Even successful training programs cannot guarantee that newly learned knowledge and skills will be transferred to the workplace. This has led to researchers’ interests in understanding the transfer process. Notwithstanding that transfer issues have been studied for several decades, the recent emphasis on ‘workplace learning’, especially the so‐called ‘situated learning’ approach, suggests that conventional training transfer research may be inadequate to understand the dynamics of performance improvement through training. Against this, the authors point to the increased policy emphasis on the development of transferable generic skills, which underscores the ongoing importance of training transfer. This review paper suggests that the role of trainees themselves has not been dealt with sufficiently in research, which leads to a new direction for studying the transfer of training. Copyright © 2008 The Authors.