What technical skills should a high performing corporate L&D team have?

Hi I'm looking to understand what the technical skills a corporate L&D team should have in today's technology enabled world?

For example would you hire someone who could not or would not do online or virtual delivery?

Would you hire an instructional designer that could not design for mobile usage?


If these skills are not in your teams now are you looking to upskill your people?


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Hi Drew,

Even for a company that doesn't outsource the technical side of the L&D dept' I doubt there is a single answer to this question without defining what your target audience and corporate policies are.

One example is the tech your corporate uses - many corporates still use flash based elearning while others refuse to have it on the menu. Those teams would need different skills.

Another example - you mentioned online delivery - I assume you mean synchronous delivery - again some corporates do not use it due to infrastructure, geographical spread or other reasons.

I would not hire someone who will is categorically not willing to adapt and learn (I would not interview someone who doesn't do something that is in the job description) I would also not hire someone who claims to be an experienced mobile designer and talks about 10" tablets (but that is a personal peeve).

Hope this helps,


Hi Asi, thanks for the reply.

To be a little more precise - I was thinking of the skills required to deliver training. Before WebEx, Centra, Adobe Connect etc came along trainers stood up and trained. Now we expect them to sit down at their PC, on their own in a room and train people they cannot see (all that easily).

I firmly believe that the ability to do this virtual delivery is not a key skill in many teams but they are asked to do it none the less. I think that casues issues with adoption by L&D and engagement by the learner.

See you at LT13 next week? We can continue the conversation in person.

Hi Drew,

If you're 'just' talking about trainers delivering online, I'd suggest thinking about a number of skills (and apologies if you're already going down this route):

  1. Body language - awareness of self, especially on camera.  Where to look, how to keep engaged etc
  2. Technology familiarisation - a lot of people use 2 people to do online delivery.  One does the delivery, the other manages the technology, fields questions, responds to those who can't get on etc.
  3. ID - obviously you can't just take F2F online, so you need to redesign each piece for online.  That's a whole other topic and I'd recommend the LPIs courses in online delivery to explore it fully
  4. Visual design - this is a given for me for all learning creators.  You at least need an awareness of how space, colour, spacing, pace etc all are affected by whatever you're presenting.

I'll stop there, there's loads you can do.  I agree completely that engagement is seriously hurt by lack of skill in delivery.  I believe L&D should be the exemplars of how to do it right, slickly and with huge stickiness!



Hi Drew, sorry to be a bit late to this discussion thread. If it helps here are some really good resources for you to read and maybe even have as a shared resource for your L&D Team.

It can be daunting for L&D. I found these resources invaluable when developing coaching and support for our L&D folk.


As there are so many factors that influence the effectiveness of live online training events these resources will hopefully help you and the wider team understand the pro's and con's to the planning, design, delivery and evaluation. There are so many practical tips and techniques as well as some good examples of activities for the various different types of activities, e.g. whiteboard icebreakers, break out room activities etc.


  • Colvin Clark, R and Kwinn, A. (2007) The New Virtual Classroom: Evidence-based Guidelines for Synchronous e-Learning, San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • Hofmann, J. (2004) Live and Online! Tips, Techniques, and Ready-to-use Activities for the Virtual Classroom, San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • Onlignment Ltd. (2009) Live online learning: A facilitator’s guide, Available from http://www.onlignment.com [last accessed 8 October 2010].

Kind regards

Karen Ver


Hi Drew
I think being able to or at least be prepared to change skill to deliver remotely is/should be a pre-requisite now for any trainer.

In my role at a large public sector we won gold for training department of the year in 2012 because we introduced a number of new technology delivery methods including putting all our ICT Trainers through the COLF certification programme, introducing a blend of live online through Adobe connect, e-learning, screencasts, QR codes, a private online community etc.

To achieve all this has required the skills in the whole L&D team to have included:

Live online delivery skills (COLF)
Graphic design skills (Photoshop etc)
Instructional Design
HTML Technical skills
SCORM and elearning standards
LMS understanding
Understanding of graphic, video and other file formats

Luckily as a team, we have all these. Whether a trainer would need all these is a different question as our development team don't 'train' they develop. We have a separate 'Learning Technologies Team' and a 'Training' team.



You mention the phrase 'technology enabled world' which is a good focal point.  I equate that to real technology, not to "Oh, I've got an iPad and am annoying as a result".

One simple thing overlooked when distractions such as SCORM are banded about, is simple formal content management - but having your content masters in a sensible single-source, standards-based format.  For me this means XML, and a sensiblly semantically rich XML (not "File, Save As ..." from Word). 

With smart, 'agile' content you can do wonders.  From dumb, badly managed and structured content you can do very little.  You can add all of the 'presenter in a suit' type ideas from others once you get the basics right.

OK, I can hear you saying "you don't need content nowadays" already.  Yeah!  Try do something without it.

To me this is the core technical skill.



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