Training Needs Analysis

A training needs analysis requires the collection and analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data.

Understanding the Context

To understand the context of the organisation and to clarify expectations.

  1. Who are the key stakeholders?
  2. How can one gain access to decision makers?
  3. Is the organisation committed from the top down to supporting the training and integrating the learning back into the workplace?
  4. What are the organisational goals that the program is supporting?
  5. What are the broader issues surrounding the the issues? (market position, turnover, performance issues, performance management strategies and measurement processes, etc)
  6. What is the vision of what the behaviours, performances will look like at the end of the program?
  7. What behaviours will be exhibited when this occurs?
  8. What is the current performance?
  9. What behaviours are exhibited now at the current level of performance?
  10. What can be learned from similar training needs analysis exercises or training courses that was delivered in the past?
  11. What are the preferred learning methods of the organisation?
  12. What are the criteria that the organisation will use to judge whether the learning programme is successful?
  13. What other contextual information should you be aware of in conducting a training needs analysis?

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Participant Characteristics

In completing a Particpant analysis, one needs to gather data to answer questions such as the following:

  1. What has been done to get the participants to recognise that there is a need for training?
  2. What level of subject-matter knowledge do learners and trainers possess?
  3. What experiences (negative and positive) have learners and trainers had with different learning methods?
  4. What are learners' and trainers age, gender, skills and experiences, etc?
  5. How do participants prefer to learn?
  6. How do trainers prefer to teach?
  7. What is the availability of trainers and potential participants?
  8. What expectations do participants and trainers have about the learning programme?

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Job/Task analysis

In completing a job/task analysis, one needs to gather data to answer questions such as the following:

  1. What are the key components of the work being performed?
  2. What skills and knowledge are required to perform the work?
  3. What are the different levels of skills and knowledge required?
  4. What are the measures of successful performance of the work?
  5. Is individual performance compared to the measures of successful performance?
  6. Are people performing at the benchmarked levels?
  7. Is the outcome of the task the issue or does the process important as well?

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Content training needs analysis checklist

In completing a content training needs analysis, one needs to gather data to answer questions such as the following:

  1. What on-the-job documentation is available to help the application of learning?
  2. Have all stakholders had input about content?
  3. What delivery and assessment strategies are possible
  4. what activities will be used to maximize participation?
  5. What are the key building blocks of the training materials?
  6. What is the logical order of teaching the material?
  7. What depth of knowledge is required for the content?
  8. What has been the experience to date with existing methods of teaching the material?
  9. What can be done to ensure the subject is relevant to learners?
  10. What Language, Literacy or Numeracy issues or other special needs exist within the participants?

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Suitability training needs analysis

In completing a suitability training needs analysis, one needs to gather data to answer questions such as the following:

  1. What are the symptoms of non-performance?
  2. Where is the nonperformance among a group of employees?
  3. What are the causes of broad or group nonperformance?
  4. Is nonperformance due to a lack of knowledge and skills or practice?
  5. What training will help bridge the gaps between the standards of performance and the actual performance?
  6. What nonperformance is due to reasons other than a lack of knowledge and skills?
  7. What solutions can be used to remedy nonperformance caused by factors other than a lack of knowledge and skills?

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Cost-benefit Analysis and Return on Investment

In completing a cost-benefit analysis, the porogram is analysed to identfy if other than for complince issues, the program is worth running:
  1. What are the direct costs of everyone involved in all phases of the design and delivery?
  2. What are the indirect costs such as loss of sales or production, travel and accommodation involved in the design and delivery?
  3. What have been the bottom-line benefits of similar programmes?
  4. What are the forecasted benefits of the training programme being developed?

You can find a number of models for calculating return on investment at

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