Developing a Training and Development Policy


The Training and Development Policy Statement is the first component which needs to be put in place in any organization which wishes to offer effective training and development to its managers and staff and to ensure that the training and development provided supports its business objectives and goals.The Policy informs therole and contribution made to the organization by training and development and is the source of all later decisions made about them.


Senior Management Support


One vital necessity, whatever your organization, is that the Training and Development Policy developed and the way in which it is compiled, presented and used must be acceptable to and supported by the senior management team.


If the policy does not align with senior managers' understanding of the current and desired future vision of the organization the Training and Development function will be at odds with the most influential people in the organization. Should this be the case, it is unlikely that Training and Development activity resulting from the policy will be valued, or seen to be contributing to business goals.


In developing a Training and Development Policy the aim is to produce a document which will:

      be owned by the whole organization and not just HR

      provide guidance agreed with/by and supported by senior and line managers

      be accessible and understanding to everyone employed in the organization, at all levels

      be a support for recruitment purposes by reflecting well on HR and Training and Development sections and on the organization in general

      compare well with Training and Development policies of similar organizations (if the policy is to be published or made widely available)

      offer a Training and Development framework which will appeal to and appear sensible to all in the organization

      raise expectations which, under normal circumstances, are capable of being met within the resources allocated

      be capable of being monitored and adapted, without undue difficulties, to meet changing business needs or circumstances

      be produced in a way which is easily displayed or publicised.


Lastly and very importantly, the policy should be something which has been developed with the involvement of all levels and parts of the organization.


The checklist which follows is designed to help those involved in developing a Training and Development Policy.


Creating a Training and Development Policy


At this stage you will need to:


decide the exact purpose of the policy

get senior management's agreement to having a policy

determine timescale for having the policy available

identify stages, with dates attached, for developing the policy

identify all who should be involved in its development - categorize these as those who:

-††† are accountable

-††† are responsible

-††† need to be consulted

-††† need to be informed

check senior managersí availability and that of others needed during design stages

identify any legal, trade or national issues which must be reflected in the Policy

agree process for reviewing and agreeing drafts

discuss how policy is to be promulgated within the organization e.g posted out with memo from senior management, posting on organizationís intranet etc

collect, as far as possible, policy documents from other relevant organizations - for inspiration and benchmarking (other HR departments will generally share any information which is not commercially restricted)

check how far Training and Development Policy could/should support recruitment

identify any outside pressures or demands e.g IiP (Investors in People)

identify current and future business issues, changes and demands which need to be reflected in the Policy Statement

clarify any financial or other resource issues which may constrain or limit the contents or implementation of the Policy Statement

identify when monitoring/modification might need to be considered i.e time table of corporate/strategic planning cycle, up-coming major events or restructuring.


In our next Tips and Tools we will look at how to construct and monitor a Training and Development Policy.

© DBA 2001