Is social media learning?


If you spend time looking at what your friends and family are doing on Facebook it’ll be hard to call that a defined learning event and the same goes for reviewing updates on Twitter or Instagram.
However, if you use a platform such as ‘Tweetdeck’, or the like, you can organise your Twitter Followers into specific lists and then you can use this to look up specific trends. If you are reading any attached papers or blogs that could perhaps be perceived as a real learning event.
This goes for Facebook too. I’d struggle to suggest the same for Instagram due to the fact that it is generally just a series of photos.
However, there are some interesting new platforms such as ‘Periscope’ which we’ve been using here at the BILD for a few months now, by holding a weekly periscope session on Wednesdays. This allows us to talk a group of people to communicate ideas etc., and there is a limited amount of text-based interaction. If you are engaging the right people you can get a huge amount of learning from this.
The other platform that we have discovered is ‘BLAB’. Although BILD has not hosted a Blab session yet I’ve been taking a close look at it to get a feel for the way it works and its usefulness in terms of learning. BLAB allows you, like periscope, to speak directly to your audience. It has some better features, in so far as you can invite others to video/audio with you, and can schedule these in advance so that people can subscribe to them.
I believe that by carefully choosing who you follow, you can use Social Media as a Learning event, but can you class it as formal CPD? I don’t think so, not yet. In the same way you can’t class a watercooler chat as a CPD session.
What do you think?
Rich Wootten (MBILD, TAP.Cert)
Business Manager
British Institute for Learning & Development


The Training Foundation wins second Queens Award for Enterprise : Innovation.

TAP logo large

When any of our BILD members win an award, especially a major business award, we like to promote it! Winning an award is something that recognises the efforts and impact of a fantastic company, product or service.
This month we’re delighted to announce to our members that The Training Foundation has won the Queen’s Award for Innovation for a second time! The award was made for TAP®’s ‘Innovation in the Quality-Assurance of Learning & Development’.
The Queen’s Award has become recognised as the most prestigious business award in the UK. It is challenging for an organisation to win once but to receive the accolade for a second time is something very special indeed!
Sincere congratulations to our long term partners The Training Foundation and your team for all of your hard work and efforts!
Please find, immediately below, the full press release issued today by The Training Foundation . We are very pleased for them and it is an honour to be associated with an organisation that has such a major impact on the quality and effectiveness of the L&D profession.
For further information about TAP® and The Training Foundation, please feel free to call their Account Managers on 02476 411288
If you have something to contribute to the BILD Blog or BILD newsletter, please email
Press Release:

Our award-winning programme, TAP® (the Training Accreditation Programme) has assisted more than 1,400 clients to improve their productivity and business performance through quality-assured training since 1998.
In 2005, HRH the Princess Royal presented the first Queen’s Award for Innovation for TAP’s objective best-practice training Standards.
The 2016 Award, conferred upon The Training Foundation, recognises how the TAP® Certified Assessor programmes are enabling employers to quality-assure their training practises to exacting TAP® Standards. This directly and positively impacts business performance.
We have developed a unique 3-step approach to Quality-Assured L&D – This incorporates the core TAP® skills-based, objective training design and delivery methodologies; the quality-control TAP® Assessor programmes and a new innovative ‘Learning Transfer’ methodology (the MACRO model) that maximises the impact of training and therefore business performance improvement.
Today, more than half of the FTSE 100 and many hundreds of other major private and public sector employers are demanding TAP® for the skills development of their L&D teams.
To find out more about TAP®, MACRO and The Training Foundation’s double Queen’s Award – winning approach to Learning & Development, or arrange a meeting to discuss the development of your L&D team, contact our expert Account Managers on 02476 411288, or visit ‘live chat’.

Investment in Learning & Development


Investing in learning and development is a sore subject for many. When the question is posed it’s often related to how much is spent on learning and development (or training) of employees.

But how much invested in the L&D team?

As L&D professionals we ensure that others are encouraged to develop and are also encouraged to keep up to date with CPD. However, how much CPD or L&D have L&D professionals undertaken in the last year? How many L&D professionals have, and maintain, a training portfolio etc.

Isn’t it equally important to ensure that, as an L&D professional, you:

  • have your own L&D planned for the year
  • have your CPD in your diary
  • have the right blogs, magazines and online resources coming into your inbox
  • are at the top of your game!

At the British Institute for Learning & Development we encourage all of our members to attend CPD events. To that end we facilitate 6 per year, along with online CPD sessions. We also encourage ongoing professional development. We recommend The Training Foundation’s TAP qualifications to ensure that you are up to date with your skills and the latest trends in learning & development.

As a responsible L&D professional you can easily be designing you own personal L&D programme. The way to become successful is to not only develop your personal plan but find a way to ensure that you can make sure that it happens!

So when is your next learning event?

Rich Wootten (TAP.Cert, MBILD)

Business Manager

The British Institute for Learning & Development

Is the Role of the Company Trainer Dead?

