The LPI’s view of what professional development looks like for L&D in 2013


Following on from the ASTD and CIPD views on professional development for L&D professionals we have the Learning and Performance Institute’s vision of professional development for the year ahead.

We asked all three organisations to answer the question: What does professional development look like for L&D professionals in 2013? Here is what the LPI has to say.

What does professional development look like for L&D professionals in 2013?
Colin Steed, Chief Executive, Learning and Performance Institute

In 2010, Capita Learning and Development asked senior business leaders at the UK’s largest firms to share their experiences of how L&D has contributed to their firm’s ability to perform during challenging times. The results of the research, Learning to Change, should have made very disturbing reading for those involved in Learning and Development as only 18%, less than a fifth, of business leaders agreed that L&D strategy and delivery was completely aligned with their company’s operational strategy. The clear message was that L&D was failing to adapt to the changing needs of UK PLC.

So what, if anything has changed in the last three years and what are the key challenges for L&D in 2013? The economy is still struggling, businesses are under ever increasing financial pressures and now, more than ever, Learning Professionals find themselves at a crossroads where they need to become more agile and move away from traditional courses and classrooms. However, this will require L&D to develop new skills, some of which are not traditionally associated with workplace learning.

In October 2012 the Learning and Performance Institute (LPI) launched the LPI Capability Map, a free on-line tool designed to support people at all levels of their L&D career. It is the product of a year’s work examining the current literature and practice in conjunction with a range of leading industry experts and will continue to evolve alongside the learning sector. The Capability Map is, in essence, a skills framework for learning professionals involved in the delivery and management of workplace learning.

With it, the Institute aims to create a common language for describing these skills, a language shared by all. The framework has been divided into 9 categories, contains 27 skills, each skill having 4 competency levels. It enables individuals to assess their skills and competencies and identify where they may have skills gaps that require development.

Since its launch, nearly 1,400 learning professionals have registered to self-assess skills that are relevant to their current role. Early data has been interesting, although not surprising. The two skills that have the most self-assessments and also the highest average score levels are Face-to-Face Delivery and Learning Design, followed closely by Managing the Learning Function. These are the skills that we would traditionally associate with learning in the workplace.

The skills that have the least number of assessments and also the lowest scores are Collaborative/Social Learning, Data Interpretation and Business Skills and Intelligence. As organisations move away from traditional classroom training and senior business leaders demand continued performance improvement, it’s these ‘new skills’ that L&D will need if they are to become agile business partners that add-value to the organisation.

The major challenge for 2013, is for L&D to recognise that workplace learning is changing and with it the skill set required to be a successful Learning Professional. Not only will LPI continue to support Members and the wider community with resources like the Capability Map, we also offer certified courses and Master Classes that address these skills needs.

The Certified Online Facilitators programme and the Certified Performance Consultancy Master Classes are proving to be so popular that we are increasing their frequency. We are also developing a series of certified programmes in partnership with Jane Hart, founder of the Centre for Learning Performance Technologies, which will enable Learning Professionals to gain the practical skills required to implement social and collaborative learning in the workplace. 2013 is going to present challenges, but the LPI believe that by making the right professional development available, delivered by experts, L&D can not only meet them head on, they can turn them into opportunities.

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