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The Time for an L&D Audit Is Now

January 12, 2022 | By David Wentworth


The word audit typically evokes negative connotations. A tax audit or a compliance audit is rarely anticipated with delight. However, the start of a new year often puts people and businesses in the mood for a fresh start. The problem is, one cannot start fresh if they are still lugging around all the baggage from the previous years.

L&D teams must put serious effort into auditing the entire function. Many organizations gave up on this practice, saying they have tried but to no avail. But a solid audit can help assess L&D’s alignment with the business, training’s ability to meet objectives, and the L&D team’s efficiency in designing and delivering training.

The problem is that most audit attempts are simply too broad to derive actionable insights. By taking a more focused approach, real change can happen. Rather than a cumbersome chore, this can become a liberating event, positioning the team to grow and evolve in the years to come. The areas of focus should include:

  • The L&D strategy
  • Internal L&D processes
  • The learning technology stack
  • Budget
  • Learning offerings (content, tools, modalities, etc.)

Brandon Hall Group Smartchoice Preferred Provider EI proved to be an indispensable partner to the wide variety of organizations they have guided through this process. A dispassionate eye looking through things with your team can be the critical difference in uncovering hidden waste, obstacles, and opportunities, as well as areas where things are working as they should.

EI combines its years of experience and close partnerships with its customers to build unique, successful audit processes. No two are alike, but they typically include some combination of the following audit techniques:

  • Interviews
  • Surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Visual observations
  • Internal documentation and reports

The most important work EI does, though, is help companies turn their audit results into action. All the data, reports, and recommendations in the world mean nothing if changes aren’t effectively implemented to showcase results. EI prides itself in helping companies take those critical first steps that lead to further growth, improve business impact, and achieve stronger ROI for L&D.

To learn more about EI’s systematic approach to an L&D audit, please take a look at their eBook: How to Conduct an Audit of Your Training and Development Initiatives.


 David Wentworth, Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

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