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 design and deliver the training yourself or arrange for a third-party trainer to do it.
You can deliver training to groups or individuals via a range of methods such as online, face-to-face or blended learning. You will often have specialist knowledge in a particular technical, vocational or behavioural (e.g. working in teams) field.
Jobs may be advertised under different titles including learning and development officer/adviser, training officer/manager, eLearning specialist or learning officer/manager.
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, expand and manager training and development programmes based on the needs of the organisation and the individual
- create and/or deliver a range of training using face-to-face, digital and blended learning options
- produce training materials for in-house courses
- plan and assess the 'return on investment' of any training or development programme, considering the costs of planned programmes and keeping within budgets
- develop effective induction programmes for new staff, apprentices and graduate trainees
- monitor and review the progress of trainees through appraisals, questionnaires and discussions with managers, and provide trainees with timely and constructive feedback
- devise individual learning plans
- ensure that statutory training requirements are met
- evaluate training and development programmes, and prepare reports for management in areas such as usage, engagement and performance
- amend and revise programmes as necessary, in order to adapt to changes occurring in the work environment and industry developments
- help line managers and trainers solve specific training problems, either on a one-to-one basis or in groups
- promote a work culture of continuing professional development (CPD)
- 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
- manage the training budget and monitor monthly expenditure reports
- work closely with and influence senior leaders and stakeholders.
- Starting salaries typically range from £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, for example at head of learning or learning and development manager level, are in the range of £40,000 to £60,000. Salaries at director of learning/training and development level can be in excess of £70,000.
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.
Additional benefits may include a pension, bonus, profit share scheme, company car and health and life insurance.
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.
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. Some employers may offer hybrid working, for example two days from home and three days in the office.
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 with a range of small, medium and large public, private and third sector companies and organisations throughout the UK.
- Self-employment as a trainer is an option once you've built up experience and got to know your market. 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 nationally to deliver training sessions. Some roles involve occasional travel abroad to provide training to overseas offices.
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
Some human resources management degree courses are accredited by the CIPD, providing eligibility for associate membership of the CIPD on completion.
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.
Although you don't need a postgraduate qualification, a relevant Masters degree or diploma accredited by the CIPD may improve your chances of entry. Search postgraduate courses in human resource management.
Entry into training and development is possible without a degree, HND or foundation degree if you have relevant experience and skills. For example, 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.
You can also 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.
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.
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
- analytical skills to identify training needs and learning gaps
- 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
- a flexible approach to work and an understanding of how diversity and inclusion influences the planning and delivery of training.
You'll usually need experience to get a job in training and development. Experience in an HR department is particularly useful, although experience in a general office or administrative role is also helpful. This experience will help you build your business and organisational skills, and will give you an insight into the internal workings of an organisation and how it relates to its employees.
There are various ways of getting experience, such as through a summer placement, an internship, voluntary work or part-time work. If you're unable to find a paid summer placement, try approaching employers about work shadowing.
Experience gained through activities requiring leadership and motivational abilities may also boost your application. While still at university, consider getting involved in societies or clubs that enable you to develop organisational and teamwork skills, or to manage a budget. Any experience of mentoring, coaching or training is also useful.
Find out more about the different kinds of work experience and internships that are available.
There are opportunities for training and development officers or managers with a range of private and public sector organisations. These include:
- central and local government
- commercial firms
- educational institutions
- financial institutions
- health services
- industrial organisations
- accountancy and law firms
- leisure organisations
- manufacturing organisations
- retail companies.
Opportunities also exist with 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 yourself.
Look for job vacancies at:
Specialist recruitment agencies advertise vacancies.
You're expected to keep up to date with developments in the industry - such as new technologies, systems and best practice - throughout your career. You can do this in various ways, such as through self-directed study, networking with fellow professionals, attending conferences, hands-on testing and observation.
CIPD qualifications are available at various levels, depending on your experience, and include the:
- Foundation Certificate in People Practice (Level 3)
- Associate Diploma in Organisational Learning and Development (Level 5)
- Advanced Diploma in Strategic Learning and Development (Level 7).
These qualifications are valued by many employers and they may agree to finance your study. For more information, see CIPD Qualifications.
It's also possible to take a Level 7 Senior People Professional apprenticeship to help further develop your skills and knowledge in learning and development. Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job training with part-time study. For more information, see CIPD - Apprenticeship routes.
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). It's also possible to become chartered by completing the CIPD Experience Assessment.
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 the CIPD Learning Shop.
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, coordinator 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. You may have to move from small organisations to larger ones in order to progress. It's useful to have career management skills in order 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 freelance trainer or 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.