Recognizing Today’s Emerging Training Leaders

This awards program recognizes the contributions of Learning and Development (L&D) professionals who have been in the training industry between 2 and 10 years, and have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, training savvy, and business acumen.


Training magazine’s Emerging Training Leaders (ETL) awards program aims to recognize training professionals who are relatively new to the training/learning and development (L&D) industry (minimum of two years and maximum of 10 years in the field) and who have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, business savvy, and training instincts.

NOTE: The 2023 nomination process is now closed; the nomination form for 2024 will be available in March 2024.

To view a quick video about the program, visit:


Criteria for the Emerging Training Leaders awards nominations include:

  • No self-nominations; nominations must come from managers, co-workers, peers/colleagues—each company can nominate ONLY 2 candidates
  • Candidate must be in the training industry for a minimum of two years but no more than 10 years
  • Candidate took on at least one new responsibility in the last year
  • Candidate successfully led a large-scale training/learning and development initiative within the last year that required management/leadership of a group of people and resulted in the achievement of a business (not L&D) goal
  • Candidate demonstrates specific leadership and business acumen skills
  • Candidate has the potential to lead the Training or Learning & Development function at an organization in the next one to 10 years

There is NO FEE to nominate someone.


Each nomination can achieve a maximum of 45 points as follows:

  1. Number and scope of new and current responsibilities and their importance to the business (6 points)
  2. Training initiative (20 points total):

Level of potential business impact (i.e., revenue generation, new product launch, change initiative, new technology launch): 0-3 points

Level of difficulty of challenges faced: 0-2 points

Project scope (companywide, individual functions, global vs. national, etc.): 0-3 points

Business unit goal the program aimed to help achieve: 0-2 points

Instructional design (learning objectives linked to business outcomes; level of leadership involved in design, development, and facilitation; reinforcement): 0-3 points

Innovation of training: 0-3 points

Business outcomes achieved/expectations met: 0-4 points

  1. Leadership/business skills utilized: (up to 1 point for quality of each example; plus 3 points for Level 3 and 4 results for each section for a total of 14 points)
  2. Readiness to lead the Training or Learning & Development function (2 points for timing and 3 point for reason(s) why; for a total of 5 points)


Training’s Training Hall of Fame organizations, other Editorial Advisory Board members, and Editor/Publisher Lorri Freifeld judge the nominations in July and August. Winners and their nominators are notified in September. Winners are featured in the following March’s print issue of Training magazine.

By submitting a nomination for the Emerging Training Leaders awards program, nominators give Training magazine permission to publish any information not marked NFP (Not For Publication) in a profile of the nominee that would appear in the March issue.

An awards ceremony for the 2023 winners will be held in February 2024 at the Training 2024 Conference & Expo at Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, FL. The winners earning the top 5 highest scores will receive a free registration to the 2024 Training Conference. The other winners will receive a discount for the conference. All nominators of 2023 winners also will receive a discount for the conference.

To see the list of 2023 Emerging Training Leader winners, please visit:

2023 Emerging Training Leader Winners


Lorri Freifeld
Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training APEX Awards and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 30 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.