Personal Development

A component of PPIP based on a physician’s personal growth and wellness.

What is personal development?

Reflecting on our strengths and identifying opportunities for change is the first step towards making personal improvements. When we are our best selves, we’re in a better position to help others.

How to start a cycle of personal development

As part of the Physician Practice Improvement Program (PPIP), Alberta’s physicians must incorporate the following three activities into their practice at least once over a five-year cycle: a practice-driven quality improvement activity, another quality improvement activity using CPSA’s Standards of Practice, and a personal development activity.

The personal development component of PPIP allows physicians to use personal reflection and formal feedback methods to focus on their wellness and gain insight into the attributes of a communicator, professional, scholar, collaborator, health advocate, and leader.

The following elements are all part of a robust personal development activity: 

  1. Formal feedback and/or self-reflection data.
  2. Facilitation of your data with a colleague, direct supervisor, formal facilitator or trained coach.
  3. Developing and documenting an action plan—use our template to identify all the elements expected from a robust personal development activity.
  4. Implementing your plan and evaluating your success.

How robust your personal development activity is depends on what you’re hoping to accomplish. At the very least, a full personal development activity must include reflection on your data with a facilitator and implementation of a plan that fosters personal development.

As this program evolves, the elements may change but ultimately, your personal development activity should incite lasting change that is meaningful to you and your practice.

Here are some options to help you start on a path of personal development:

  • Complete a multi-source feedback review (such as the Medical Council of Canada’s MCC 360 program).
  • Review feedback from peers, learners or patients. This feedback could be gathered through performance reviews from your colleagues, teaching evaluations or patient surveys.
  • Physician wellness is critical, as burnout and system stress impact performance. Resources to address these issues may be valuable options.

Now reflect on your data with your direct supervisor, a facilitator or a trained peer. You can also work with a certified coach to take a deeper dive into your personal goals (one option is to engage a Certified Executive Coach). Then implement your learnings or incorporate personal supports in your day-to-day practice.

An example of a non-clinical personal development activity

Thank you to Dr. Sebastian Straube, a specialist in occupational medicine, for sharing his PPIP personal development activity, focused on improving his coaching skills.

Dr. Straube reflected on resident evaluations from his teaching practice and the requirements of a Competency By Design residency training program, and identified a lack of knowledge and skills in coaching as an opportunity for personal development. He developed an action plan, which included taking some online training on coaching, offered by the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada. He also discussed his data and action plan with a colleague.

Find out more by watching his six-minute video and reviewing his action plan.



The evolution of practice improvement

The Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FMRAC) supports a physician’s continuous quality improvement, based around the CanMEDS roles (medical expert, communicator, collaborator, leader, health advocate, scholar and professional).

FMRAC’s system for practice improvement was developed with the understanding that each physician has a unique practice and therefore unique learning needs.

PPIP was launched by CPSA on Jan. 1, 2021, to fulfill its legislated mandate of ensuring competence within the profession. All of CPSA’s regulated members must participate in PPIP.

Involvement in competence activities is mandated under part 3, section 50 of the Health Professions Act. Participation in any Continuing Competence program is completely confidential under sections 52 and 53 of the Health Professions Act.


Practice improvement resources

Programs and organizations listed are possible avenues to completion of a PPIP activity. Please note that the list of resources is not exhaustive and if you are aware of additional resources, please let us know.

Practice improvement cycle information

Quality improvement tools & resources

Personal development tools & resources

Standards of practice tools & resources

Practice improvement programs & courses

Quality improvement articles

Questions about PPIP or Personal Development?

Phone: 780-969-4986
Toll-free: 1-800-561-3899 ext. 4986 (in Canada)

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