Measuring training impact in Defence: Why it matters
Posted on 24th July, 2018 by Kathryn Nixon
In the ebook, Simon Fyfe, head of our dedicated Defence and Security learning team (and a former Army officer), uses his in-depth knowledge of the Defence sector to make the case for getting started on a learning measurement programme.
In the rest of this blog, we’ll explore some of the factors that make measuring training impact a valuable goal for Defence learning teams and partners.
Key drivers behind measuring training impact in Defence
The importance of measuring the business impact of learning takes on a different shape in Defence.
While there may not be the same commercial considerations, such as sales goals or profit margins, there are still business challenges and objectives that measuring training impact in Defence can influence and impact.
Managing budgets and resources
A landmark review published in July 2018 explored the economic and social value of the UK’s Defence sector. The independent review, conducted by former Defence minister Philip Dunne, looked at Defence’s contribution to national economic and social value.
The Current Secretary of State for Defence, Gavin Williamson, used the findings of the review to put pressure on the government to increase Defence spending over the coming years.
But against a backdrop of austerity and cuts in other critical areas, such as the NHS, the Defence budget has come under increasing pressure in recent years – and is likely to continue to do so.
With squeezed budgets, the need to measure training impact and gain executive support for continued investment is a key driver.
Measuring training impact in Defence validates training approaches
Around half a million people in the UK are either directly or indirectly working in Defence.
Every single one of these requires some form of training. For recruits directly into the Armed Forces, that training is extensive, and spans over a number of years.
Defence teams employ a mix of training methods and approaches, ranging from residential courses to digital learning, as well as collective, unit-based exercises.
The ability to gain visibility on which training blends or approaches deliver the strongest impact provides learning teams with valuable evidence to support and inform training provision decisions.
Measuring training impact in Defence supports Defence outputs
Defence learning teams play an important role in ensuring that Front Line Commands have the capabilities to deliver Defence outputs and support the Government’s Defence policy.
For example, in an increasingly complex global security landscape, the ability to deliver effective training that upskills personnel to combat new threats, such as cyber warfare, is a new (but critical) challenge.
Understanding the most effective way to develop these capabilities will mitigate risk and increase speed to competence.
At the same time, measuring training impact in Defence operations, such as missions and collective training exercises, could provide visibility on current performance of Front Line Commands. This would help identify areas where increased training is required to deliver Defence outputs successfully.
The value of getting started on measuring training impact in Defence
These are just a few of the areas that getting started on measuring training impact in Defence could benefit.
For Defence, a learning measurement strategy that seeks to map the effectiveness of training provision has the scope to influence decision-making and increase the performance of Front Line Commands staff.