4.2 Learning at UCB

On average, people received 20.79 hours of formal learning across a range of different subject areas: leadership, professional, and technical skills development. This was done through a focus on strategic capability development, learning culture, learning experience, agile way of working, and operational excellence.

In 2018, UCB invested over € 12.2 million in learning programs, content, technologies, and services to deliver on its commitment to grow talent and foster personalized development1. Special emphasis was made on the training of people in new strategic capabilities, important for the company.

159 145

total training hours
in 2018


average training hours
per employee












Technical staff



















As UCB engages in the Accelerate and Expand phase of our UCB’s long-term strategy, the learning organization has set an important mission to create an on-line training environment for people conducive to learn, in order to better serve patients. People are invited to acquire a continuous learning attitude and UCB believes that establishing a favorable learning environment will benefit the sustainability of the organization.

UCB tailors different learning programs for specific teams. For example, the Medical Practices Development Centers training or the Healthcare Ecosystems training. The latter training is an immersive, patient-centric, learning and experience-driven program designed by the Commercial and Ethics and Compliance teams and has been recognized by the Life Science Trainers and Educators Network (LTEN). It was listed as an Innovation Award finalist among all pharmaceutical, biotech, medical devices and diagnostic companies globally.

1 Scope of Reporting: UCB implemented the Learning Management System which allowed more precision in tracking the learning hours taken by our employees. Learning hours are tracked both for online e-learnings and classroom, instructor-led courses using a general estimation of learning hours per course. All of our corporate-level mandatory trainings (courses relevant for all or most UCB employees) are to be completed biannually. Students, apprentices and trainees are not included in the training data.

Talent & leadership development programs

Developing leaders is critical to achieving the Patient Value Strategy. UCB created 3 global leadership development programs with different external partners:

  • Accelerate for first-line leaders;
  • Navigate for managers leading managers; and
  • Orchestrate for senior managers leading a business or function.

Each program runs over 6-9 months, has multiple face-to-face modules, promotes teamwork and includes type-1 experiences to develop and unfold skills and behavior.

The Accelerate program is performed in country.

The Navigate program involves exposure to different cultures and diversity. They visit different continents and meet partners and healthcare professionals in local settings, with the objective to better understand the local health ecosystems.

The Orchestrate senior managers participate in a comprehensive transformative training on inclusive leadership which includes a field visit to Rwanda. During 2018, 17 future UCB leaders participated. Groups of 2-3 visited different parts of Rwanda to better understand the intersection between persons living with epilepsy, healthcare providers and UCB’s commitment. They observed and lived the crossroads between (i) the needs of challenged communities, underprivileged people living with epilepsy and their families, the health infrastructure; (ii) the generosity, spirit and perseverance of healthcare providers, community health workers, traditional healers, and voluntary workers in daily challenges to provide quality care; and (iii) UCB’s CSR engagement and an ethical and responsible business conduct.

In 2018, 17 UCB senior managers benefited from these programs.

Sylvia and Jan, UCB, visiting the Gikonko primary healthcare center, Rwanda.

Pacifique, NIYO Art Center in Rwanda, Jan and Sylvia, UCB