Learn More About the Training Top 125
Why Apply for the Training Top 125?
A crystal award and bragging rights are nice, but more importantly, applying for the Training Top 125 can showcase your training effectiveness, help L&D earn a seat at the executive decision-making table, and identify training gaps.
Training magazine’s Training Top 125 Award winners are the organizations with the most successful learning and development programs in the world—and the Top 125 has been the premier learning industry awards program for 20 years. Perhaps your organization can join the ranks of illustrious past winners such as Dollar General Corporation; Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, Jiffy Lube, Keller Williams, Verizon, Farmers Insurance, and IBM.
The 2020 Training Top 125 winners' rankings were revealed at the black-tie Training Top 125 Gala, which took place February 24, 2020, during the Training Conference & Expo in Orlando, FL: https://trainingmag.com/training-magazine-ranks-2020-training-top-125-organizations/.
The 2021 Training Top 125 application, along with the qualitative and quantitative scoring guidelines, is available for download NOW at the end of this article (please scroll all the way down and you'll see a place to download the files).
All companies are welcome to apply for the Training Top 125 as long as they are not training vendors (meaning that their primary business is not selling training products or services). Please keep in mind that the Training Top 125 recognizes corporate training overall—not just single training programs. Sections of the application include:
- Training Program/Scope
- Training Budget
- Tuition Reimbursement
- Training Infrastructure and Delivery
- Human Resources
All applications are judged quantitatively by an outside research company and qualitatively by Training’s editor-in-chief and the Top 10 Hall of Famers (organizations that appeared in the Top 10 of the Training Top 125 for four consecutive years). Scoring is explained on the opening of the application.
To read about the 2020 Training Top 125 winners, visit: https://pubs.royle.com/publication/?i=650103
For profiles of the Top 5 and information on the Best Practice and Outstanding Training Initiative award winners, visit: https://pubs.royle.com/publication/?m=20617&i=650103&p=82
To listen to the Webinar, "2020 Training Top 125: Tips to Make the List and Boost Your Score," featuring Training Top 10 Hall of Famers Lou Tedrick (Verizon) and Candy Haynes (PwC) and Training Editor-in-Chief Lorri Freifeld, visit:
In the another Webinar, "How to Earn a Top Spot on the Training Top 125," you can get the inside scoop from three Training Top 125 judges who pinpointed what they look for in Training Top 125 applications during the scoring process. Whether you are a veteran Training Top 125 winner or filling out the application for the first time, this special complimentary Webinar can be the key to increasing your score and ranking. To download the recording, visit:
In addition, Talent Development Reporting Principles (TDRp) can offer guidance on measuring training and obtaining results (necessary for obtaining higher scores on the Training Top 125 application). This industry-led initiative provides an overarching framework for measuring the efficiency, effectiveness, and impact of both specific learning initiatives and the function as a whole. Moreover, it provides a methodology consisting of a closed-loop process, standard measures, statements, and reports, along with templates, tools, and education for practitioners who are transforming their organizations. For more information, visit the Center for Talent Reporting’s Website at www.centerfortalentreporting.org and download the overview white paper at http://centerfortalentreporting.org/documents/whitepaper-overview.pdf
For more information, contact Editor-in-Chief Lorri Freifeld at email@example.com.
Training Top 125 FAQs
Q: What is the Training Top 125?
A: A worldwide ranking of organizations that excel at training and human capital development, as determined by Training magazine. Please keep in mind that the Training Top 125 recognizes corporate training overall—not single training programs. In addition, the application only pertains to internal employees, not training for external clients.
Q: Who can apply for the Training Top 125?
A: Any company or organization can apply, as long as it does not provide training or training-related services to other organizations as its primary business. If it does, those services must constitute less than 5 percent of the organization’s annual revenue. All applying companies must either be a holding/parent company or a wholly owned subsidiary or division. (This does not apply to nonprofit agencies, government agencies, etc.)
Q: When is the next application due?
A: The 2021 Training Top 125 application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Eastern September 14, 2020. We call this the 2021 application because the Training Top 125 Awards Gala to recognize the winners will be held February 22, 2021.
Q: How do I apply?
