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Difference between learning & training?



Most organisations have a "training and development" or "learning and development" department.

However is there a difference between learning or training?
Steven Thompson

3 Responses

  1. Training? Development? Learning?
    Training – delivery of new skills.
    Development – improvement of existing skills.
    Learning – providing strusture and opportunity to absorb new skills.

    Learning organisation – Implements, Improves, Innovates

    …and in one short paragraph glibly headlines everything we do. 😉

  2. Training and learning
    This discussion has come up before (see as an example).
    Basically, training is what trainers do and learning is what learners do. Personally I have always prefered to see these two things as distinct but entirely compatable.
    In organisational terms, the shift from T&D to L&D represents a move from having an emphasis on the inputs – providing training – to the outputs – enabling learning. For some this has been a significant shift, for others, mere spin.
    I have always thought that the purpose of training is to support learning and change, and as a consequence I have no hang ups up the T&D label. But, like it or not, some do. They equate T&D with courses (rather than all forms of structured development), with ‘trainer-centric’ thinking (rather than being learner focused) and an old fashioned, mass training culture (rather than a modern, flexible learning culture).
    Those of us lucky enough to be inducted into training as a profession have, perhaps, a more well-rounded and positive view of training. Whilst I quite like the L&D label, and use it a lot, I do get irratated when some people look down their noses when the term training is(accurately) used. I think it betrays either a deep rooted prejudice (perhaps based on personal experience of poor training) or an ignorance of the correct definition of the word.
    Labels can be important – for internal marketing, for example – but not as important as the substance. If what you offer is really valuable, after a while I don’t think people mind too much what you call it.

  3. Whats a Learning and Development Consultant Do?
    I was at a local business exhibition with Learning and Development Consultant on my name tag. After an hour of being asked by almost everyone what does a L&D Consultant do, I got fed up.
    So I got a label out of my briefcase and wrote Training Management Services on the lable and stuck it to my Tag. Almost immediately I had a lead that has resulted in work in the New Year.

    I have been looking at the Job Market Recently and I now know that nobody out their really knows the difference either, some people are asking for L&D consultants “must have CTP” and Training Manager with similar descriptions to another company asking for a Organisational Development Manager.

    I have three definitions, training “A development intervention that leads to an improvement in performance and/or behaviour.” Learning is “The ongoing acquisition of skills and knowledge”. Development “Is the growth of the employee and organisation towards future needs”

    If you accept these definitions, good training will always result in learning, good learning is not always training, and both if managed well they will lead to development.

    My answer call yourself whatever the customer will understand and gives you a warm feeling.


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