- December 1, 2019
- Posted by: Bernard Mallia
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A training needs analysis, TNA in short, is a systematic investigation of the needs of a workforce or an individual that usually involves the completion of some type of assessment. In many organisations, a needs analysis is formally conducted by professional staff with expertise in human resources, industrial relations or the subject matter of the putative gap. However, at times it may also be performed on an informal basis by line managers or supervisors. The results are used to plan training programs that meet identified training needs and that try to close any gaps identified during the TNA.
There are three types of needs analysis that need to be undertaken in order for a TNA to be complete:
- Job analysis. This is the systematic investigation of the requirements for a job to ensure that all aspects of performance are identified and measured. The results provide training developers with information about what jobholders must know, do, or feel to perform their jobs effectively. A job analysis is conducted by professional staff members who often have considerable experience in training and personnel development.
- Training needs analysis. This is the process used to investigate current levels of knowledge, skill, and ability among employees who will be affected by proposed training programs or other interventions such as organisational changes. It can also help identify areas where materials need to be developed or revised so that they are meaningful for employees at all levels within the organisation (including external service providers), and it can help determine which new or existing training activities are needed most urgently by individual learners. A needs assessment may be carried out independently by line managers or supervisors (in which case it might be called a supervisory evaluation) but it should be based on a comprehensive review of input from various sources such as:
- Internal documents describing jobs, goals and objectives;
- Feedback from management employees during interviews;
- Feedback from those being interviewed.
A needs assessment provides input that can help program planners focus on issues, problems and gaps between current capabilities and desired outcomes in order to design effective learning experiences for learners within the organisation. However, you should not expect this type of assessment alone to develop learning opportunities, as it is only one of the required ingredients in the planning process. The findings can indicate areas where more detailed research would be beneficial before designing the pedagogical approach or identifying appropriate instructional strategies. Such research usually does not yield sufficient information about specific individual strengths and weaknesses. Nor does it provide guidance regarding how individuals could best use their time when attending planned courses. These details must come from taking assessments with each individual employee under consideration for development prior to developing any learning design templates for him or her.
3 . Supervisory evaluation. This involves assessing employees’ level of competence through interviews with them or their peers using checklists that describe required skills at various levels within the organisation—this approach gives significant weighting as well as structure to supervisor-conducted evaluations because it uses specific criteria against which interviewees can evaluate themselves. Structured checklists tend to be more objective than unstructured ones, but both approaches have value depending on application requirements including whether formalised assessments are already in place elsewhere throughout the organisation. By way of illustration, if competency-based exams exist, there is likely to be less of a need for additional formalised assessments, unless such exams have been designed not to assess skills directly related to, or skills deemed important for, the course content needed. In many organisations where competency-based exams exist, these address developmental needs better, and it is usually recommendable to use them instead of conducting a needs assessment.
There are many ways to conduct a training needs analysis. The method used is usually determined by the organisation’s management style, its budget and its desire for control.
A training needs analysis may be conducted on an individual or group basis, in-house or through the use of an outside consultant. In some organisations, this type of assessment is performed as part of a rehire process for new employees. Regardless of which approach is used, there are several traditional steps to follow.
Some TNAs involve asking employees what they think their training needs are. They can consequently be considered to be a form of participative decision-making that relies on self-assessment and self-determination by employees. This approach may seem logical and easy to implement. Nevertheless, it may yield unreliable results because people often do not know what they do not know (i.e. skills needed but not possessed). Furthermore, employees’ perceptions about their abilities and motivations may be inaccurate when compared with the actual results obtained during job performance evaluations (e.g. productivity levels).
Our training needs analyses are conducted professionally and with the utmost discretion. Our team of experienced and certified trainers will work with your organisation to design and deliver training that is tailored to your needs. The analyses incorporate service delivery data such as the volume and type of calls for assistance, caseloads, workloads, psychometric assessments, stress levels and complaints received from clients, complainants, regulatory agencies, other internal sources or external organisations.
We help clients identify the appropriate course contents, timing and location for the training event, as well as the best way to engage your staff in order for them to get maximum value from their learning experience. We have an excellent track record of achieving the objectives set for our clients and we will do everything possible to ensure that you achieve your productivity goals. The analyses are designed to identify training needs, assess available resources and develop a list of training topics.
Our training needs analysis assessment method involves systematically gathering data from different sources in order to arrive at meaningful and useful conclusions about employee training requirements. It uses resources such as employee work samples and job analyses in addition to informal information collected from line managers and supervisors who have worked most closely with each examinee or employee under study. The main benefit of this approach is objectivity. It minimises subjectivity based on personal biases and blind spots that can arise when relying solely on information provided by individuals.
- Job Analysis
- Supervisory Evaluation Facilitation
- Training Needs Analysis