Training Needs Analysis, also referred to as Training Needs Assessment (TNA), is the process of identifying existing and required skills, the differences between the two and the training that would be required to close any existing gaps between required and available skills.
Organisations undertaking TNAs usually do so because they want to ensure that the training they are providing is correcting for deficiencies that they might have in their skills base relative to their organisational activities, that it is correctly prioritising their skills gaps, that the training being provided is both efficient and effective for the individuals attending that training, and also that their training money is being well spent in that it is actually resulting in increased productivity. Lately TNAs have also started being undertaken with a view to be able to apply for EU funding, which requires TNAs to be submitted as part of the application package.
Our TNAs do not take place in a vacuum. They are part of a process that we try to understand in its entirety before proceeding with the TNA. This process is schematically illustrated below.
The steps we use in undertaking our TNAs normally include:
Business Needs Analysis
- An understanding of the organisation’s business plan and business context, as well as its core and non-core activities; and
- The identification of the skill set needed for an organisation to excel in its business activities in line with its business plans;
Job Performance Requirements Assessment
- The identification of which of these skills the organisation already possesses; and
- The identification of any existing skills gap (i.e. which of these skills the organisation does not currently possess).
Training Assessment, Design & Individualisation
- The collection of information to calibrate and psychometrically individualise the requirements of the ideal training solution;
- The compilation of individualised training programmes;
- The search for the better solution on the market (either through generic training or through specific, customised training);
- The identification of trainee workload and what learning will be accomplished at which points in time; and
- The identification of expected changes in outcome.
Training Evaluation & Valorisation
- Training evaluation and changes in training programme if necessary; and
- Activities to formalise the skills learnt and to bring about the changes in work behaviour for which the training was formulated.
Our TNAs are as thorough as they are easy to understand and, to that effect, make use of visual cues such as that shown in the extracts below (reproduced with the permission of the client for which this analysis was undertaken).