Towards a model of learning and development practice

Document Type

Journal Article


International Federation of Training and Development Organisations (IFTDO) and The University Forum for HRD (UFHRD)


School of Business and Law




Originally published as: Hodge, S., Smith, E., & Barratt-Pugh, L. Towards a Model of Learning and Development Practice. International Journal of HRD Practice Policy and Research, 1(2), 7.

Original article available here


It is widely acknowledged that learning and development (L&D) is key to well-being, innovation and success for individuals, organizations and societies (Delahaye, 2011). Learning and development practice involves application of distinctive knowledge, skills and techniques in distinctive contexts. The sheer range of contexts and kinds of expertise associated with this work produces a complex challenge to any attempt to model L&D practice. The Australian Institute of Training and Development (AITD) took up this challenge in the Australian setting. A team of researchers was engaged to produce a model of L&D practice that the organization could use to conceptualize the work of its members and refine organizational strategy in areas such as professional development services. Although there have been attempts to represent the work of L&D practitioners (e.g. the ASTD ‘Competency Model’), the research presented here focused on the Australian setting and was also guided by a commitment to recognizing the role of organizational contexts in shaping L&D practice. This focus on context distinguishes the model from others that are concerned with the expertise and attributes of individual L&D practitioners. The model presented here thus represents contexts of L&D practice as well as knowledge and skills applied within them. The article describes the research process used to develop the model, including analysis of existing models, interviews with senior L&D practitioners and a survey of practitioners. The result is a model that acknowledges the complexity of L&D practice in a contemporary environment



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