7 learning and development admin processes you need in place

Learning and development admin processes may not be the most exciting, but they are the backbone of any successful L&D team.  Getting those basic, essential processes right is key to ensuring the team runs smoothly and employees/stakeholders are clear on the service you offer.

When I started my career in L&D I had full responsibility for learning and development admin processes. Since then, I’ve worked in several organisations, setting up key processes, or supporting our admin with their processes.

In this article I’ll cover the 7 main learning and development admin processes you need to consider, and some reflective questions, or recommendations to get you started.

1. How to manage learning requests

Learning requests are a typical learning and development admin process. Your employees will want to know how they can access learning that’s available to them. Whether that be in-house courses or programmes, or external qualifications or conferences.

  • Qualifications/Conference requests – How do employees access any formal, external learning? Will there be a request form for the employee (and potentially manager) to complete for approval? If so, who will take responsibility for approving? Typically, the L&D manager will take responsibility for approval, but this can differ between organisations.
  • In-house learning programmes – Do learners need to book on via a system?  Do you have a LMS system that learners can interact with? If so, what’s the process for attending learning. If not, what other process should employees use to book learning. Consider if managers should approve it in advance, or are learners trusted/empowered to attend learning that’s appropriate for them.

Top tip: Make the processes clear for employees to access learning

2. How you track and monitor completed learning

Once learning has been completed what are the next steps? Attendance lists are an important record of evidence. Especially for mandatory training, or induction training.

I’d recommend taking attendance lists for every training course and then store them electronically. In case you need the evidence for auditors or others. Record the learning on either a database or a learning management system (LMS). So each employee has a full learning record.

Some organisations don’t take attendance lists for soft skills type programmes, the trainer will record attendance on an LMS or database afterwards. Check this with your organisation and what level of recording they would expect to see.

Top tip: Take attendance lists for any essential or mandatory learning so its recorded.

3. Budget and how to access the money

L&D budgets have been broken down differently everywhere I’ve worked. They’ve either been one big pot of money that all departments can access. Alternatively, the budgets been segmented so each department has their own allocation that they can use as they wish.

  • One big budget – If there is one big budget, how do departments approach you to access the money? Is there a learning request form to complete? Will you pick this up annually as part of your learning needs analysis discussions? (the approach I’d recommend)
  • Departmental L&D budgets – If your organisation works in this way, is it a free for all and they can do what they want with their allocated L&D budget? Or does it still need to be ran past the L&D department for approval first?

Top tip: Whatever your approach to allocating the L&D budget, make sure it’s clear and consistent

4. Mandatory training records

Mandatory training is usually an area of responsibility for monitoring health and safety training and refreshers. You need to be clear on what mandatory training is required for each role or department.

If you’re responsible for this then I’d recommend creating training matrixes of all the courses you need to track, including refresher dates. By doing this you can ensure you stay on top of the training needs and make sure no refresher training runs out.

Top tip: Recording and monitoring refresher dates means you can keep on top of scheduling

5. Do you store all certificates or just ‘highest’ ones

When new employees join the organisation what learning do you record? Most organisations record the persons highest qualification.

Depending on your industry and what’s important, you may wish to record more certificates than that. Especially if a regulated industry i.e. health and safety certificates.

If learners attend certified training, I’d recommend scanning a copy of the certificates into an electronic folder system, so you’ve got a copy on record in case learners lose them.

Top tip: Make sure any certificates that are essential for the role are stored

6. How to manage data for audits

Most L&D teams will have some level of involvement with audits i.e. health and safety or other regulators. Identify what audits you are likely to have, both internal and external.

In the past I’ve been audited by regulators (external), health and safety (internal) and CITB on the construction levy payment (external). Each audit will be looking for different things, but one thing remains consistent, they want to audit that you’ve followed your own processes correctly. So make sure you document the process you actually take, not the one you would like to take in an ‘ideal world’.

Top tip: Be clear on what you may be audited on, and what data they expect to see

7. Reporting processes

Consider firstly, what reports you need to create, when and what stakeholders they’re for. Is it just internal data, or will the report be shared externally too?

  • Internally will your data also need to feed into other reports i.e. wider HR reporting, or even health and safety reporting.
  • Externally, can you share the same level of detail that you would internally? What may your external stakeholders want to see?

Wherever the report is going, make sure it is focused on outcomes as well as outputs.

There may be some ‘outputs’ reporting you want to illustrate i.e. engagement with learning per department, attendance at mandatory training, or time to competence. The outcomes reporting should illustrate any training evaluation data, showing the impact that learning has had. i.e. increased sales, improved customer service, reduction in errors etc.

Make sure through reporting your stakeholders can clearly see the impact that L&D is having in terms of improving performance.

Top tip: Focus reporting on outcomes over outputs

Summary

Learning and development admin processes are essential for providing clarity for you and the organisation. Clearly defined processes are key to success with the basics.

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