July 7, 2020

LPI Accreditation—A DPG Facilitator’s Experience

The recent partnership between DPG and the Learning and Performance Institute (LPI) has given me the chance to qualify as an accreditation mentor for learning departments with the LPI. I didn’t have a great deal of knowledge about the LPI before this, apart from coming across the LPI Capability Map which I thought was clear, well-structured and straightforward to complete.  The focus on learning and performance to me is natural and appropriate. 

My background has always been in learning and development and in my early days I became a member of the Institute of Training and Development (ITD) which merged with the Institute of Personnel Management (IPM), eventually becoming the CIPD. L&D’s focus is a little different from mainstream HR and it is good that the LPI again distinguishes this.    

The LPI accreditation mentor’s role is to help L&D departments benchmark themselves in the L&D world and identify key areas for action in relation to the organisation’s strategy.   Some organisations have been seeking re-accreditation yearly over several years while others are new to the process.   While it carries out an assessment in a number of key areas, the biggest attraction to me is the value it can provide as a listening ear and a facilitator of action.  

After being provided with an accreditation guide and other documents, the development process first involved an online training course which took us through the aims, process and challenges of the accreditation process.  The approach that LPI’s Paul Jocelyn described was very sensible and well-structured.  The importance of the relationship with the client and the consistency of reporting were rightly emphasised throughout.

The second stage was the opportunity to shadow an accreditation mentor – in this case online. The meeting was three hours and I was able to listen and take in what was happening and also play a minor role in asking an occasional question.  The client – whose organisation had been a member for a number of years – clearly felt the investment worthwhile and the meeting valuable as an opportunity to stand back and reflect on the department’s aims, priorities and approach.  I was very pleased to witness and follow the application of the process that we had learnt earlier. 

In the meeting, it was very interesting indeed to listen to the real challenges faced by the Head of L&D in an organisation that was transforming its business as well as feeling the pressures of Covid-19.  We were able to dig into how L&D were aligning to business strategy and the delivery of L&D services to meet that strategy – amongst other things, the structure and needs of the L&D team, the processes for learning needs analysis, the budget constraints, appropriate use of digital and online delivery, the learning management system, and measures of success and evaluation.  It was illuminating to see how these elements fitted together – along with the difficulties with this – in the context of a real organisation.    

After the meeting, the client is able to provide supporting evidence and as a result of this and the meeting a report is produced which gives an assessment of each criterion. Of particular value it also poses a number of key questions to the Head of L&D relevant to making the most of L&D’s potential.   This is a real chance to use one’s experience to offer a well-considered, external perspective in a constructive way and so add value.  

So far I have found the experience very enjoyable with excellent support and guidance.  The partnership between DPG and LPI is very exciting and I hope that many of the clients of DPG who work in L&D will see the benefits of LPI accreditation for their learning departments.  They will be used to the criteria-based assessment approach and I hope see value in sharing, reflecting and becoming a member of an organisation that I am sure has an important role to play and is growing in recognition.  I am very much looking forward to my first assignments in the near future.  

Ralph Naylor – DPG Facilitator