify educational inputs accessible within your practice setting and schedule.
  • Seek Mentor Perspectives: Consult trusted senior nursing colleagues for feedback on your proposed development activities. Benefit from their experience to refine plans and ensure genuine learning within workplace constraints.
  • Build Organizational Support: Proactively engage unit managers, clinical educators, or other gatekeepers to secure support for undertaking development activities. Highlight the benefits to patient care and the organization.
  • Integrate Reflective Practices: Incorporate reflective practices during and after development activities. Document insights, progress assessments, and impacts to strengthen applied nursing practice intentionally.
  • Monthly Review of Progress: Regularly review advancement towards development goals on a monthly basis. Adjust plans as needed based on progress and emerging insights.
  • Conclude with Evaluative Summary: Wrap up each development plan with a comprehensive evaluative summary. Detail tangible impacts on nursing knowledge, clinical judgment, therapeutic skills, or overall professional capabilities.


Creating compliant SMART personal development plans is essential for satisfying NMC revalidation requirements. We hope this guidance gives you the clarity and confidence to formulate PDPs intentionally growing your nursing skills and knowledge. Commit to ongoing development and reflective habits so you continue elevating practice to best serve patient needs throughout your nursing career.

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