Learning and development
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it accelerated the need for a different approach to professional development. Fortunately, prior to the lockdowns in many places around the world, Deloitte had spent years developing a digital learning platform that enabled us to respond quickly.
That platform, called CURA, uses artificial intelligence to provide a customized, online learning option that aggregates content from both internal and external sources and personalizes learning based on the learner’s needs and interests. CURA democratizes learning, giving our people both a voice and a choice in their learning while enabling collaboration and individual contribution.
CURA was in beta testing when the pandemic began. In response, Deloitte Global accelerated its rollout to Deloitte firms globally. The learning platform was completed, deployed and available to every Deloitte professional by the end of January 2021. This provided a virtual solution to replace in-person training classes. By the end of the fiscal year, nearly 200,000 Deloitte people had accessed the platform.
As Deloitte offices around the world closed, Deloitte University (DU) and learning teams also pivoted from in-person classroom activities to supporting virtual delivery. DU is our cultural home and, after the pandemic, will become an even more important mechanism for Deloitte people to gather with colleagues and leaders in a renewed context of personal safety, inclusion, and physical and mental well-being. DU aims to provide in-person moments that matter—augmented by CURA—so that time spent together in person is focused on capability building, coaching and mentoring, role playing, and making connections—providing a holistic, blended development experience.
The importance of DU to Deloitte’s future is expressed by the continued investment in its global footprint. DU EMEA is scheduled to move to a new location in Paris in September 2022. DU Asia Pacific announced in March that it is building a second DU in the region, this one in China. And an expanded DU India facility will open as soon as circumstances in that country permit.
Despite curtailed operations at DU, we estimate Deloitte’s total, direct, global investment in learning for FY2021 to average US$2,200 per person. This does not include the “opportunity cost” of taking professionals offline for formal training, which—at 55 developmental hours per person per year,[i] on average—represents US$5.4 billion. That figure excludes informal learning hours logged by Deloitte professionals using CURA.
[i] Training hours do not include on-the-job digital learning hours that are a core aspect of development at Deloitte.