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American Society for Training and Development (ASTD)

Established in 1943, the American Society for training and development (ASTD), the purpose of such establishment was to create an organization dedicated to raising the standards for the industrial training profession and to further the training professional's education and development. In 2014, the organization changed its name to the Association for Talent Development (ATD) to echo the global nature and wide scope of its members' work.

What is ATD?

ATD is a non-profit organization representing those who develop talent in the workplace. ATD encourages the training of the employees as per the requirement of the company. This training is based on a competency model.

The components of which are as follows:


Roles are groups of targeted skills. An individual's job may include one or more roles, akin to different "hats" that one might have to wear. Roles, however, are not to be interpreted as "titles."

At the top of the competency model are four roles, or lenses through which Workplace learning and Performance practitioners may view the model:

  • learning strategist
  • business partner
  • project manager
  • professional specialist

A WLP professional may take on one or more roles in his job

Areas of Expertise (AOEs)

AOEs are the specific knowledge/skills that an individual needs to perform in a learning and performance role. An individual might need such skills in one or more areas.

As a part of the 2004 initiative to build a competency model for learning and performance professionals, ASTD identified nine areas of expertise, considered critical for workplace learning and performance professionals:

  • career planning and talent management
  • coaching
  • delivering training
  • designing learning
  • facilitating organizational change
  • improving human performance
  • managing the learning function
  • managing organizational knowledge
  • measuring and evaluating

Foundational Competencies

Foundational competencies describe relevant behaviors for learning and performance professionals. The ASTD Competency Model offered the idea of foundational competencies.

These foundational competencies are categorized as follows:

  • Interpersonal: how one works with, manages, and influences people, policy, and change.
  • Business and Management: how one analyses situations, makes decisions, and implements solutions.
  • Personal: how well one adapts to change and makes personal decisions to enhance their career.

It is essential that WLP professionals reinforce this foundation by keeping in touch with resources that form and refresh these skill sets.


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