Training and development officers are responsible for the learning and professional development of an organisation's workforce

As a training and development officer, your job is to equip staff with the knowledge, practical skills and motivation to carry out their work activities effectively.

You'll take a strategic approach to training, assessing the skills and knowledge within an organisation and determining what training is needed to grow and retain these skills. You'll either deliver the training yourself or arrange for a third-party trainer to do it.

Jobs may be advertised under different titles including learning and development officer/adviser, training officer/manager or learning officer/manager.

Responsibilities

As a training and development officer, you'll need to:

  • identify training and development needs within an organisation through job analysis, appraisal schemes and regular consultation with business managers and human resources departments
  • design and expand training and development programmes based on the needs of the organisation and the individual
  • work in a team to produce programmes that are satisfactory to all relevant parties in an organisation, such as line managers, accountants and senior managers at board level
  • consider the costs of planned programmes and keep within budgets
  • plan and assess the 'return on investment' of any training or development programme
  • develop effective induction programmes for new staff, apprentices and graduate trainees
  • monitor and review the progress of trainees through questionnaires and discussions with managers
  • devise individual learning plans
  • conduct appraisals
  • produce training materials for in-house courses
  • create and/or deliver a range of training using classroom, online and blended learning
  • manage the delivery of training and development programmes
  • ensure that statutory training requirements are met
  • evaluate training and development programmes
  • amend and revise programmes as necessary, in order to adapt to changes occurring in the work environment
  • help line managers and trainers solve specific training problems, either on a one-to-one basis or in groups
  • keep up to date with developments in training by reading relevant journals, going to meetings and attending relevant courses
  • research new technologies and methodologies in workplace learning and present this research.

At a more senior level, you'll also need to:

  • devise a training strategy for the organisation
  • build training programmes from scratch (from the initial idea through planning, implementation, review and outcomes analysis) and delegate work to other members of the learning and development team
  • monitor budgets and monthly expenditure reports
  • work closely with and influence senior leaders and stakeholders.

Salary

  • Starting salaries typically range from around £20,000 to £28,000 a year depending on your experience.
  • Training and development officers with a few years' experience can expect to earn between £28,000 and £40,000.
  • Salaries for those with significant experience or at development manager level are in the range of £40,000 to £60,000. Salaries at director level may be higher.

Salaries in training vary widely depending on your location, the sector you work in, the size of the organisation, your experience and the level of responsibility you have.

Many organisations look for individuals with Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) qualifications, which may help you command a higher salary.

Income figures are intended as a guide only.

Working hours

A typical working day is 9.00am to 5.30pm, with some extra hours as necessary. If you're training staff who work shifts, you may need to fit in with their shift patterns. Part-time work is possible.

What to expect

  • Work is generally office based with the exception of training delivery, which can take place on or off the premises and at various locations throughout the UK. You might also work at a training centre.
  • Opportunities exist throughout the UK. Self-employment as a trainer is an option once you've built up experience and got to know your market as training departments often bring in specific expertise as required.
  • Personal presentation is important in this area of work, and dress codes vary among workplaces.
  • You may need to travel either locally or further afield to deliver training sessions. You may also need to travel to multiple sites.

Qualifications

This area of work is open to all graduates but you may find the following subjects particularly helpful:

  • business and related areas
  • human resources
  • IT and computer studies
  • management
  • psychology.

You may also be able to get into the career by taking a level 3 learning and development practitioner apprenticeship or a level 5 learning and development consultant business partner apprenticeship. Apprenticeships combine paid work with part-time study. To search for opportunities, see Find an apprenticeship.

Entry into training and development is possible without a degree, HND or foundation degree if you have relevant experience and skills.

Although you don't need a postgraduate qualification, a Masters degree or diploma accredited by the CIPD may improve your chances of entry. Search postgraduate courses in human resource management.

Specialisation in training and development often follows general personnel experience, and new graduates aren't always recruited straight into a training role. It's fairly common to work your way up from roles such as HR officer, recruitment consultant, assistant training officer or training administrator.

Many organisations look for individuals with CIPD qualifications in learning and development, so taking a professional qualification can help enhance your chances of getting a job.

Skills

You'll need to have:

  • interpersonal skills that enable you to work with people at all levels of an organisation, motivate others and change people's attitudes when necessary
  • written and spoken communication skills that allow you to inform and advise others clearly
  • presentation skills
  • IT skills
  • a strong customer-focused background
  • problem-solving and negotiation skills
  • initiative and the ability to offer new ideas
  • strong teamworking skills and a collaborative approach to learning, both face-to-face and remotely
  • organisational and planning skills to manage your time and to meet deadlines and objectives
  • good time-keeping skills and the ability to multitask to enable you to effectively manage training schedules
  • proactive, enthusiastic and innovative approach to work
  • personal commitment to improving your own knowledge and skills and a passion for continuing learning and development
  • commitment to equal opportunities and diversity.

Work experience

You'll usually need previous experience to get a job. You can gain this by taking a summer placement or an internship. If you're unable to find a paid summer placement, try approaching employers about work shadowing.

Another alternative is to get some voluntary work, though it may be difficult to find relevant opportunities.

Experience gained through activities requiring leadership and motivational abilities may boost your application. While still at university, consider getting involved in societies that enable you to develop organisational and teamwork skills.

If you have good business or organisational skills, you could look for jobs in training or HR administration, and then progress into a training and development role.

Employers

There are opportunities for training and development officers or managers in a range of private and public employment sectors. These include:

  • central and local government
  • commercial firms
  • charities
  • educational institutions
  • financial institutions
  • health service
  • industrial organisations
  • accountancy and law firms
  • leisure organisations
  • manufacturing organisations
  • retail companies.

Opportunities also exist in commercial training organisations, such as:

  • information technology training providers
  • personal development training organisations/consultancies.

The job varies from organisation to organisation. In some large retail organisations or training consultancies, for example, you could be working in a large team of training professionals and be responsible for a team of trainers. In smaller organisations, however, you might combine the training role with personnel functions and deliver more of the training courses.

Look for job vacancies at:

Specialist recruitment agencies advertise vacancies.

Professional development

You're expected to keep up to date with developments in the industry throughout your career and to network with fellow professionals.

CIPD qualifications are available at various levels, including undergraduate and postgraduate. These qualifications are valued by many employers and they may agree to finance your study.

There are various levels of membership available with the CIPD. With the right combination of CIPD qualifications and experience, you can gain chartered membership (MCIPD).

Short courses and webinars on specific topics are also available with the CIPD. They're designed to fill any gaps in your knowledge and to update you on changes in training and development. For full details, see CIPD Training.

Career prospects

To become a training and development officer, you often need three or four years' experience in a related role such as assistant training officer or training administrator.

From here, you can progress to higher levels that could include:

  • adviser, team leader or junior management
  • middle management/partner or head of department
  • senior management.

To reach the highest levels, you need to show great personal achievements within the field of training and development. It may be necessary to move from small organisations to larger ones in order to progress. Proven career management skills may be necessary to take advantage of opportunities.

Another option is to move into related work such as personnel, human resources or general management. With experience, it's also possible to become a lecturer in a college or university. Alternatively, you may decide to set up your own business as a self-employed consultant.

Your own personal development is essential to progression. Documenting any continuing professional development (CPD) you undertake, whether you attend conferences, complete short courses or add to your qualifications, is important.

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