We need to understand the Levels of training needs analysis (TNA) in order to be able to design a learning or training solution.
What is a Training Need?
To carry out a Training Needs Analysis, we first need to understand what a ‘Training Need’ is.
A training need is the gap between current and future knowledge or skills, that can be bridged by training or learning activities. We often refer to this as capability and learning requirements.
There may be other gaps that need to be met through changes in organisational process, or in recruitment or management of individuals with different or more appropriate attitudes. For example, whilst many people COULD be a carer, not all have the right personality or attitude.
Planning and Evaluation
Planning and evaluation are key elements in the effective delivery of training that will satisfy business or operational needs within an organisation.
For managers to begin to take responsibility for training and development of their people they need to be able to understand the needs of the people they manage and how these can be met with a variety of training methods.
Levels of training needs analysis
There are three types of training or learning need:
Organisational – training and development needs are those relating to the competence of individuals in their jobs, what those individuals do in their jobs, and what they should do to ensure that the organisation is able to meet its objectives. An example of this could be the ability to care for customers.
Occupational – training needs are those which relate to skills, knowledge and attitudes an individual must have to carry out a job irrespective of who he or she is. An example could be a typist requiring word-processing skills, or a operator in a call centre knowing how to use the software and the knowledge of relevant products or services.
Individual (personal) – needs relate to the needs of the individual jobholders. For example, a manager may wish to learn keyboard skills in order to be more effective in his or her job, even if this is not a prerequisite for the job. This will also include interpersonal skills development.
For each level of training need there are two types of need:
|1. Present||Where training is most needed, i.e. what skills and knowledge are required and which individuals require what training?|
|2. Future||How will training needs be affected by changes in technology, business development, growth and legislation?|
The manager’s role is to develop the skills of the people he or she manages. The training input may well be the responsibility of people outside the manager’s team, but the manager remains responsible for ensuring the skills learnt are put into practice and that the individual develops as a result.