Learning and development practitioners: Identity, profession and future trajectory

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources


John Wiley and Sons Inc.


School of Business and Law


Barratt‐Pugh, L., Hodge, S., & Smith, E. (2020). Learning and development practitioners: identity, profession and future trajectory. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 58(2), 220-246. https://doi.org/10.1111/1744-7941.12207


The increasing focus on learning and innovation within organisations has significantly changed perceptions and practices of learning. It has also generated an increasingly diverse and growing network of learning and development practitioners (L&D), constructing an emerging identity that is critical to organisational growth. Our study of nearly 800 Australian L&D practitioners explored their working roles, relationships, and development needs, in a contested environment. Our purpose was to explore how L&D practice has changed; if a professional identity for L&D practitioners is emerging; and what development needs L&D practitioners have. The practitioner responses from this study are used to model the emerging themes of L&D practice, substantiate the emergence of a ‘quasi-professional’ identity, and indicate the imperatives that underpin professional development frameworks. This knowledge provides a foundation for reconceptualising the learning and development practitioner domain. © 2018 Australian HR Institute