One of the biggest challenges facing the L&D function is making sure employees are fully engaged with learning content and that learning initiatives have a positive impact in the workplace. New research from GoodPractice has shown that uptake of 70:20:10 is broader and more sophisticated than has been previously recognised, acting as a change agent across geographies and sectors.

The research involved HR and L&D professionals working in the UK and Europe, Australia and the USA, across a diverse sector of industries to discover how 70:20:10 is being used today in practice.

The challenge of 70:20:10

Over the past decade, 70:20:10 has evolved from a niche conversation topic with a small number of practitioners to a widely recognised term across the whole industry, attracting both evangelists and critics.

For some, aligning their approach to 70:20:10 has transformed their organisation and enabled them to successfully challenge outmoded perceptions of learning. For others, 70:20:10 has had its day, and is nothing more than an overhyped, superficial concept that does more harm than good. To the casual observer, it seems there is a whole lot of fuss being made about 70:20:10.

To better understand the challenges and opportunities represented by 70:20:10, GoodPractice set out with three key aims:

  1. Explore L&D’s perceptions and views of 70:20:10.
  2. Identify how 70:20:10 is used.
  3. Determine whether there is a correlation between specific approaches to 70:20:10 and greater success.

L&D practitioners have diverse goals when adopting 70:20:10; from achieving digital transformation, increasing productivity, developing their leaders, engaging learners and appealing to different audiences, the challenges faced are similar. However, approaches to tackling these challenges vary widely, with some making headway quicker and more effectively than others. It’s not enough for L&D functions to simply survive as they have always done. They need to consciously evolve, and for many, 70:20:10 is their means of moving forward.

Pragmatic, not prescriptive approach

The research has shown that after more than a decade of debate, the concept remains a catalyst for change despite a diverse and evolving understanding of 70:20:10 and its application within the L&D industry.

Despite perceptions to the contrary, the report uncovered that L&D leaders use 70:20:10 to spur

fundamental change, impacting L&D’s overall approach to its organisation and delivery of learning interventions.

Practitioners involved in the study were found to have very pragmatic and nuanced views about 70:20:10. Interviewed organisations were sophisticated in their understanding of 70:20:10 and did not apply it in a dogmatic or prescriptive way.

Commenting on the report, Owen Ferguson, Managing Director of GoodPractice said,

Using an in-depth qualitative research approach, we set out to interrogate fundamental questions concerning 70:20:10’s practical uptake and whether it is a net positive influence on our profession – the results truly surprised us. The research has shown that uptake of 70:20:10 is not only far broader than anticipated, but its practical application is more sophisticated – acting as a change agent across geographies and sectors.702010 stats


Lessons from the research:

  1. Achieving success with 70:20:10 isn’t a game of chance. It’s within L&D’s power to decide how to interpret and put it to best use in their organisation. Effective adopters of 70:20:10 take a practical approach to 70:20:10 rather than assuming it to be a prescriptive model.
  2. L&D’s collective understanding of 70:20:10 has evolved. Through experimentation, ways of working with 70:20:10 have become more sophisticated and innovative, and the profession is moving forward as a result. 70:20:10 has acted as a change agent, influencing not only ways of thinking, but ways of doing too.
  3. The debate has only just begun. The research has clearly shown that 70:20:10 remains relevant and under development with its peak applicability still to come. The report has raised as many interesting questions as it has answered. One key question reflecting on the findings is whether the core concepts behind 70:20:10 has trickled through to the consciousness of employees outside of L&D?


Why does 70:20:10 continue to endure?

For all that has been written, said and evangelised about 70:20:10, its real value comes from how L&D teams choose to interpret, adapt and bring it to life within the unique context of their organisation. For those that have developed a deep understanding of 70:20:10, they use it not only to guide their L&D strategy, but also as a launchpad to evolve the wider organisational culture and challenge mindsets around learning. Achieving these goals isn’t easy, but it is the promise of these rewards that makes 70:20:10 so very attractive.

To download the full report for free visit:

About GoodPractice

GoodPractice provides online toolkits, e-learning and the Lean LMS platform for a wide range of organisations. Our solutions can all be utilised as stand-alone resources or seamlessly integrated into a blended learning solution. All of our products can support a 70:20:10 learning and development strategy. Find out more at





Working in learning and development for almost 20 years, Owen started his career in L&D as an internal consultant, and later manager, with several FTSE 100 companies. Seeing the growing potential in learning technologies, he joined GoodPractice in 2006.

Owen has an astute appreciation of the rapidly changing L&D tech landscape. He is particularly interested in the evolution of learning technologies and how L&D can harness the benefits that technology has to offer without falling down the rabbit hole of fads and short-lived trends. As MD of GoodPractice, Owen and the team use data, user-centric design principles and proactive, agile experimentation to develop and hone online solutions to real-world L&D problems and challenges.