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How to Write a Request Letter to a Boss for Advanced Training

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Whether you feel your career is stagnant or you know that your employer values employees who show initiative by enrolling in training that improves their skills, you could be required to submit a written request for training. More than simply completing a form asking for the funds to pay for job-related courses or training, tell your boss why you want the training and how much more you'll contribute to the organization with the knowledge under your belt.

Timing Is Everything

Determine the best time of the year to request training. If your employer sets budgets at the beginning of the calendar year, start drafting your letter close to the end of the year so you can submit your request as early as possible once the new year begins. On the other hand, if you work for an entity that races to spend monies at the end of the fiscal year -- like the federal government often is known to do near the end of its September 30 fiscal year -- time your request so it coincides with your employer's surplus.

Review Your Performance

Use your performance and aptitude as the basis for your request. Your performance evaluation should identify areas where you excel and areas where you could use improvement. Read the latest performance appraisal your boss conducted and highlight areas that align with the type of training you want. For example, if your appraisal indicates that you could qualify for future promotions only if you had certain certifications, find training that enables you to acquire new skills and gain that certification.

Focus On Why

You needn't write a lengthy position statement that justifies why you need the advanced training. The first paragraph of your letter states the purpose of your correspondence. Follow up with a second paragraph that explains why you want the training and the training opportunities that are available. This shows you've done your research. Include details about the training, such as learning objectives, schedule and costs. Support your request with at least two or three bullets that describe how the company benefits from sending you to advanced training. A successful appeal for training points out what the company stands to gain from its investment in your career. For example, in an article titled, "How Employee Training Benefits Everyone," on the HCareers website, some organizations report remarkable boosts in productivity and employee retention when they provide employee training.

Don't Ignore Logistics

Ideally, the training is something you can participate in during the time you're not working. But if you will need time off during the workday to participate in the training, don't forget to include those arrangements. For example, if you want to enroll in a class that begins at 5:00 p.m. and your workday ends at the same time you might need to leave at 4:30 p.m. on the days you have classes. Assure your employer that you're committed to fulfilling your work obligations and offer to come to work 30 minutes early to accommodate flexible scheduling.


Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ruth resides in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.

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