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What’s in It For Me? The ASTD UK Network. By Dawn Smith


In the second of our series of articles looking at training membership bodies, TrainingZONE focuses on the UK network of the ASTD.

Last month we looked at the benefits and costs of membership of the CIPD. This month, we turn our attention to the UK global network of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

How many members?
The ASTD is the world’s largest training membership body, with 42,000 members in 140 US chapters and 24 global networks There are 110 ASTD members in the UK network.

How much does it cost?

  • Classic Membership: US$180 for 12 months (US$320 for 24 months; US$450 for 36 months) plus an extra $70 in shipping fees for members outside the US.

  • E-membership (the same benefits, but accessed online): US$150 a year.


  • Classic Membership: 5-24 members - $US159 per person; 25+ members - $US145 per person.

  • E-membership: 5-24 members - $US135 per person; 25+ members - $US120 per person.

What do you get for your money?
Research including the annual State of the Industry Report and White Papers. News and information resources including the monthly T+D Magazine, quarterly webcasts; “The Buzz” weekly email summarising the latest training news; Learning Circuits electronic magazine; weekly ExecuBooks, and the Buyer’s Guide database of products and services.

Career development through the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance™ (CPLP) credential; various Certificate Programs; an online Career Centre and Job Bank.

Networking opportunities through the ASTD network in the UK, other Global networks, events such as the International Conference & Exposition and ASTD TechKnowledge®, forums such as the Learning Executives Network for senior trainers, and online networking through discussion boards and ASTD Connect. Benchmarking support through the ASTD Benchmarking Forum and the new Workplace Learning & Performance Scorecard (an online real-time benchmarking and decision support tool).

Discounts on ASTD products and services, plus discounts on other services through affinity partners including, MBNA Visa Card, FedEX and Gallup Business Journal.

The foundation of the ASTD was created in 1942 in New Orleans, during a training committee meeting of the American Petroleum Institute. The US was at war, and training was critical to meeting the needs of increased production and replacing workers gone to war. The following year, 15 people met for the first board meeting of the American Society of Training Directors. They convened the ASTD membership for the first time in Chicago in 1945.

At the 1946 convention, ASTD adopted a constitution that set as its goals: to raise the standards and prestige of the industrial training profession and to further the professional’s education and development. In 1964 the association changed its name to the American Society for Training and
Development. In 2000, the organisation chose to refer to itself just by the letters ASTD.

ASTD Global Networks began in 2000 as a result of increased interest from members outside of the US. There are now 24 ASTD Global Networks. The ASTD Global Network UK started in 2002.

Why join? The ASTD says:
ASTD is the world’s largest association dedicated to workplace learning and performance professionals. With members in 100 countries and thousands of organisations, ASTD provides content, tools, and resources to help workplace learning and performance professionals stay current in the field, increase their effectiveness, connect with other learning professionals, and develop their careers. Through ASTD chapters in the US and 24 Global Networks around the world, members have the opportunity to convene and network locally.

Pros and cons – a member says:
The ASTD is training focused and provides an international perspective that you can’t get from other membership bodies, says Neville Pritchard, managing director of INL Consultancy Ltd and formerly head of training at Barclays Bank and Abbey National.

Although the ASTD has a US bias, “you can make it international by getting in touch with people from other global networks,” he says. “They’re on the other end of the phone.”

Neville highly rates the international conference, the research and information services, and networking opportunities with other ASTD members. “I get a lot of support,” he says. “I know a people in various places around the world and if I’m stuck on something I know someone to ask.” While in corporate T&D he found the Benchmarking Forum and Learning Executives Network especially useful.

The UK network tends to meet two or three times a year when there is something to discuss, but he believes “fewer, higher quality meetings are a good thing”. The last UK summit was “tremendous”, he adds, because out of this came the new Workplace Learning & Performance Scorecard. “It was great to be involved in something that the ASTD then ran with,” Neville adds.

On the downside he says the shipping costs for UK members are too high and the membership renewal process is clunky because the US doesn’t deal in direct debits. He thinks the UK network could do more to co-ordinate travel to the annual conference, and that UK meetings could be held regionally, not just in London. He also believes that the UK network would benefit from having more corporate members as its “dominated by freelancers” – and that the ASTD should promote the corporate benefits better.

A member of the ASTD for eight years, Neville is also a member of ITOL and the CIPD, which he says provides him with a UK focus, and in the case of the CIPD, a wider HR context. “Personally I don’t think you have to choose which one to join,” he says. “You get the best if you join all of them.”

TrainingZONE says:
Great website, publications and conference. TrainingZONE members tell us that the UK network is welcoming and runs interesting network sessions. However, the ASTD is somewhat US focussed and the UK network is centred on London.

Contact details:
ASTD head office:
Tel: +1 703 683 8100 Fax: +1 703 683 8103
Web:<a href=”” target=”_blank”>

ASTD UK Global Network:
President: Neil Lasher

Related article:
What's in It For Me? The CIPD.


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