At its core, learning and development (L&D) is about creating a culture of continuous learning and growth through programmes that enable organisations to constantly evolve and develop.

What does a learning and development specialist do?

At the macro level, L&D is about understanding the organisation strategy and its future capability needs in order to identify learning priorities across the organisation. On an individual level, it’s about creating learning environments where employees can continuously develop to be their best.

L&D specialists put in place learning initiatives that enable organisations to constantly evolve and develop. Motivational and behavioural science are key to impactful learning, while learning is about much more than just attending courses. An L&D specialist excels at identifying the current and future skills requirements of an organisation, and creates flexible learning interventions (through digital and other means) to meet the diverse needs of the workforce.

Your typical activities

Here are some of the activities you can expect to be involved in as an L&D specialist:

  • Carrying out capability assessments across the organisation
  • Designing blended learning solutions
  • Using digital tools to create flexible and innovative learning programmes
  • Applying adult learning theories to ensure employees get the best out of their development
  • Designing a range of learning interventions, including technical, behavioural and leadership programmes
  • Driving a culture of continuous professional development (CPD)
  • Facilitating learning interventions
  • Creating a coaching culture in the organisation
  • Monitoring how effectively learning has been transferred to employees.

Types of roles in learning and development

Here is a shortlist of the types of job titles you might find in L&D. As you can see, L&D specialists are at all levels of experience and seniority:

  • Learning Administrator
  • Facilitator (face to face or online)
  • Training Deliverer (face to face or online)
  • Learning and Development Business Partner
  • Learning and Development Manager
  • Head of Learning and Development
  • Director of Learning and Development.
  • Instructional designer
  • Digital learning designer
  • Assessor

Video: We can all be agile learners

With the technology at their disposal, L&D professionals have a duty to change the way employees learn, says Mike Shaw – whether that means becoming agile content curators or strategic business partners.

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