The Learning and Development Manager: Everything You Need to Know

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The learning and development manager plays a key role in coordinating all corporate learning and development activities. In this article, we take a closer look at this role. We dive into the core responsibilities of the learning and development (L&D) manager, how to become one, their salary, and finish up with an example job description.

Table of content
What is a learning and development manager?
What does an L&D manager do? 
How to become an L&D manager?
Learning and development manager salary
Learning and development manager job description PDF
FAQ

What is a learning and development manager?

The learning and development manager is responsible for the training and professional development of an organization’s employees. Their purpose is to make the most out of people’s talents and help them develop to their full potential. At the same time, an L&D manager keeps a strong focus not just on what the learner wants and needs, but also on the needs of the organization.

In larger companies, there may be an entire L&D department, in which case the L&D manager reports into the Head of Learning and Development and coordinates all training and development activities. In smaller companies, however, it may just be one of the duties of an HR Generalist (together with team managers).

What does an L&D manager do?

The learning and development manager works closely with business managers, various leaders across the organization, L&D specialists and other members of the L&D department, and HR, to ensure that:

  • They have a strong understanding of what the organization’s objectives are and that they create training programs that are aligned with these objectives.
  • They have a full understanding of the various business units and their specific training requirements.

Here are some of the tasks that a Learning and Development Manager has responsibility for.

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Developing and implementing learning strategies and programs that are aligned with the organization’s objectives. L&D managers need to know what the organization’s key objectives are. Therefore, they need to work together with the various business leaders in order to understand the different departments and, more specifically, their training requirements.

Once they’ve got a clear understanding of the company’s objectives and the training requirements of the various departments, the L&D manager can start to develop a learning strategy and program. During this phase, they will still regularly be in touch with the different stakeholders to make sure the programs align with expectations as much as possible.

Embracing and implementing various types of training. Each person learns differently. Some prefer learning by themselves and online while others rather study the ‘old-fashioned’ way; in a classroom with an expert teaching them about a specific topic. And then there are those who prefer a combination of both online and offline learning.

As an L&D manager, it’s important you embrace all types of training and that you implement different styles of training in your L&D program. There are heaps of options here. Think for instance of coaching, e-learning, classroom training, job-shadowing, and workshops.

Tracking budgets and negotiating contracts. This is a logical result of the two previous responsibilities of an L&D manager. In order to build a training program and use various types of training (from third-party providers), they need to know the company’s L&D budgets.

The same thing goes for negotiating contracts with external training providers; in order to get the best possible deal, the L&D manager needs to know what budget is allocated for this and how much room for maneuver they have.

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Logically, building and maintaining relationships with third-party providers is something that is linked to this and, therefore, also one of the tasks of the L&D manager.

Producing training materials. Part of an L&D manager’s job consists of producing the actual training materials. In today’s often online learning environment this includes the designing and delivery of e-learning courses, but a variety of other training styles too (think for instance of workshops).

Assessing the success of development plans to keep optimizing. As with pretty much everything in HR today, if you don’t measure what you’re doing, you might as well be operating in the dark. The work of an L&D manager is no exception. One of their key responsibilities consists of tracking the results of their development plans to:

  • Keep optimizing where necessary and
  • Help employees make the most of the learning opportunities presented to them

Hiring and managing L&D Specialists. In larger organizations, where there is a Learning and Development Department, the hiring and overseeing of Learning and Development Specialists is a task for the L&D Manager.

Managing the development of the HR team. A company’s Learning and Development department is often located within the HR function (this arguably makes sense since they’re both aimed at the development of people). As such, the L&D manager is perfectly placed to manage the development of the HR team from a training perspective – which is probably why this is often one of their responsibilities too.

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How to become an L&D manager?

If you would like to be an L&D manager, you’ll generally need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in HR, psychology, education, business, or a related field. Many people in this job gain experience working in an HR department or another management role.

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Strong candidates are constantly on the lookout for the latest learning trends, changes in learning theory and developments in learning technologies. As a result, they are proactive and able to anticipate change. A great L&D manager also is a strong networker, always exchanging ideas, articles, and information.

While certification isn’t necessarily a requirement, it can be a good (additional) way to demonstrate your understanding of the field. Certifications include the CIPD Level 5 Diploma in Learning and Development, Certified Professional in Training Management, or Certified Training and Development Manager (UK), such as those offered by the CIPD, Training Industry, and the Knowledge Academy

Learning and development manager salary

Salaries will vary depending on specific duties, company size, and location. In the US, for instance, an entry-level learning and development manager salary will be around $62,000 and someone mid-career can expect to earn an average of $73,000. In the UK, a budding L&D manager will have an average salary of 36,000 GBP and can expect 40,000 GBP mid-career. In France, the average learning and development salary lies around 48,000 EUR.

Learning and development manager job description PDF

Just like the salary, the job description of an L&D manager varies. Among other things, a learning and development manager job description depends on the size of the company (and by extension, the L&D department), and their specific duties. Nevertheless, for those who are interested in creating a vacancy for an L&D manager, here is a Learning and Development Manager Job Description that’s free to download.

FAQ

What is a learning and development manager?

The learning and development manager is responsible for the training and professional development of an organization’s employees. At the same time, the L&D manager keeps a strong focus not just on what the learner wants and needs, but also on the needs of the organization.

What does an L&D manager do?

Put simply, a learning and development manager makes sure that he/she has a full understanding of what the organization’s objectives are and that they create training programs that are aligned with these objectives.

How much does a learning and development manager make?

Salaries will vary depending on specific duties, company size, and location. An entry-level learning and development manager salary in the US, for example, would be around $62,000, while one in France, according to Glassdoor, would expect 48,000 EUR.

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