70 20 10 Development Plan Template

Download this template and harness the power of focused 70-20-10 development plans. Witness the transformation in employee performance and skills.

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What's included

70 20 10 Development plan template overview

According to the 70-20-10 model of learning, optimal learning occurs through a mix of 70% on-the-job experiences, 20% from interactions with others, and 10% from formal educational training.

Tailored by Deel’s learning and development experts, this comprehensive tool helps team members grow their skills effectively and aligns their growth with the company's broader goals. The 70-20-10 method helps balance different approaches to learning and enables development plans that work better than merely assembling a list of courses.

This downloadable employee development plan template includes:

  • Two structured development plan options: Both outline actionable steps across on-the-job tasks, social learning, and formal education, adhering to the proven 70-20-10 learning model.
  • Version with integrated action-progress tracker: Monitor your team's achievements and milestones with an intuitive progress tracker that auto-updates as they complete tasks
  • Clear timeline management: Set developmental goals with specified timelines, ensuring consistent progress and timely completion
  • Customizable for all roles: Whether your people need to develop their core competencies like collaboration, functional competencies like copywriting, or technical competencies like data analysis, you can use this template


How to use this 70 20 10 development plan template

This template helps ensure that learning development is comprehensive and varied, combining hands-on tasks, social interactions, and formal education to foster professional growth.

Steps to follow:

  • Create an individual development plan for each of your direct reports
  • Fill in the "Skill to develop" section in your plan —we advise performing a dedicated skills gap analysis to identify crucial skills that need development
  • Outline specific tasks for each category: on-the-job learning (activities happening during regular duties), social learning (activities that involve learning from co-workers, shadowing, etc.), formal learning (courses or training programs)
  • Establish realistic timelines for each task across the three sections, ensuring a balanced approach to development
  • Check off completed tasks so that the progress bar fills automatically —this visual representation helps keep the development plan on track and provides immediate insight into areas that may need additional focus
  • Schedule regular check-ins to review the progress of the development plan and adjust the tasks and timelines if necessary 
  • Encourage continuous feedback from the employee regarding each learning activity's effectiveness


More resources 


What is a development plan template?

A development plan template is a structured document that outlines an individual's goals, objectives, and actions for professional growth and skill enhancement. It provides a framework for organizing and tracking development activities over a specified period, typically aligning with the individual's career aspirations and the organization’s goals.

What is the 70-20-10 development ratio?

The 70-20-10 development ratio is a learning and development model that emphasizes the importance of experiential learning (70%), social learning (20%), and formal learning (10%) in driving individual growth and advancement in the workplace. 

70% comes from experiential learning: Learning and developing through day-to-day tasks, challenges, and practice within the workplace. This component emphasizes that most learning comes from on-the-job experiences, including handling projects, problem-solving, decision-making, and other tasks that require applying knowledge in real-world scenarios.

20% comes from social learning: Learning through interaction with others, through receiving feedback, mentoring, coaching, and observing and collaborating with peers and leaders. It highlights the importance of social interactions and learning from others' experiences as a critical component of professional development.

10% comes from formal education: Learning through structured courses, workshops, training, and seminars. This formal instruction provides foundational knowledge and theory but constitutes the smallest part of the learning model.

What is a 70-20-10 development action plan?

The 70-20-10 development action plan is based on the principle that 70% of learning comes from on-the-job experiences, 20% from interactions with others (such as mentoring, coaching, and feedback), and 10% from formal training or education. A 70-20-10 professional development plan leverages this guideline by allocating development activities across these three categories to maximize learning and growth.

How do you write a 70-20-10 professional development plan?

To write a 70-20-10 professional development plan, first, identify specific learning objectives and goals based on the individual's career aspirations and areas for improvement. Then, allocate development activities across the three categories: on-the-job experiences (70%), such as stretch assignments, special projects, or job rotations; social learning opportunities (20%), including mentoring, coaching, peer feedback, or communities of practice; and formal training or education (10%), such as workshops, courses, seminars, or certifications. Finally, create a timeline for each activity, set metrics to measure progress, and establish mechanisms for feedback and reflection to support continuous learning and development.

What is the 70-20-10 rule for career development?

The 70-20-10 rules for career development emphasize the importance of diverse learning experiences to advance one's career. The model suggests that most learning occurs through hands-on experiences, followed by interactions with peers, mentors, and supervisors, and lastly, through formal training or education programs.

This model supports the idea that while formal education can lay the groundwork for professional knowledge, the most impactful learning comes from informal learning through practical experiences and interacting with others within the workplace.