Professional Development Program (PDP)

PDP was launched in 1994 to provide the University with highly trained and qualified staff prepared to move into leadership positions. This one-year leadership development program provides participants with opportunities to enhance professional and management skills, build professional networks, and learn about the structure and culture of the University. By grooming future leaders, we assist UCLA with its succession management needs and safeguard its continued success.

Close association between participants, their supervisors, and the Professional & Career Development team is maintained to ensure that individual career development plans and program activities remain consistent with the University's needs. Supervisors can expect that participants will need approximately 10-12 hours of paid release time each month. There is no cost to either the department or program member.

Due to COVID-19, PDP transitioned to a fully remote program in March 2020. At this time, all meetings, activities, and events will be held over Zoom. Plans to return to in-person participation and instruction will be contingent upon UCLA and CDC guidelines to ensure the safety of all participants.

Program Components

  • Orientation & Micro Retreats – Three, 3-hour remote workshops, called micro-retreats, will be held at the at the beginning of the program year to begin leadership training and build professional networks.
  • Monthly Seminars – Skill-building workshops are held on the third Thursday of each month and are designed to prepare participants to successfully complete the program requirements and increase readiness for leadership at UCLA.
  • Mentoring – Each participant is paired with a senior leader at UCLA and is required to meet with their mentor for at least one hour each month for six months starting in November.
  • Capstone Project – Participants will complete an individual project that improves a process, solves a problem, or otherwise provides a benefit to their department.
  • Consultation Teams – Participants will be placed on a consultation team comprised of five or six PDP peers. Team members will provide consultation, support, and feedback to one another over the course of the program, as well as facilitate a final group presentation summarizing their individual capstone project results.
  • Performance & Career Coaching – Participants will meet with the program manager at least three times during the year to receive individualized career planning and performance coaching.

Our Commitment to Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

The Professional Development Program is committed to providing development opportunities that reflect and support individuals with diverse backgrounds, identities and experiences. We acknowledge that bias, discrimination and oppression can impact professional and career development. We are committed to reviewing and assessing our program curriculum, content, and facilitation, as well as administration and management, to continually work toward a more equitable, diverse and inclusive learning environment that supports dignity and advancement for all.

Program Information Folder

The program information folder includes descriptions of the program components and expectations for participants, supervisors and the program Professional & Career Development team. The program is dynamic and responsive to university and participant needs, consequently, program components and details may change in 2022-2023.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Full-time career employment at UCLA in the following payroll title levels:
    • Professional & Support Staff (PSS) Grades 2-6
    • Career Tracks titles in the Professional categories 3-5
    • Career Tracks titles in the Supervisory 2 category
    • A list of eligible titles can be found HERE.
  • At least one year of service at UCLA as of August 1, 2022, is required. At least one year of service in current role is preferred.
  • Departmental support for participation (direct supervisor and department head)
  • Selected participants must have access to Zoom, as well as a computer with a camera and microphone, and a private space to participate in remote meetings.
  • Selected participants must be able to travel to and attend workshops and other events on campus and in person.

Program Timeline

  • Recruitment begins in March 2022. The selection committee reviews applications and recommends selected staff for in-person interviews. A final cohort of approximately 35 staff is selected and notified in June.
  • Orientation and the micro-retreats are held in August.
  • Program activities and events are attended throughout the year and a final virtual celebration is held in June 2023.

Application Submission Process

The PDP application includes the participant application, (applicant’s information, a number of personal response questions and resume), and the supervisor recommendation.

The Professional Development Program application can be accessed HERE.

The application period closes on April 4, 2022. 

Please note: Instead of entering an email and password or registering for a Survey Monkey Account, click "Or Sign in with UCLA Staff SSO."

  • All components of the application are required and must be submitted before the application will be considered complete.
  • A selection committee reviews applications and recommends selected staff for in-person interviews.
  • A final cohort of approximately 35 staff is selected and notified in June.
  • In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the UCLA Professional Development Program will honor requests for reasonable accommodations made by individuals with disabilities. Requests can be fulfilled more effectively if notice is provided at least 10 days before the application deadline.  Direct accommodation requests to the Professional & Career Development team.

For additional information contact:

Kelsey Duff

Professional & Career Development Portfolio Manager
Campus Human Resources, Learning & Organizational Development
Email: kduff@chr.ucla.edu