Learning & Development

Learning & Development focuses on continually improving the performance of individuals and groups within an organization. This process encompasses not only formal training in a classroom setting, but informal learning that occurs through mentoring, communities of practice, access to knowledge bases and the use of performance support tools. Moreover, in the past two decades, Learning & Development has embraced the discipline of performance consulting to identify underlying root causes of performance gaps and ensure the right solution is identified to improve individual and organizational performance.

Learning & Development is one of the six key human capital processes defined by TDRp and includes:

  • Training needs analysis
  • Performance consulting
  • Solution design, development and delivery
  • Knowledge management

In some organizations, Onboarding is included in Learning & Development. In TDRp, Onboarding is included in Talent Acquisition. Additionally, skill gap analysis is often the purview of the Learning & Development function whereas in TDRp, it has been included in Performance Management. In practice, each organization is free to organize their human capital activities any way they choose. We simply need a framework to organize the measures.

Each key process like Learning & Development contributes to the achievement of organization goals (for example, a 10% increase in sales or a 15% increase in productivity) and talent outcomes (for example, a 5 point increase in employee engagement or a 2 point increase in the retention rate). Often, talent outcomes are top-level goals of the organization on par with an increase in sales or a reduction in costs. Other times, the talent outcomes are viewed as intermediate goals in support of achieving the top-level goals. TDRp is designed to work in either case.

More than 100 measures are defined for Learning & Development. These measures are grouped by type of measure (effectiveness or efficiency). There are five effectiveness measures (the Kirkpatrick and Phillips five levels) and more than 95 efficiency measures which are further divided into seven subcategories. Each organization should choose the measures most appropriate to achieve their goals and manage their human capital. Learning & Development will typically support the broader organizational goals, as well as talent management focused goals. A short summary of each Learning & Development subcategory, including examples, follows.

Effectiveness Measures

Level 1: Quality, satisfaction or reaction
Level 2: Knowledge transfer
Level 3: Application
Level 4: Impact or results
Level 5: ROI or net benefit

Efficiency Measures

  • Activity & Utilization – measures regarding the volume of training.
  • Examples: Total Participant Hours of Training, Training Hours per Learner, E-Learning License Utilization Rate, Total Number of New Training Implementations
  • Career Development – measures highlighting the use of development plans.
  • Examples: Percent of Employees with Development Plans, Percent of Managers with Development Plans
  • Cost – measures regarding the cost of training.
  • Examples: L&D Budget, Average Cost Per Learner Budgeted, L&D Expenditure, Total Cost of Training, Training Cost per Hour, Tuition Reimbursement Rate, L&D Investment as a Percentage of Payroll, L&D Budget Variance
  • Headcount – measures related to the number of training participants.
  • Examples: Unique Participants, Total Participants, Training Penetration, Total Number of Trainees in Compliance, Total Number of Trainees Requiring Training Compliance, Percentage of Required Trainees in Compliance
  • Training Effectiveness – measures related to the effectiveness of training.
  • Examples: Quality, Knowledge Transfer, Percentage of Tests Passed, Time to Competency, Scrap Learning, Manager Support of Training, Job Impact
  • Cycle Time – measures related to the elapsed time to design and develop training.
  • Examples: Cycle time, design and development for ILT and vILT; Cycle time, design and development for e-learning; Cycle time, hand off to delivery; Cycle time, total
  • Effort – measures related to the amount of time to design and develop training.
  • Examples: Effort to create new courses, Effort to update existing courses

In addition to being grouped by TDRp category (efficiency, effectiveness, outcome), the measures have also been grouped into Tiers, which are described below.

  1. Tier 1: These are typically going to be the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of a given Talent Process. They are likely to vary from one organization to the next and some “Tier 2” metrics may indeed be key to one organization and “Tier 1” metrics for them, while not for others. At a minimum, “Tier 1” metrics are a list of starting-point, TDRp suggested metrics for those looking to build measurement in a given Talent Process.
  2. Learning & Development examples: Unique Participants, Total Participants, Percentage of Required Trainees in Compliance, Training Hours per Learner, Total Cost of Training, Training Cost per Hour, L&D Investment as a Percentage of Payroll
  3. Tier 2: These are typically going to be the supporting metrics for a given Talent Process, which one might look to in order to determine why any noticeable changes or trends in KPIs might be occurring.
  4. Learning & Development examples: Training Penetration, ILT Utilization Rate, Training Implementation Cycle Time, Tuition Reimbursement Rate, L&D Budget Variance, Knowledge Transfer, Scrap Learning, Manager Support of Training, Adjusted Performance Improvement
  5. Tier 3: These are usually the raw data points that when used in combination with one another create the Tier 1 “KPIs” and Tier 2 “metrics.”
  6. Learning & Development examples: ILT Attendance, Total Number of Trainees in Compliance, Total Number of Trainees Requiring Training Compliance, Total Number of New Training Implementations, Payroll Cost

To learn more about L&D measures, preferred definitions, and guidance on their use, go to the detailed, 34-page Definition of Terms and Measures document (members only). CTR members may also access the electronic TDRp Measures Library which includes tier information, but the best source for L&D measures is the Definition of Terms document. A list of measures is available to nonmembers by clicking here.


In addition to the measures described above, thirteen sample statements and reports have been created for Learning & Development. These are all available in pdf format and as Excel spreadsheets (CTR members only). The various statements and reports are described in the white paper Introduction to TDRp. The thirteen include the following:

High-level Business Outcome Statement (private sector)
High-level Business Outcome Statement (government sector)
Detailed Business Outcome Statement (private sector)
High-level Effectiveness Statement
Detailed Effectiveness Statement
High-level Efficiency Statement
Detailed Efficiency Statement
Summary Report (private sector)
Summary Report (government sector)
Detailed Summary Report
High-level Program Report
Detailed Program Report
High-level Operations Report

These statements and reports are provided as a starting point in your understanding and application of TDRp. We know each organization is unique and will need to select its own measures, but the templates have proven valuable to the early adopters.


One general white paper Introduction to TDRp and three white papers specific to learning and development are highly recommended (Full White Paper [55 pages], An Overview [18 pages], or Executive Brief [4 pages]) . In addition, there is white paper focused on customer education (Applying TDRp to Customer Education) and a TDRp Self Assessment.

Moreover, detailed written guidance is available for TDRp members at the L&D Resources tab. Here, members can find in-depth implementation guidance including the following titles:

  • Constructing the L&D Summary Report
  • Constructing the Executive Program Report
  • Constructing the Outcome Statement
  • Customizing TDRp for Your Organization
  • L&D Summary Report and Written Executive Report
  • Multiple Learning Programs in Support of One or More Goals
  • Outcome Discussion the Stakeholder

All of these can be found under the L&D Resources tab > Tips and Tools for L&D.

Notes: (1) The other five key human capital processes are Talent Acquisition, Capability Management, Leadership Development, Performance Management, and Total Rewards. Workforce Planning and Demographics has also been included as a key supporting process. For more on the TDRp framework see Introduction to TDRp and Extending TDRp to All Key Human Capital Processes.