Summarising the CIPD Annual Survey Report 2015

CIPD has conducted the annual survey of Learning and Development professionals. And the survey highlights the latest trends. It also identifies the challenges and understand how things are changing in Learning and Development.
In January 2015, the survey went out, and 541 L&D professionals responded. And to save you time, we have been ‘Summarising the CIPD Annual Survey Report 2015’:

Letters CIPD written in white on a blue background with yellow firework
CIPD Annual Survey in Learning and Development professionals 2015

Summarising the CIPD Annual Survey Report 2015

The role and purpose of the learning and development function

  • In more than 40% of organisations, L&D is a specialist role within HR. Meanwhile, for 20% L&D is part of general HR duties. And for just under 40% activities are split between HR and another area of the business.
  • Also, L&D is ‘extremely aligned’ with business strategy for 25% of organisations. And in 40% of organisations ‘broadly aligned’. Meanwhile, 6% report ‘not aligned’. And the main barriers to alignment are a lack of clarity by L&D and a lack of interest by business leaders to involve L&D.

Trends in learning and development

  • In-house methods remain the most common. And the most popular development methods are on-the-job training, in-house development programmes and coaching by line managers/peers. And L&D professionals expect these methods to grow.
  • Meanwhile, learning technologies, such as E-learning and blended learning, are more common in large organisations, and they are going to grow.
  • Meanwhile, 75% of organisations currently offer coaching and mentoring, and an additional 13% plan to introduce this within 12 months. And most expect to increase their use of coaching.
  • Interestingly, L&D content is developed from scratch on 50% of occasions, while 40% is adapted, and 10% is user-generated.
  • It turns out, approximately 66% of organisations offer training to non-employee groups, such as students, clients, or volunteers.
  • L&D professionals anticipate a closer integration of L&D activity with business strategy and more emphasis on monitoring & evaluation.

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Learning technologies

  • 75% of organisations use learning technologies. And the extent of their use varies widely, and face-to-face remains dominant.
  • Meanwhile, only 25% of L&D professionals feel extremely and very confident using learning technologies to increase the effectiveness of their L&D interventions.

Leadership Development

  • Most L&D professionals plan to conduct leadership development activities within the next 12 months, with the key areas being to equip line managers to improve staff performance, change and enhance the organisational culture and improve the skills of existing leaders to think more strategically.
  • People management practices effectively support leadership, yet improvement is necessary for reward and recognition.

Talent Management

  • 60% of organisations have talent management activities, with large organisations more likely to do so.
  • The most common activities have remained the same. And these are high-potential in-house development schemes, coaching, mentoring, and buddying schemes, plus these are the most effective.

The development of L&D professionals

      • Over 20% feel that there is little or no encouragement or enabling of L&D capability.
      • Meanwhile, 25% integrate findings from social/behavioural neuroscience into practice, 20% integrate cognitive psychology, and 10% findings from behavioural economics.


Assessing the impact of learning and development activity

        • 14% do not evaluate the majority of their L&D activities, over 33% limit their evaluations to the learners’ satisfaction, and 20% assess the transfer of learning into the workplace. Meanwhile, a small minority evaluates the impact on the organisation.
        • Learner & manager reflection & feedback are most common in assessing the learning. And other metrics are more likely to work when the L&D and the business strategy align.
        • Meanwhile, 30% quantify the impact of L&D on productivity using a range of metrics from sales, profit, performance, savings, etc., as well as behavioural and cultural.
        • They use the evaluations to review the delivery method and update the L&D intervention. And over 50% share the results internally, and only 20% share the results externally.
        • The most common barrier to evaluation is ‘other business priorities’, as well as quality of data collected, L&D capability to conduct the evaluation and ‘other L&D priorities’.

Economic situation and training spend

        • Changes to L&D resources are related to the performance of the organisation with over 50% of the public sector L&D professionals reporting a  decrease in their budget, whilst in the private sector, 25% have had their budget increased, and 25% have had their budget decreased.
        • Indeed, the private sector is twice as likely to increase their L&D headcount and more likely to increase their use of external associates. Meanwhile, for the public sector, the picture is the opposite.
        • Meanwhile, 33% of organisations have increased their spend on learning technologies.
        • The future of funding for L&D is mixed with over 25% of private organisations anticipate spending more in the next 12 months. And 15% expect spending less, and 50% of the public sector expect a decrease in spending.

The full report is available online.

About the CIPD

The CIPD is the professional body for HR and people development. And it has been around for 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. Currently, it has more than 135,000 members across the world. And it provides thought leadership through independent research on the world of work. It also 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
Reading the report, what do you think is CIPD’s most valuable insight? Please share your view by commenting below.

Summarising the CIPD Annual Survey Report 2015 from Darren A. Smith (DAS)

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Great and informative summary, broken down into interesting key points. I find the ‘Assessing the impact…’ section was very understandable with the use of lots of numerical values.

  • Very well broken down, really helpful in my understanding of the CIPD Report.

  • I found this a really helpful synopsis of report, but still with a large amount of data. Also including lots of key numerical values which is helpful for understanding and digestion of this.

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