Training Needs Analysis

This is explanation of training needs analysis (TNA). Training Needs Analysis is an important part of the training system. It is an often neglected part of the training process.

Derek Stockley has extensive Training Needs Analysis experience, see TNA Experience - Derek Stockley.

A TNA training course is available, see:Training Needs Analysis Course .

Derek Stockley can organise an in-house, comprehensive TNA/trainer project, see In-house Training Needs Analysis Project.

If your training need is arising because of 457 Visa Sponsor obligations, see also 457 Visa Training Requirements.

Training Needs Analysis as part of the Training Cycle

Training needs analysis is the first critical stage in the training cycle. The others are normally identified as design, presentation and evaluation. The cycle is continuous. The evaluation step includes a re-assessment of training needs - leading on to the TNA process starting again.

Diagram of the Derek Stockley training cycle (Copyright)

As shown by the diagram, the Derek Stockley training methodology includes an additional step, identified as the APOOL process. The APOOL process is a copyrighted and unique process, developed by Derek Stockley, which provides a link between the training needs analysis phase and the detailed design phase.

Trainers need to examine each factor and determine how they combine together to impact the training. The APOOL process significantly reduces training development and delivery time. It also helps ensure training effectiveness.

If you would like to have Derek Stockley consult with you on the APOOL process, or TNA generally, please or telephone or write to Derek Stockley at Contact Details.

Training Needs Analysis explained

There are many aspects to training needs analysis, but the essential activity involves:

Determining what is required to complete the work activity;

Determining the existing skill levels of the staff completing the work:

Determining the training gap (if any).

The training gap is the difference between required and existing skill levels. The word "skill" is generic in this case - it includes the knowledge, skills, attitude and aptitude required to undertake the activity efficiently and effectively. A common term also used is competency, a key concept used in the Australian vocational education and training (VET) system.

A comprehensive training needs analysis is important for the training design process, see: Setting training and learning at the right level. Unfortunately, it is often neglected.

Training Needs Analysis Approach - Change and Size

Whilst the process explained above seems relatively simple, a TNA project involves consideration of a multitude of factors.

Training needs analysis projects can cover a wide spectrum of approaches. Key factors include organisation change and the rate of change, as represented by this diagram:

Diagram explaining TNA project scope (Copyright)

Resources, timing, priorities, change factors - all affect the design of the TNA project.

The TNA approach needs to recognise:

  • Size/geographic factors
  • Growth factors
  • Range of job skills
  • Existing HR systems

The key outcome is the identification of major training needs across the organisation. This will enable management, on a priority basis, to develop and implement programs that will provide training to employees

A training needs analysis allows management to scope the size of the training issues to be addressed. It does not provide the actual training. Training is a separate activity provided by internal and external resources as required.

Training Needs Analysis Methods and Reporting

A variety of TNA research methods can be used, including surveys (including online surveys), interviews, discussions and workshops.

A TNA documents identified training needs which include:

  • Target group/s
  • Training scope - topics, skills, competencies
  • Timing (urgency, priority)

The drivers for conducting a TNA include:

  • Correct identification of training needs to ensure organisation viability and growth
  • Sufficient information for training plan/priority development
  • Framework established for correct training response
  • Positive participant reaction/involvement

Training needs can be identified though many organisational practices e.g. during the Performance Management process. Other formal systems also produce information which needs to be assimilated.

Training needs analysis assignments and experience

Derek Stockley has been identifying training needs for many years, see TNA Experience - Derek Stockley.

Next steps - TNA assistance and consulting

Working out the best approach to identifying your training needs is a difficult task.An external consultant can help you quickly sort the wood from the trees. If you are interested in having assistance with a training needs analysis, or organising a TNA training program .

In Australia,

For full contact details, see Contact Details.

Derek Stockley can organise an in-house, comprehensive TNA/trainer project, see In-house Training Needs Analysis Project.

TNA is also an important subject area in the Train the Trainer (Training Development) courses. Train the Trainer courses are conducted in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth .

Derek Stockley provides a wide range of training courses, see: Training Courses and Services.

For more general information about train needs analysis, see:

"Mission impossible" - a light-hearted look at planning training, and

Human resource issues need attention - a formal look at identifying and meeting needs within a performance framework.

Setting training and learning at the right level - more information about TNA and related issues.