I need some help from the collective mind of L&D professionals here. I am currently taking the L3 L&D diploma. And, as a newcomer, I thought it time to get my feet wet with a 'good' question. I was surfing LinkedIn jobs and a few other sites looking for possible careers for my L&D future. (Currently, I am a secondary teacher and am looking to make the switch from public to private sector.) I have been searching but finding very conflicting titles with conflicting outcomes as to what is required of a certain role. It almost seems that particular companies just make up titles. What have I seen: L&D Business Partner, Adviser, Professional, Manager, Consultant, Officer, Associate, Administrator, Training & Development with all of the previous second titles. I could also include 'Learning' without the development but with all the second titles. 

  1. Is there any hierarchy of positions? Which is at the top (pay & responsibility wise)? Bottom? Order?
  2. Is the CIPD Profession Map attempting to address this confusion? 
  3. After successful completion of the L3 L&D diploma + 15 years of teaching experience, at what level could I expect to enter into a company?


Matthew Van Matre

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  • Hi Matthew 

    1) In terms of hierarchy it's different from organisation to organisation however you might typically expect in a traditional L&D team and also the levels in terms of pay/responsibility - this is NOT factual and based on my experience and that are a huge array of other L&D roles out there with various pay scales and responsibilities. Read here

    • Head of Learning/Talent/Capability - To be influential and instrumental in aligning L&D strategy with Business Strategy
    • Learning Business Partner (LBP) - To be accountable for ensuring specific business / operational areas have L&D support / complete TNA and ensure resource is assigned to meet any development / performance short fall 
    • L&D Manager - responsible for working with the LBP and assigning delivery resource to meet business needs e.g induction, soft skills, bespoke courses
    • L&D Design Manager - responsible for with with LBP / of L&D Manager to ensure design and delivery of content is created and etc 
    • L&D Consultant - project manager sort of role working across all areas of the training cycle - jack of all trades 
    • Instructional designer - specific to developing digital content 
    • Delivery Trainer - face to face specialist and facilitator 
    • L&D Admin - LMS administrator / admin tasks are planning and delivery of training events

    2) I don't think the CIPD Map is trying to address the confusion around L&D roles as all the roles outlined above and in the job roles can be specific to organisational needs or industry. Some roles grow organically or evolve naturally or even are created to be more innovative and responsive.

    The CIPD Map provides the core competencies and behaviours that the CIPD believes should be part of any HR / L&D role and provides bands based on levels of responsibility - band 4 being the most senior. 

    3) I can't answer that for you I'm afraid as every organisation and role is different with different recruitment policies and approaches - you may be suitable as a LBP in one organisation but as a Delivery Trainer in another. 

    The key is to work out what role you want and then do everything in your power to get there :)

    • Thanks a bundle. Having to learn a new register of jargon and then interpret it is challenging to say the least. The problem is that as a teacher, I do all of the processes from LNA to ROI; however, this explanation has given me good food for thought. There are a few in that list that appeal immediately - L&D Consultant (jerk of all trades - that's me), Instructional Designer (the creative monster in me), Delivery Trainer (love teaching - powerful drug in those 'a-ha' moments). My plan is to finish this L3 L&D diploma successfully, then, get out there and get some experience. My issue is that I do not want to waste time (in my 40s - clock is ticking); I would like to earn my stripes quickly and then get into a position to bring about some change. If I don't know it - I'll learn it - then, I'll do it and so on.

      • Hi Matthew

        I think that's a good approach and a great attitude! Get stuck in and remain curious at all times. Many L&D professionals end up supporting the development of others at the expense of developing themselves so make sure you keep developing your own skills and experience. Good luck and let us know how things progress.


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