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CIPD report finds L&D delivery gap

A significant gap exists between the skills and capabilities L&D practitioners know they need and what they actually have in-house, a recent CIPD report has found.

L&D: Evolving roles, enhancing skills found that though 87% think that business planning is a priority for L&D professionals, only 47% believe they currently have the skills in-house.

The report, compiled in partnership with benchmarking research company Towards Maturity, showed a lack of investment in diversifying L&D delivery. It found that 96% see supporting learners online as important, but just 36% have the capabilities to offer these services

Although nine out of 10 L&D professionals are looking to improve performance, productivity and sharing of good practice, only 53% agreed that there are more options than just ‘the course’ for building skills and performance.

Indeed, more than 50% of organisations surveyed said they are not planning on refocusing L&D activity towards instructional design, content development, technology, performance consulting or data analytics. 

Ruth Stuart, learning and development research adviser at the CIPD, commented: “It’s very interesting how, as L&D professionals, we constantly champion the importance of staying ahead of the game in terms of skills and capabilities, but don’t take our own advice. In this volatile work environment we need to be agile, adaptive and ambidextrous to drive performance and stay relevant, aligning our work to the wider business.” 

The research also highlighted a shift in the L&D role from pure training delivery to performance consulting. This means L&D professionals must now diagnose and solve problems, according to the report. 

Laura Overton, managing director of Towards Maturity, said: “The challenge is how to focus our roles and shape our own professional development to make sure we are future-ready. We need to first identify all internal and external factors influencing L&D roles, and consider what’s driving change. We then need to self-reflect and assess whether there is a healthy mix of roles in the L&D function, before deciding which changes we need to make to drive performance in our individual organisations.”