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Promoting the value of learning in recession


I am currently part of an L&D team involved in reviewing our evalaution methods. One area we are looking at is proving return on investment and return on expectations during recession and I was wondering if anyone had any success stories or ideas on how to progress this? thanks Julia

2 Responses

  1. ROI Resources

    Hello Julia – this is an area I specialise in.

    I would be happy to share with you some of the essential elements of undertaking ROI. I have a case study which sets out in detail one approach to this challenge which I can send you.

    Martin Schmalenbach also ran an excellent series of articles in TrainingZone on this exact same subject more than 5 years ago now, they are detailed here:

    Part 1 –
    Part 2 –
    Part 3 –
    Part 4 –

    Paul Kearns also has a number of articles on this subject available on his web site and copies of these can be located here:

    A video recording of a PowerPoint presentation called The Myths & Mysteries of ROI can also be found here:
    It’s an excellent introduction and great for ayone who absorbs information this way better than via reading.

    The details of the events I am involved are listed here:

    If you want a copy of the case study you will need to send me your e mail to

  2. It’s about what we do and not formulas

    This is a favourite issue especially during a down turn, and I have been through at least four in my training career.

    I am absolutely no fan of the wonderful (for some) mathematical formulas. You may have seen them where variables that do indeed influence return are presented as givens irrespective of the true and unique factors that impact on individual learners and their circumstances.

    Surely it is a given that we as those that design and deliver events that spend the money of clients should seek credible and realistic ways of achieving a real and substantive return on that investment.

    Oddly, I have often found my desire to establish a return on investment with clients is not not shared by them, and to engage in the ‘what can we do to prove this has all been worthwhile in quantifiable terms’ discussion can cause considerable anxiety and discomfort. I believe that is for many good reasons – let’s discuss off line if  that interests.

    Anyway my preferred approach is not to go all mathematical. but to, for one of many things, build wherever I can, a specifically framed, financially quantified project within my longer term programmes. This has a brief that specifies the target minimum value of the revenue generation or less likely saving, and is typically ten or twenty five thousand pounds.

    In my considerable experience of this, the target when supported, and pursued with commitment is exceeded many times over.

    The result when this has been positioned well, and has supported, motivated people involved? Well it’s pretty obvious, a recognition by the most significant (ie funding) parties that there has been a genuine and directly attributable return on investment.

    If this is of interest I would be very happy to share my project briefs and templates together with experiences of how best to make this work.

    Andrew Gibbons


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