blue CIPD logo

cipd annual survey

CIPD publish a report each year based on a survey of L&D professionals aiming to help us understand the trends, challenges, and changes in L&D. CIPD has been collecting this data for over 17 years, has over 135,000 members and arguably sets the benchmark for excellence in people and organisational development. For these reasons we have digested and identified ‘The top 7 Challenges for L&D Managers from the CIPD Annual Survey Report 2015’, so that you can further improve what you do for your learners:

1. Continued shift towards integration with business strategy

On page 14 the report tells us that the ‘…next two years will focus on closer alignment with the business strategy.

Challenge: How well does your L&D plan align with the business strategy?

2. Assessing the impact of learning and development activity

The report shares with us 14% of L&D professionals do not evaluate the majority of their L&D activities and 33% limit their evaluations to the learners’ satisfaction.

Challenge: Do you use a training provider that evaluates on 5 levels?

3. Understanding how to enhance learner engagement

On page 23 the report shows us areas that most contribute to the success of a L&D professional. The first area is ‘business and commercial awareness’, and the second is ‘understanding how to enhance learner engagement’. Our unique ‘Sticky Learning ®‘ method has increased learner engagement – Over 400% more knowledge retained by learners.

Challenge: How do your learners rate their engagement? And how can you improve it?

Bar graph visualising how areas of knowledge and experience add to the success of an L&D/OD professional?

Which three of the following areas of knowledge & experience most contribute to the success of an L&D/OD professional?

4. Little or no encouragement of the L&D capability

Over 20% felt that there was little or no encouragement of the L&D professional to become more capable. This might be a ‘sick doctor’ syndrome where the L&D professional is neglecting their own development.

Challenge: How much are you practising what you preach? Do you have a personal development plan?

5. Using learning technologies to improve the intervention of L&D

Most L&D professionals are not confident of the effect of using learning technologies on L&D interventions. On page 16 the report shows us the impact of learning technology in the next 5 years, and yet our confidence in making them effective.

Challenge: How can you make your learning technology more effective?

Graph showing how learning technologies impact L&D

Using learning technologies to improve the intervention of L&D

6. Decreasing of the L&D resources

The majority of L&D professionals share, in the report, that their spending is likely to be cut. Without thorough assessment and justification of what has been spent and then what has been delivered, ‘the training budget’ will always be seen as a nice to have verses production equipment, pay rises, etc.

Challenge: How prepared are you for the budget discussion, armed with your ROI?

7. Line manager engagement needs improvement

The report does not mention line manager engagement. We believe that this is a huge challenge for L&D professionals, which is why we designed ‘Sticky Learning ®’ to include the line manager. The initial ‘Learning to Learn‘ training course buys in the line manager at the start and then we continue to keep them involved through the ‘Manager Pieces’.

Challenge: How can you increase the engagement of the line managers?

The full report is available online.

About the CIPD

The CIPD is the professional body for HR and people development. Over 100 years old. The not-for-profit organisation champions better work and working lives and has been setting the benchmark for excellence in people and organisation development for more than 100 years. It has more than 135,000 members across the world, provides thought leadership through independent research on the world of work, and offers professional training and accreditation for those working in HR and learning and development. You can feedback or ask questions of the research adviser Ruth Stuart by emailing r.stuart@cipd.co.uk

Of the 7 challenges, which concerns you most? Please share your view by commenting below.

Slideshare – The Top 7 Challenges by Darren A. Smith

Darren A. Smith

About Darren A. Smith

Darren has been working in the world of UK Supermarkets & Suppliers for over 25 years. He began his career as a buyer at big 4 UK supermarkets and after 13 years he decided to leave to set-up Making Business Matter because he wanted to help suppliers and supermarkets to work better together.


  • Jess Sampson says:

    I found the graphs and diagrams to be very useful; eye catching as well as informative. Also, I think point 7 is very important, line manager engagement is very important and the fact its been included in the training programmes is key.

  • Gemma Turner says:

    I like how at the end of each point, there is a ‘Challenge’ part, to summarise what the main challenge is. This is good as it allows to pinpoint the challenge straight away without having to figure out for yourself.

  • Lee Cook says:

    Really great article, defining the main challenges for L&D Managers from this report. Point two is really important, as if the training isn’t valued or working, then its a waste of resources for the company.

Leave a Reply

Where Next?