Progression is central to Skills for Life, and if the challenging targets set out in World Class Skills (DIUS 2007) are to be achieved, progression rates will need to increase. However, there is currently a lack of robust research evidence regarding who progresses and why. The policy-making, research and practitioner communities are also underinformed about the barriers to progression: what keeps individuals from moving onwards and upwards to a higher level, or from progressing in the many other ways that best suit their needs? In order to help address these questions, this paper summarises recent research projects where the NRDC and associated research centres have investigated these issues. The findings summarised in this paper lay the groundwork for continued research and development work aimed at increasing progression in adult learning.