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ATD Blog

New Personalized Learning Plan Feature Helps TD Professionals Future-Proof Their Careers

Friday, October 16, 2020

Personalized learning—experiences tailored to an individual based on learner interests, experience, preferred learning methods, or job role—can inspire and engage employees to fuel their commitment to lifelong learning. ATD is now bringing a tool to talent development professionals to help them create personalized learning plans to deepen their knowledge and expand their skill sets.

The Talent Development Capability Model provides the framework of what TD professionals need to know and do and provides the tool to conduct a gap assessment between where they are and where they can go—whether it is to extend knowledge around their current job role or develop a new skill that may be the stepping stone to their next role. A new feature of the interactive Talent Development Capability Model enables TD professionals to create a personalized learning plan of ATD resources to help them close their gaps.

One of the valuable elements of the Talent Development Capability Model is the ability to customize it and design a framework that reflects your current job role. It could also reflect the next job you’d like to pursue or the dream role you’d design for yourself. Using the self-assessment to reflect on your current knowledge base and skill set provides an important perspective on where you are so that you can design a path to where you want to go. Keeping skills fresh and continually seeking to diversify your knowledge can help you and your organization to be ready to face the future.

The results of the self-assessment act as a barometer so that you can intentionally determine what learning goals you wish to pursue and create a plan to reach that goal. Once you complete the assessment, or the parts most relevant to you, you can choose one of several learning paths. When you choose a specific learning path, it will use your self-assessment to identify gaps between where you are related to specific knowledge and skill statements for that path and what your target should be.


For example, if you wished to pursue the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD) and chose the CPTD learning path, your self-assessment ratings would be compared to the recommended ratings only for the skills statements covered on the CPTD certification exam. You would then be shown a gap analysis highlighting those statements where your rating was lower than the recommended rating. You can then see a listing of a variety of ATD resources that could be used to help close that gap. Resources listed include books, courses, webcasts, TD magazine articles, past conference sessions, Insights blog posts, TD at Work publications, and more. From that list, you can select which items you would like to add to your learning plan. The list can be filtered by learning method (video, course, book, and more). You can sort the resources to create a chronologic plan, track your progress against the plan, and log what you have completed. Completion of learning-plan activities prompts you to go back and reassess your proficiency.


Other learning paths available include role-specific paths that have been curated by ATD to create a natural path of progression. The roles currently included are coach, trainer, instructional designer, and e-learning professional. Additional paths will be added, such as talent development manager and HR/OD professional. You can also choose to create a self-guided plan, picking the capabilities or knowledge and skill statements you want to develop based on your interest or need and design your own learning journey.

The role of the self-assessment is to provide a benchmark that TD professionals can work toward. It is not expected that users will end up being 100 percent proficient across each capability, but rather will find ways to continue to grow and develop in their talent development practice. Even the most senior and experienced person can always find something new to learn or identify a new way to deepen their practice. The self-assessment and learning plan feature can be used individually or with your team to identify gaps across your talent development function. An enterprise version of the self-assessment tool that will enable a manager to assess team members and identify gaps across their team is planned for release in late Q1 2021.

ATD is continuing to develop new content for inclusion across the learning-plan feature of the Talent Development Capability Model and new resources will be added on an regular basis, curated to help close the gaps for users. Embodying lifelong learning is an essential component of talent development and creating a personalized learning plan can help keep everyone ahead of the learning curve and future-proof the profession.

About the Author

As Director of Credentialing for the Association for Talent Development, Morgean Hirt is responsible for the overall management and leadership of the ATD Credentialing Institute and was instrumental in the development of the Talent Development Capability Model.  She brings over twenty-five years of nonprofit experience in professional certification and accreditation across a variety of professions.  Morgean has devoted her career to advancing professions through the establishment of industry standards.  She provides strategic leadership and technical expertise in developing and implementing credentialing programs; focusing on policy, standards, and test development.

Morgean has led several organizations through establishing industry standards for emerging professions, including clinical research, massage therapy, and K-12 ed tech leaders, and healthcare information systems.  Prior to joining ATD, Morgean spent 10 years as Present and CEO of Certified Fund Raising Executives International Credentialing Board (CFRE International), and was responsible for establishing international support across six continents for a unified standard of fundraising practice.  Morgean lives in the Washington, DC area and is active with the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), serving as a member of the Education and Program Committees and as a presenter at the ICE Exchange.

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