Should L & D Walk out on HR?

For many years of my L & D career I worked as a trainer/facilitator for financial organisations in the UK. We were the training team, part of Personnel and later renamed HR.

Whilst few of us would argue that there is common ground across the disciplines, isn’t it time that L & D was recognised as a stand alone, independent profession?  I clearly recall…

…being part of Personnel, but not really feeling it – the training team had no access to personnel data, were not involved in recruitment, assessments, reviews or internal procedures.  We were not consulted about any of these issues – so were often ‘left out in the cold’ when it came to goal setting, strategy and delivery of service.  We weren’t 9 – 5ers – and rarely at our desks for a whole day at a time.  So being part of their team and world was very difficult.

My vocational qualification is of course, a training one, the study was all L & D focused and assessed – but sat under the heading of a Personnel course – my industry recognition (from the UK) is CIPD, Chartered Institute of Personnel Development.  All of my career it has irked me that I wasn’t part of my own profession, that I was under another’s umbrella – but definitely still getting wet!

So…should L & D as a profession step out into the sun and away from the HR shade?  Should we training designers, developers and deliverers be recognised as professionals in our own right?  To answer I ask you these questions:

  1. do you influence others?
  2. do you have specific skills & knowledge?
  3. do you develop ourselves?
  4. do you play a part in the organisation achieving goals?
  5. do you reach across the whole business?
  6. do you have customers?
  7. can you say yes to the above?

I absolutely admire and respect the skills and knowledge of my Personnel colleagues – great they are at what they do – however, would they feel comfortable doing my role? Designing, developing and delivering skills and knowledge to a group of delegates for up to 5 days at a time?  Probably not…apples and oranges – I am happy being an orange – I don’t want to be a odd looking apple!

Should L & D step away from Personnel?  Let’s cut the apron strings and stand on our own feet…power to L & D!