Learning Transfer 2010:
The First National Survey

It has long been widely understood that there is a ‘transfer gap’ between the learning that takes place during training and its application in the form of improved performance. To bring clarity and a greater understanding of how this ‘transfer gap’ can be narrowed, ASK has worked in partnership with Training Journal to undertake the first national survey of current transfer and application practice in the UK.

While estimates of training effectiveness vary from as low as 4% to as high as 50%, all commentators agree that the massive cost of training ‘scrap’ is a cause for concern. But how far have training buyers and providers embraced the challenge of transfer and application that could – if researchers are correct – improve effectiveness? How far are they looking beyond their own immediate areas of influence? Are they addressing, for example, issues that also involve and affect participants, line managers and organisations?

While notions of ‘best practice’ in different approaches that support learning transfer and application – from training purchasing and design to delivery and follow-through activities – are widely documented and increasingly well-known, the survey has sought to identify how much these concepts, methods and practices are not just influencing current practice but being implemented.

The survey closed for responses on 31 December 2010, by which point nearly 600 responses had been received. Initial analysis is now underway, and respondents have now received a synopsis of the results so that we can fuel the debate and fresh thinking that will be required to address the challenges of effective learning transfer that they reveal.

This synopsis of results – and additional articles that focus on specific aspects of the analysis and implications of them – will be available to download here in due course. We hope that this important research will inform your own future practice, and will be repeating the annual survey for at least the next two years (2011 and 2012) so that we identify any trends in learning transfer practice from the responses that we receive.

If you would like to take part in future surveys, or to receive a copy of the synopsis of results from the Learning Transfer 2010 Survey, please contact us.

For additional resources on learning transfer from the ASK Blog, please see the links under ‘Learning Transfer 2010′ in the right-hand column of this page.

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