The main goal of training needs assessment is to identify what knowledge, skills and ability employees will need in thepict2.jpg future as the organisation and their job evolve and change.

The assessment begins with identifying gaps (GAP analysis):
1) what the organisation expected to happen and what actually happened,
2) existing and desired skills and competences,
3) current and desired performance,

with an aim to
  • improve teams performance, competences and productivity,
  • solve problems,
  • prepare for future changes in organisation or job duties.

Too much training can affect its effectiveness and credibility, and the difference between effective and non-effective training could be death, injury, physical and mental suffering and loss of profit.

There are three levels of assessment: organisational, task and individual.

The assessment of training needs should begin with organisational assessment, with a focus on problem areas, such as absenteeism, safety incidents; staff turnover; customer complaints; future skill requirements; labour pool; internal and external environment; organisational goals; law and regulations.

The next level of assessment is task analysis, which assesses the skills, attitude and abilities required for a job or a group of jobs in order to achieve optimum performance.

Individual assessment analyses individual performances and identify why, who, how, what and when a training is required.

All three levels of the assessment are interrelated and data collected from each level is critical for an effective needs assessment.

Once the needs are identified, they will have to be prioritised based on urgency, extent of the need and the resources available.
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REFERENCES

Cekada, T.L. (2010), "Training needs assessment: understanding what employees need to know", professional Safety, Vol. 55 No.3, pp.28-33

Miller, J.A., Osinski, D.M. (2002). "Training Needs Assessment".