Connection Point October Personalized Learning
ATD Blog

Personalize Your Learning Path

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

You know that your employees and learners are unique. They come to a training course or conversation with their own wealth of experiences, roles, skills, and perspectives. Talent development professionals must recognize all of that as they design or recommend a training or development opportunity for individuals.

And talent development professionals are no different than their learners. They come to the workplace with particular proficiencies, knowledge, and points of view. Some are accidental trainers. Others are coaches—internal organizational coaches or external consultants. Many are instructional designers and training managers and so much more. Similar to their learners, TD practitioners should have personalized development opportunities to help them unleash their potential, the theme for the Association for Talent Development’s Virtual Conference this week.

When ATD unveiled its new Talent Development Capability Model to impart the capabilities TD professionals need today and moving forward, the association recognized the changing dynamic of work and its many uncertainties. As ATD Director of Credentialing Morgean Hirt wrote in her February 2020 TD article about the model, “This new standard for the field will help prepare TD professionals for the future of work by broadening the scope of knowledge and skills that will make them effective.”

To help TD practitioners broaden their scope of knowledge while building on their current capabilities, the association has developed a self-assessment tool that will inform TD pros of where they are now and where they can go in the future. After taking the self-assessment, embedded in the interactive model that individuals can access from the Capability Model page of the ATD website, talent developers can create a personalized learning plan with an array of curated ATD resources. Hirt explains: “The results of the self-assessment act as a barometer so that you can intentionally determine what learning goals to pursue and create a plan to reach that goal.”

The personalization tools are open to anyone, but individuals must register on The available resources for the plan include TD magazine articles, past conference sessions, books, courses, webcasts, and issues of TD at Work, among many others. Users can track their progress against their learning plan, logging what they have completed. Once they’ve completed their plan, users are prompted to go back and reassess. For those who have already taken their self-assessment and know which capabilities they’d like to expand upon, they can align conference sessions with capabilities on the conference website.


Individuals can assess their skills against the Certified Professional in Talent Development or Associate Professional in Talent Development or by role. Individuals choosing the CPTD learning path, for example, will have their self-assessment ratings compared only to the skills statements covered on the CPTD certification exam. Roles that are currently available as a role-specific learning path are coach, trainer, instructional designer, and e-learning professional. Additional roles will be added.

ATD chapter leaders can leverage the Capability Model for their chapter, encouraging members to complete the self-assessment and deepen and expand their skill sets. “Keeping skills fresh and continually seeking to diversify your knowledge,” says Hirt, “can help you and your organization be ready to face the future.”


Hirt concludes, “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 help future-proof the profession.”

Another way Virtual Conference attendees can move forward with their career is by attending a coaching session during the conference. ICF-credentialed coaches are offering free sessions all week, courtesy of Fielding Graduate University. Sign up via the signup genius. And throughout the conference, attendees can access resume and job interview tips, as well as personal branding and job bank information, at the career resources booth.

Share your ATD Virtual Conference experience on social media. #ATDVirtualConference

About the Author

Connection Point is the daily news source written by ATD staff for the ATD Virtual Conference, relaying news, session coverage, and other updates.

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