Ever attended an all-singing, all-dancing training course costing about the same as a week’s package deal to Tenerife, but found you’re still not actually doing anything different 6 months later? The reason is probably that you (or your employer) didn’t think about the course as part of a structured approach to training, learning and development (TLD). A training event can’t exist in isolation – no amount of death by Powerpoint can make you an expert in something. The trick is in what happens before and after the event.


With that in mind, I’ve formulated the 3×3 (three by three) model structured approach to TLD. Here’s a (very) brief overview…

There are 3 key steps to effective TLD, each of which also has 3 steps, which broadly correspond to each other:

1.    Analysisidentify the training need through analysing (1) actual performance, (2) required performance and (3) the gap between the two. Do this using a combination of job descriptions, person specifications, busness objectives, feedback, performance management data, appraisals etc. You should be able to identify clear outcomes of training – what it is the training should actually achieve.

2.    Provisionmeet the training need through (1) an initial learning activity, (2) follow-up activities to reinforce learning, and (3) practice on the job.  Again, a combination of activities – courses, coaching, mentoring, action learning, reading, research, online, DVDs, secondments, workshadowing etc.

3.    Evaluationassess how effective the TLD has been by evaluating (1) the learning experience, (2) what has actually been learned (new knowledge, skills etc.) and (3) how it has changed performance on the job. In other words, has that training gap (1.3) been filled & have the expected outcomes of the training been met – simples! People often struggle with training evaluation but there are plenty of methods to use, & again a blended approach is best. Evaluation forms, structured discussions, self-assessment, performance monitoring, ability testing – the important thing is to make sure that you’re asking (& answering) the right questions. For example, the breadth, depth, relevance, impact & cost-effectiveness of the training.


I run a full day’s workshop for managers on how to put all these stages into practice – so to maximise the return on investment of your training budget, get in touch!