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Board Professional Development Plan Template

This document provides a professional development plan template for local boards.

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Board Professional Development Plan Template

Tool PP


Directions: The Area Board’s Professional Development plan guides on-going learning of board members to enhance the Board’s capacity to provide leadership and serve a pivotal role in empowering Iowans and their communities to achieve desired results for improving the quality of life for children (0-5) and their families.


The Professional Development Plan includes the following components:

  1. Self Assessment
  2. Reflection
  3. Goal(s)
  4. Action Steps
  5. Timeframe
  6. Evaluation Plan
  7. Final Evaluation
  8. Updated Annually



Self Assessment

Self assessment is an opportunity for the Board to look at their current level of knowledge and strengths and compare these to the roles and responsibilities of a high quality ECI board. Use the information from the self assessment to improve, expand, and strengthen the board’s functioning and leadership capacity.


The ECI website [] has tools to assist in this assessment beginning with the statutory responsibilities and characteristics of a quality board:

  • Tool Y - Sample Board Member Job Descriptions for Community Empowerment Boards, 
  • Tool Z   - Ten Characteristics of High-Functioning Boards, and
  • Tool GG - Statutory Responsibilities of a Community Empowerment Board.


Also on the ECI website are tools to help evaluate how well the board is doing:

  • Tool F - Internal Collaborative Functioning Scales, and
  • Tool AA- Board of Directors Self-Evaluation.


Board members may have suggestions about other effective assessment tools and resources for self assessment. Additionally, the Board may use any of the following sources to target areas for improvement:

  • Levels of Excellence report/corrective action plan
  • Interviews or focus groups with– former board members, service providers or other community stakeholders
  • State Technical Assistance Team


In the Template below, provide a summary of the board self assessment. At a minimum, the summary must:

  • List the tools/methods used to assess current level of knowledge, understanding and skill, and
  • Describe what you learned about the Board from using the assessment tools/methods.



Using the information from the self assessment, the Board can ask the following questions:

  • What board functions do we feel comfortable/confident about?
  • What are some areas that we need more information about to do our jobs well?


Provide a narrative describing the key areas the Board identified to improve or strengthen board functions/roles and responsibilities.  Some of these key areas may include:

  • Meeting requirements in Iowa law for the ECI board
  • Developing a community assessment
  • Developing, implementing and updating of a community plan
  • Establishing priorities based on community needs
  • Functioning as a coordinating body for collaboration and alignment of services within the ECI area
  • Coordinating program/funding to meet community needs and priorities
  • Maintaining accountability for local investments


Using the reflection, identify one or more goals that will be the focus of your professional development plan for the year. Effective goals use the SMART technique. They are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Limited.

Action Steps or Strategies

List action steps or strategies that will help you achieve your professional development goal(s).





Indicate the timeline/deadline to accomplish each action step or strategy. Some action steps or strategies will take longer than others.


Evaluation Plan

In the third column, describe how the Board will evaluate each action step or strategy.   In the last column, identify how the Board will know the action step or strategy has been accomplished. 


Final Evaluation

Describe how the board will evaluate progress toward the desired goal at the end of the year.  This may include data or evidence for action steps or strategies.


Updated Annually

Describe how the Board will annually review and update the Board’s professional plan to continue to learn and grow in Board leadership and functioning.




ECI Board Professional Development Template


Name of ECI area: _______________

This plan is for fiscal year: _________________



Self Assessment:  Summarize the process and tools used for the Board’s self assessment.






  • What board functions do we feel comfortable/confident about?
  • What are some areas that we need more information about to do our jobs well?


Areas to Improve




Ideas to Strengthen






Goal (stated in specific, measureable terms. If you have more than one goal, add additional pages):      



Action steps or strategies to accomplish the goal

Timeframe to accomplish the step or strategy

How will the Board evaluate each step or strategy?

How will the Board know that we accomplished the step or strategy?
































Final Evaluation: