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Title: Adopting a holistic approach to the valuation of learning programmes deployed in corporate environments
Author: Sutton, Brian
ISNI:       0000 0001 3491 8790
Awarding Body: Middlesex University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2006
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As Director of Learning for one of the country’s largest training providers I have access to the most senior learning and development professionals in many of the nation’s largest organisations. This access gives me a unique insight into the nature of their major challenges and an understanding of the business drivers that underpin their decision-making. What is becoming very clear is that whilst there is an increasing acceptance of the role of learning in providing competitive advantage, there is also an increasing dissatisfaction with the ability of traditional training methods to supply that need. The result is that organisations are looking for more innovative means of providing access to learning and for clear evidence that the investments they make in training and learning are indeed generating value. Organisations are increasingly committing significant capital investment in their learning programmes and are naturally keen to be able to demonstrate quantitative benefits. But experience shows that the current evaluation models are difficult to deploy and produce little information that is valuable to the operational managers that commission the training programmes. The most recent trend in evaluation has been an attempt to overlay existing models with simple financial justification techniques such as ROI (Return on Investment) calculations. It is my contention that this approach is too simplistic and prone to emphasise cost avoidance rather than increased human capital. The organisations I work with are crying out for an evaluation model that clearly demonstrates the real value generated by their training and learning programmes; a model that can be consistently deployed and one that provides real insight into the effectiveness of their decisions. This research programme grew out of my daily work and a desire to better understand the drivers of value creation in learning programmes. At the outset I envisioned the purpose of this research to be to examine the current state of practice in training evaluation in order to determine what is generally considered to be acceptable evidence of success.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Prof.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available