A: Download the application at the end of this article or at www.trainingmag.com/top125; fill it out; and register, pay for it, and upload it at www.trainingmag.com/top125 (scroll down to the bottom of the page). All applications must be a Word (.doc or .docx) file (no PDFs). The form is a locked document and only text can be inserted in the answer blocks—no graphics, charts, images, etc. We have established word count limits for certain questions. Please observe the limits as closely as possible, as we have established them to cope with the volume of applications we receive and to ensure all applicants have equal opportunity to tell their Top 125 story.
Q: How much does it cost to apply?
A: Training magazine charges a $179 application processing and handling fee.
Q: How do I pay for my application?
A: To pay by credit card, use the link on http://www.trainingmag.com/top125 and then print out your receipt.
To pay by check, use the link on www.trainingmag.com/top125 to register your application and send the check to the address listed on the site.
Q: When is the Training Top 125 Awards Gala?
A: The Awards Gala (a black-tie dinner) takes place during the Training Conference & Expo; the one for the 2020 winners was held February 24, 2020, at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, FL. The 2021 Gala will take place February 22, 2021.
Q: When was content about the 2020 Training Top 125 published?
A: Training magazine’s March/April 2020 issue includes the final rankings and feature stories on the Top 5 companies, plus Best Practice and Outstanding Initiative Award winners. The issue was handed out at the Training Top 125 Gala February 24, 2020, and mailed after the Training Top 125 Gala on that date. You can read the issue at: https://pubs.royle.com/publication/?i=650103
Q: When will content about the 2021 Training Top 125 be published?
A: Training magazine’s March/April 2021 issue will include the final rankings and feature stories on the Top 5 companies, plus Best Practice and Outstanding Initiative Award winners. The issue will be handed out at the Training Top 125 Gala February 22, 2021, and will mail AFTER the Training Top 125 Gala on that date.
Q: How do you arrive at the Training Top 125 ranking?
A: The Top 125 application is evaluated both quantitatively and qualitatively. Scoring includes 72 quantitative points and 52 qualitative points, plus up to 1 bonus point for the previous year’s ranking for a total of 125 possible points. On the quantitative side, an outside research company scores the application on five different sections as follows:
- Training Program/Scope (including hours of training, number of trainers, training budget, L&D involvement in business strategy) (worth 21 points)
- Tuition Reimbursement (worth 8 points)
- Training Infrastructure and Delivery (worth 7 points)
- Evaluation/Metrics (worth 16 points)
- Human Resources (including competency maps, compensation tied to training, employee satisfaction surveys, length of service and turnover, job openings filled by internal candidates, and percentage of new hires referred by employees) (worth 20 points)
On the qualitative side, Training judges (members of the Training Top 10 Hall of Fame and myself) look for demonstrable results, progress of programs, innovation, success factors, training strategically linked to business goals, corporate commitment to training, the potential applicability of best practices companywide and to other organizations and industries, and the ingenuity of outstanding initiatives (usually a fairly new program that hasn’t had a chance to demonstrate long-term results) and their potential to become best practices. NOTE: We qualitatively score how well you demonstrate training’s part in achieving specific, measurable, numerical (quantifiable) business or business unit goals in each of the following sections: 2.1; 2.2; Best Practices and Outstanding Initiative; 3.1; and 3.2. So the more Kirkpatrick Level 3 and Level 4 results linking training to achievement of strategic goals you provide, the higher your qualitative score will be.
Please download the Top 125 quantitative and qualitative scoring guidelines memos at the end of this article to see how questions are scored.
Q. Where can I get more information about how to measure and track training impacts?
A: Talent Development Reporting Principles (TDRp) can offer guidance on measuring training and obtaining results (necessary for obtaining higher scores on the Training Top 125 application). This industry-led initiative provides an overarching framework for measuring the efficiency, effectiveness, and impact of both specific learning initiatives and the function as a whole. Moreover, it provides a methodology consisting of a closed-loop process, standard measures, statements, and reports, along with templates, tools, and education for practitioners who are transforming their organizations. For more information, visit the Center for Talent Reporting’s Website at www.centerfortalentreporting.org and download the overview white paper at http://centerfortalentreporting.org/documents/whitepaper-overview.pdf
Q: When will I be notified if my organization makes the 2021 Training Top 125?
A: Judging will take place in October and November 2020. All applicants will be notified if they made the list or not the last week of November 2020. Invitations to the Training Top 125 gala will be sent out in December 2020.
Q: I have other questions. How can I contact you?
A: Send an e-mail to Editor-in-Chief Lorri Freifeld at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will be happy to answer any questions you may have throughout the application process.