Pedersen, Cec and Smith, Andrew (2011) Learning and development. In: Human resource management: strategy, people, performance, 4th ed. McGraw-Hill Australia, Sydney, Australia, pp. 382-427. ISBN 9780070287112
The term 'learning and development' has emerged in Australia to describe the activities associated with the development of people in organisations. It is very closely related to training, HRD and to VET but has its own emphasis. In essence, learning and development borrows something from all three of the other fields and ultimately is tied to individual performance as part of overall organisational performance and outcomes.
Training has a rather narrow connotation. It is focused on the development of the skills of the workforce and, although it may be job oriented, training is related primarily to meeting the skills needs of the organisation.
Human Resource Development (HRD), especially in the sense developed by the ASTD (American Society for Training and Development) in the USA, is a far broader concept embracing all aspects of development that may happen in the organisation – individual, career and organisational. It forms a major part of the entire human resource management systems of organisations and frequently is considered from a dichotomous perspective, that is, about learning and performance. Simmonds & Pedersen (2006) have put forward a more contemporary definition of HRD:
HRD is a combination of structured and unstructured learning and performance-based activities which develop individual and organisational competency, capability and capacity to cope with and successfully manage change.
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