Training and development (T&D) officers fall under the umbrella of human resources. They design, conduct and initiate relevant T&D programmes for employees – existing and new – at all levels in the organisation. In many instances, the T&D officer acts as the liaison and coordinator of programmes conducted by external training partners.
Most companies and businesses invest a considerable amount of money on a yearly basis to provide comprehensive T&D programmes, including the setting up of necessary infrastructure and resources, upgrading them at regular intervals and ensuring that employees feel motivated and committed to the success and growth of the company.
A personal development plan (PDP) is an integral part of the annual performance appraisal process, prepared after discussions between the employee, line manager and an HR representative, usually the T&D officer.
It is the latter’s responsibility to record T&D requirements for employees within their area of responsibility, review existing programmes and resources to check if they can facilitate the T&D requirements, design new programmes and courses using relevant media and prepare an annual T&D schedule for the employee, after discussions with the concerned parties.
Salary & benefits
Training and development officers with under five years of experience can earn a base salary of between £20,000 and £40,000.
Those with up to ten years’ experience earn salaries ranging from £30,000 to £50,000, and senior-level officers are paid salaries of £45,000-£65,000.
Individuals with professional qualifications earn a higher rate of salary than those who are not so qualified.
Like other HR functions, training and development requires no more than a standard eight hour working day on a five-day week basis.
However, officers employed in companies which operate 24/7, or those responsible for T&D in plants and manufacturing facilities, may need to work on scheduled shifts over a 24-hour period.
Travel may be involved if the officer handles a wide geographical area, or during programmes conducted at offsite locations. The latter can result in working over the weekend.
The job is open to candidates with degrees or HND (higher national diploma) diplomas in any discipline, but those with qualifications in business studies, management, human resources, psychology, industrial relations or other similar subjects gain an added advantage.
Most companies look for consistent academic records and non-academic excellence, so degree requirements are usually pegged at a minimum of a 2:1, with grades ‘C’ and above at GCSE and A-levels.
People management, personal and group interaction, articulate and clear communication skills, a positive attitude and personality and the ability to motivate one’s self and others are vital requirements for a T&D officer.
Training & progression
Companies offering annual graduate development programmes conduct a structured and comprehensive T&D programme for trainee employees, comprised of multiple placements in various HR functions, including formal in-house training sessions and support for completing professional qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
Upon successful completion of the programme, graduate employees can pick an area of specialisation and a full-time position in T&D is made available. Career growth is mainly driven by merit, and T&D officers can opt for moving up the ranks within the T&D function, or move laterally into other HR functions.