Abstract We report improvement of emission efficiency in polymer light-emitting devices (PLEDs) employing phosphorescent polymers. A hole-blocking layer was inserted between the emissive layer and the cathode to enhance recombination efficiency for the injected holes and electrons. Aluminum(III)bis(2-methyl-8-quinolinato)4-phenylphenolato (BAlq) was used for the hole-blocking layer. The resultant PLEDs exhibited significant improvement of emission efficiency. The respective external quantum efficiencies for red, green and blue PLEDs were 6.6, 11 and 6.9%. These values are very high compared with those based on conventional fluorescent polymers.