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1.3 Definitions of Training and Development

Proper understanding of terminology is important to enable sense to be made of what we read so that we can convey ideas in a consistent manner. A big problem we face in defining terms is that different people in different organisations use terms in different ways. Specialists working within organisations need to be sensitive to these variations. They need to know what a client means and then to translate any findings or recommendations into terms that the client understands.

Definitions help us to clarify our area of interest and provide us with scope - what to deal with and what to leave out. Definitions are also important because different words are often used to describe what is, in essence, the same thing. For example, the words instruction, training, development (and others) are often used interchangeably. But sometimes a particular word is favoured in specific organisational contexts and sometimes different words are used within the same context. For this reason and for brevity, the word training will tend to be used generally throughout this learning unit to describe each of these. But definitions of training are less straightforward than one would imagine.