As organisational development (OD) matures into an identifiable profession, concerns about the adequacy of training processes for members of the profession have emerged. The apprenticeship period serves a critical function in helping the novice learner discover what is expected of him or her in the field. An analysis of this developmental period may be most helpful to both experienced OD practitioners serving as sponsors for young OD professionals, as well as for those individuals “learning the ropes” as emergent OD professionals in a rapidly changing field. The experience of an apprentice‐in‐training on a large‐scale feedback project is described. A model of the apprenticeship period is highlighted using the concepts of role theory. Its implications for the sponsor and apprentice are assessed.
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