Learning transfer: Best practice

by 06 Jun 2012

Interactions in the workplace that encourage participation and collaboration will also enrich learning transfer, because learning consolidation involves a high level of social interaction, where learning goals are shared, experiences discussed, problems solved and ways of doing things demonstrated (http://www.businessperform.com/workplace-training/training_transfer.html). Indeed, in some programs, participants may learn more from each other than from the trainer.  This is especially true if the trainee is motivated, open and ready to learn, focused discussions are encouraged and the training is meaningful to them. Choosing the right trainee for the right training at the right time is critical to the learning transfer process.

  •  Allowing the opportunity to practice in the workplace. The opportunity and need to apply knowledge and skills immediately to trainees’ jobs has been repeatedly emphasised as pivotal to effective learning transfer (Ford et al., 1992; Lim, 2000, 2001. The 70/20/10 formula (see footnotes to Figure 1) states that 70% of learning occurs from real life and on-the-job experiences, tasks and problem solving. Factoring in the opportunity to practice is imperative for any effective, sustainable learning and development plan.

  • Using TMS Profiles. Although many forum attendees were not accredited to use our Profiles, they were keen to learn how the Profiles enhance OD programs. Those accredited in TMS were happy to share their success stories.

For more detailed case studies on the outcomes practitioners are achieving with the Profiles, please go do http://www.tmsoz.com/feature-stories


In summary, a strategy for learning transfer within an organisation is multi layered, in which there are numerous techniques and tools at your disposal. Our forum discussions revealed the techniques used by the Australian OD community for keeping learning on the agenda and also demonstrated their commitment to continual improvement.

Critical to learning transfer is that the organisation, workplace and learner are all synchronised to be ready, accepting and open to learning and new experiences.

It is all about people. It is about a commitment to a policy of continuous improvement at all levels of the organisation.

TMS was happy to host these forums and contribute to best practice in the OD profession. We will continue to do so through ongoing research, the provision of valid and reliable, work focused psychometrics and exemplary customer service.


About the author

Julie Pigdon is the business development manager at TMS



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