This blog is the final of a four-part blog series on training approaches. Our previous blog was on: what makes a good quality training workshop? Now, we are discussing how you can conduct a training needs analysis.
It depends on how your organisation works but identifying training needs is crucial in targeting the right areas, you and your staff team need to strengthen in. In some cases, you may be asked to create a training plan for the next year. For example, identifying the training needed for the whole team or for particular people in the organisation. Alternatively, you could be asked to identify training on an ad-hoc basis. For example, after an incident at work that could have been prevented. Whatever way you and your organisation choose, a training needs analysis approach is recommended.
A Training Needs Analysis or (TNA) is a method in which you can identify gaps between the training currently being provided and the needs of your organisation. This should be the first stage in the training process (before you have even sourced a training provider). TNA’s can help you to identify problems or areas for concern in the way your organisation is operating.
The aim of the TNA is to enable you to see these problems/areas for concern and identify how you can address it with additional training. For example, in the residential care industry, you may have a problem with staff burnout and stress. Therefore, you may require training that can help to alleviate burnout such as reflective practice.
Follow our step-by-step guide on how to complete a TNA:
You can conduct a TNA at any level. Such as, an organisational, operation or individual level. However, the best TNA should be completed with the organisation as a whole. The key is to take a helicopter view. For example, if you are a service in the residential care sector or working with vulnerable young people you will need to look at three key aspects:
This is often missed out of most training needs analyses. However, we would argue that it is one of the most important steps. For us, consultation needs to occur at all levels. Therefore, managers, senior workers and front-line staff and most importantly the individuals who access the service should be consulted in this step. Consultations can be held through a focus groups, team meetings or using questionnaires. These individuals will likely have an idea of training or gaps that could develop themselves and the organisation.
Decide what you and the service want to achieve. Think about the impact you want the service to have on those accessing your service. What are the regulatory bodies wanting your organisation to achieve? Do you and the service want to specialise in a certain area or field?
Now that you have identified problems/areas for concerns, consulted others and determined what you would like the outcomes to be, you need to think about the competencies that can be trained.
Do all individuals in the service need the training? Where is it needed? Who needs it? What does the current training data look like for each individual in the service? Where are there gaps? Have you had a relatively new influx of staff?
What is needed as a matter of priority? How quickly can you identify a training provider and free up staff for the training? Are there staff who need the training as soon as possible? (prioritise those most in need). What training need will have the biggest impact on the current situation?
To help you complete a TNA, we have provided a brief example to highlight each of the six steps: