Training APEX Awards FAQs

What is the Training APEX Awards program?

A worldwide ranking of organizations that excel at training and human capital development, as determined by Training magazine. The Training APEX Awards reflect the winners’ journey to attain peak performance in employee training and development and organizational success. Please keep in mind that the Training APEX Awards recognize corporate training overall—not single training programs. In addition, the application only pertains to internal employees, not training for external clients.

The process of filling out the Training APEX Awards application also serves a valuable purpose as it is designed to be a road map for organizations to help them align the work of their Learning and Development (L&D) team with the work of the business. Use it to help identify training gaps, as well as places where training is not fully aligned with business unit goals, or where business outcomes resulting from the training are not being measured. Using the Training APEX Awards application as a road map also may help to strengthen communication and collaboration among various divisions at your organization (especially between L&D and business unit leaders). And it seeks to promote C-suite awareness of the importance and business benefits of training, and, in particular, earn L&D a seat at the C-suite table for strategic planning if it does not already have one.

Who can apply for the Training APEX Awards?

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.). This is a global awards program, so companies from around the world are welcome to apply.

When is the next application due?

The 2025 Training APEX Awards application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Eastern on September 3, 2024. We call this the 2025 application because the Training APEX Awards Gala to recognize the winners will be held February 17, 2025.

How do I apply?

On April 15, 2024 or after, download the application here; fill it out; and register, pay for it, and upload it online here (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 training story.

How much does it cost to apply?

Training magazine charges a $179 application processing and handling fee.

How do I pay for my application?

To pay by credit card, you can submit your cc payment along with your application via the submission site and then print out your receipt.​

To pay by check, you can choose “Balance Due” as payment type when submitting your application and send your check to the address listed below. Please make checks payable to “Lakewood Media Group.” 

Bryan Powell
Lakewood Media Group
5353 Knox Ave South
Minneapolis, MN 55419

NOTE: If you prefer to pay ahead of time and submit your application later, that’s fine. Please pay the processing fee via the link above and e-mail your completed application later to Editor/Publisher Lorri Freifeld at

When is the Training APEX Awards Gala?

The Awards Gala (a black-tie dinner) takes place during the Training Conference & Expo. The 2025 Gala will be held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, FL, on February 17, 2025.

When was content about the 2024 winners published?

Training magazine’s March 2024 issue includes the final rankings and feature stories on the Top 5 companies, plus Best Practice and Outstanding Initiative Award winners. The issue was mailed after the Training APEX Awards Gala on February 26, 2024. Visit the March 2024 issue online here.

Where can I find the press release about the 2024 winners?

The 2024 press release is available online here.

When will content about the 2025 Training APEX Awards winners be published?

Training magazine’s March 2025 issue will include the final rankings and feature stories on the Top 5 companies, plus Best Practice and Outstanding Training Initiative Award winners. The issue will mail after the Training APEX Awards Gala on February 17, 2025.

How do you arrive at the Training APEX Awards ranking?

The Training APEX Awards application is evaluated both quantitatively and qualitatively. Scoring includes 72 quantitative points and 53 qualitative points, plus up to 1 bonus point for the previous year’s ranking and an additional bonus point for not hiring an outside consultant to complete the application for a total of 127 possible points. On the quantitative side, an outside research company scores the application on five different sections as follows:

  1. Training Program/Scope (including hours of training, number of trainers, training budget, L&D involvement in business strategy) (worth 21 points)
  2. Tuition Reimbursement (worth 8 points)
  3. Training Technology Systems and Delivery (worth 7 points)
  4. Evaluation/Metrics (worth 16 points)
  5. Human Resources (including competency maps, manager compensation tied to development of direct reports, 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, the judges (members of the Training Hall of Fame and Training Editor/Publisher Lorri Freifeld) look for demonstrable Kirkpatrick Level 3 (behavior change as validated by a third party) and Level 4 (business outcomes) results; progress of programs; innovation; success factors; training strategically linked to measurable, numerical business/business unit goals; corporate commitment to training; the potential applicability of best practices companywide and to other organizations and industries; and the ingenuity of outstanding training 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 applicants 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 Training 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 the qualitative score will be.

Where can I get more information about how to measure and track training impacts?

Talent Development Reporting Principles (TDRp) can offer guidance on measuring training and obtaining results (necessary for obtaining higher scores on the Training APEX Awards 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:

When will I be notified if my organization makes the 2025 Training APEX Awards list?

Judging will take place in October and November 2024. All applicants will be notified if they made the list or not the last week of November 2024. E-mail invitations to the 2025 Training APEX Awards Gala will be sent out in December 2024.

I have other questions. How can I contact you?

Send an e-mail to Editor/Publisher Lorri Freifeld at She will be happy to answer any questions you may have throughout the application process.