A focus on strategic human resource development (HRD) has been emphasised as a key contributor to ensuring organisational effectiveness and the maximum return from their most important asset, the people in the organisation. It is argued that effective management and innovative approaches to the development of employees will enable organisations to capture and embed knowledge and skills. Organisations that are seeking not only to survive, but to maximise operational effectiveness in an ever-changing environment, need to ensure that at all levels, the HRD strategy is aligned with broader strategic imperatives, and that sufficient emphasis is placed on the HRD function. It is a role of management to ensure that the organisation and its people acquire the competencies and knowledge it needs through education, training and development activities. These training and development activities should deliver high quality outcomes that will sustain the organisation. In a study of employers in regional Queensland and the Northern Territory, the strategic importance placed upon the HRD function, and an indication of who is driving the HRD agenda have been analysed. This paper presents some findings from a pilot study undertaken to gauge initial feedback on these issues, and is the starting point for the development of future research into the HRD practices of organisations operating in regional and remote locations.