Biennial EARLI Conference 2015 edition:16 location:Limassol, Cyprus date:25-29 August 2015
Informal workplace learning has become a prominent reality in the knowledge society of today. For this reason, developing appropriate learning conditions in order to enhance workplace learning is dominating organisational agendas. However, research that investigates the relationship between important learning conditions and competences acquired through informal learning is scarce. Therefore, the main purpose of this study is to explore how the learning conditions in the workplace are related to the informal learning outcomes. A second goal is to gain insight into how the learning conditions are realised in the workplace. The current goals were achieved by means of a mixed method study with police inspectors. The national competency profile of police inspectors was a starting point of this study. In total 390 police inspectors completed a survey on informal learning conditions and the acquirement of their competences. After analysing these quantitative data, 9 police inspectors were interviewed. Within these interviews the results of the quantitative study as well as the practical realisation of the learning conditions were discussed. Overall, the results suggest that the learning conditions ‘access to information’, ‘feedback’, ‘opportunities for reflection’ and ‘coaching’ are good predictors for the acquirement of ‘generic learning outcomes’ and ‘organisational level learning outcomes’. The learning condition ‘coaching’ is also strongly associated with ‘job specific learning outcomes’. These results are in accordance with the perception of the interviewed police inspectors and possible explanations were offered.