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Essential Facts - the '10' in 70:20:10

70:20:10 is a way of describing how learning occurs in organisations.

Research indicates that:

  • About 70% of learning and development occurs through real-life and on-the-job experiences, tasks, and problem solving.  Even with classroom programs the really important learning takes place back on the job when the knowledge or skill is applied to a real situation.
  • About 20% of learning and development comes from coaching, feedback and from observing and working with role models and colleagues.
  • About 10% of learning and development comes from formal training, whether in classrooms and workshops or through eLearning or some other structured programs.

What Types of Development Activities are in the ‘10’?

The types of ‘10’ activities that you can carry out to support your development include:

  • courses, workshops, seminars
  • eLearning courses and eLearning modules
  • a blend of classroom and 'e'
  • structured discussion and social learning around a specific topic/course
  • professional qualifications/accreditation
  • certification
  • formal education, e.g. university, business school.


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As an Organisation whose approach to learning and development was 100% focussed on classroom training, the realisation of the 70:20:10 framework was quite timely. We were faced with more and more resistance from line managers who, faced with reduced resources and increased responsibilities, were no longer able to support staff being away from their desks for 7.5 hours a day to attend classroom training.

Our first task was to take the content we had from our classroom delivery arm and break it down into more manageable blended chunks. For some courses, we are setting up Action Learning sets for example, manager as a leader, line managers getting together to share experiences and knowledge. For our compliance training, we offer online learning in the format of videos or e-courses but have a workshop session focussed on aspects where learning needs to be reinforced e.g. fire safety use of extinguishers.

We have also analysed our offices job related training budgets to ensure office spend was in line with office requirements. We have reinforced that spend should focus on professional qualifications/accreditations and attendance at relevant conferences/seminars. Any other learning need should be met via the Your Development programme thus ensuring we get value for money from our office budgets.

This resource was great in reinforcing both the need and purpose of face to face and formal learning environments. It was also great for emphasising to staff that the 70:20:10 framework was not HR just going with the latest L&D fad but in fact many staff were already participating in activities across the range of the framework. It helped to assure staff that the framework we were suggesting didn’t mean more time away from the day job but instead more on the job learning, more peer related learning and more focussed, meaningful formal events.

I would encourage other organisations to assess their current provision and look to make the more formal aspects of those events more meaningful and directly related to the learning need. There will always be a place for formal learning and this article helps to reinforce that to staff.

As part of designing ‘sales Development Programme’ to develop and enhance the soft skills that underpin the sales capabilities for the team, a series of class room training is designed to create the platform for knowledge transfer, theories introduction and sharing best practice. It also enables great professional networking.

These training programmes are part of a certification. The ILT (instructor Led Training) concept represent the cornerstone of this certification. As part of the 10% of the learning, we combine the ILT training with pre assigned e-learning modules (which has to be completed with a passing test). This blend ensures maximized opportunity for the learner.