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Training to Learning

Informal learning has become more important and the role of the workplace learning and performance profession must change accordingly. Transatlantic discussions and exchanges of research information have brought about the following conclusion: a shift is taking place from training, which is a top-down intervention initiated by the organization, to learning, which is an ongoing process which lies in the domain of the individual. In a collection of case studies, the authors explore the concept that only learners can learn and the way in which they learn is changing. Partly because of the nature of todays organizations and partly because of individual preferences, informal learning has become more important and the role of the workplace learning and performance profession must change accordingly. Given this background, it is beyond dispute that the role of the trainer (to use the traditional term) is changing. New job titles have emerged, often involving the word learning. Continuing research has led the authors to describe the new role as one of supporting, accelerating and directing learning using the intervention that is appropriate to the need, the learner and the context. The workplace learning and performance professional will proceed through a series of interventions which, because of their relevance, will command support in the organization. There is no single model of universal best practice but a lot of examples of good practice.

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