This article provides the context for training, development, and competence. In the training section, theory, policy, and practice are considered, including the diversity of national systems for vocational education and training (VET) and the relationship between work organization and workplace learning. The development section is distinguished from training in terms of objectives and scope, while the emergence of Human Resource Development (HRD) is explained not only in terms of a more strategic focus but also in relation to initiatives like corporate universities. The competence section addresses the confusion surrounding the term, contrasting four predominant approaches derived from the USA, the UK, France, and Germany, each of which has influenced other countries to varying degrees. Drawing on these four traditions, a more holistic approach to competence is presented as the model currently being used to structure learning outcomes within the European Qualifications Framework.