Once apon a time there was a company trainer, his name was Johnny and his job was to make sure that all the employees of ACME Engineering company got all the training that the company decided that they needed.

As it was an engineering company and Johnny used to be an engineer; his job was relatively easy, in fact, Johnny still considered himself an engineer, just one who’d become so skilled in his job that he could teach others how to do it.

And Johnny went on like this for years. However, the world outside of ACME Engineering changed in those years, and the workforce fell behind, innovation just wasn’t happening in ACME and the bosses said that the staff needed more training, Johnny felt out of his depth…

And so modern learning and development hit ACME Engineering with a thump! As changes needed to be made.

OK this is a rather simple example but you get where I’m going with this.

So is the role of the company trainer dead? Well I’d hope for all employees everywhere that the “Johnny’s” of the world have retired or updated to become L&D professionals. There may be one or two out there.

I don’t think that the role of the Classic Company trainer is dead, however I think it has changed beyond what Johnny may recognise it to be, for a example many no longer refer to themselves as Trainers, we’re much more used to being called L&D professionals now. The role has also significantly changed, in that it focuses on the needs of the learner and aligns that with the objectives of the Company. Also there is a recognition that one L&D professional can’t be “All things to All men” and that external organisations have to be brought in to deliver certain things such as implementing E-Learning or delivering specialist training; therefore the role might encompass other things such as procurement and networking. Plus there is now an opportunity to work at a strategic level to set the direction of the organisation and to create a learning culture from within.

In conclusion the role is dead, in the way I described it with Johnny (thankfully!), but it has changed and developed it to a much more vibrant and influential role that is pivotal to the success of an organisation and it’s people.

Shiny new object

We’re all familiar with the shiny object, something that people tell you about to get you to stop doing what you are doing and pick up something else. Often its worse in business as there are no shortage of critics telling you that you should look at this shiny new object or this one. The modern world is full of shiny new objects and learning and development sees its fair share of them. Sometimes if you have been in L&D long enough you see the same objects float past a few times.

At the British Institute for Learning & Development we’re not ones for picking up shiny new objects, we have a plan or a goal and we stick to it.

However, a few days ago we stumbled across Periscope which seems to part of or attached to Twitter.

Periscope allows people to broadcast videos to their twitter feed. Which is a great marketing and content tool.

But we can see a great opportunity for the learning and development community too, particularly at CPD events and seminars (with permission) at our CPD events we actively encourage tweeting and don’t ask people to put their phones/tablets away.

We’re going to be using this at World Of Learning on 29th and 30th Sept.

Also we’ve just started (just done our first) a weekly Periscope session, we see this a great way to reach out to the L&D community.

So do yourself a favour and download Periscope to your phone or tablet and make sure you connect with the British Institute for Learning & Development @BILDdev “Up Periscope!”


Blended Learning

Blended Learning for the sake of Blending 

blended learning

I was recently lucky enough to attend the BILD’s Blended Learning CPD day in London. I should be lucky enough, as I organised the day.

Two great speakers were there Ian Luxford from Grassroots group and Clive Shepherd from More than Blended Learning.

Firstly what is blended learning?  Here is Wikipedia’s definition “Blended learning is a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through delivery of content and instruction via digital and online media with some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace.[1][2][3] While still attending a “brick-and-mortar” school structure, face-to-face classroom methods are combined with computer-mediated activities.[4] A lack of consensus on a definition of blended learning has led to difficulties in research about its effectiveness in the classroom”

So already we can see that there isn’t even a consensus of opinion on the definition of Blended Learning. So there will always be lots of academic discussion about what blended learning should or shouldn’t be. Which is best? What sort of Blend? Should Blended Learning replace classroom learning? There is no answer only opinion!

However,I wanted to share some things that I picked up from the day.

1 – Don’t blend for the sake of blending

Blended learning cannot be decided on an ad hoc basis, just picking things from a list of learning tools and throwing them all together is doomed to failure. From the outset a structure must be put into place.

It is important that one doesn’t just view blended learning as an opportunity to use new technology. One thing I learnt from the event is that designing a blended learning course isn’t about “touching” all of the learning styles (if you subscribe to the learning style theory). Designing a Blended learning course it is important that you know why you are going down a blended learning path. Once you know why, then you can decide on what blended techniques you are going to use.

2 – Be a consultant

Often as L&D professionals we’re told by HR/Management/Directors to “sort out a course on XYZ”. We’re not sought for an opinion of whether that training or course is necessary or if there is something different that can be done.

Imagine that situation with the Finance or Legal dept of a firm, it wouldn’t happen that way, the Finance Manger or Legal teams would ask questions look at the whole picture and then give professional advice.

Become a professional adviser, as a freelancer that may be more difficult in the interim, but in the long run you maintain your professional integrity and as a result are likely to become more sought after.