Training needs

How to conduct a Training Needs Analysis (TNA)

Conducting a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) is essential before launching into a significant training intervention. We are often surprised at how often this vital step is overlooked. Running training programs without an assessment of the real needs is akin to launching a new product without any market research. A TNA is a straightforward process to determine why the training is needed and the benefits for the participants and the business.

We suggest the following steps:

Build a business case

It is important that you get buy in to any significant training program. Evidence should be provided about all the benefits and outcomes that the training will achieve

Define required competencies

The competencies that you wish participants to achieve need to be defined. These should be expressed in behavioural terms so they can be measured.

Conduct a gap analysis

A survey is distributed to participants and people who interact with them closely to gain feedback about their current level of competence on each behavioural item compared with where they need to be after the training.

Consider other options

Review the gap analysis results and consider whether training is actually the appropriate intervention.

Agree training objectives and outcomes

Work out the training objectives and the outcomes you wish to achieve. Also determine how you are going to measure them.

Design the training

Choose the appropriate training method and map out the outline of the program.

Cost the program

Cost all elements of the training program in detail so nothing is overlooked Get sign off from the business.

Now that you have all the data it is time to get approval and sign off

About the Author: Fiona Lang

Fiona Lang
Fiona Lang is an experienced human resources consultant, line manager and financial controller. She has designed and delivered feedback, training and development programs for organisations in the government, non-profit and corporate sectors. She has worked across Australia in management positions for ANZ bank, Citibank and the National Australia Bank Group. She holds a B.A. (Psychology) and Dip.FP.

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