Training Needs Assessment

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Training Needs Assessment - short version

A process for gathering organizational data relative to finding areas where training is most needed.

Training Needs Assessment - long version

Training needs assessment is a systematic inquiry of training needs within an organization for the purposes of identifying priorities and making decisions, and allocating finite resources in a manner consistent with identified program goals and objectives.

There are three levels of a training needs assessment:

Organizational assessment evaluates the level of organizational performance. An assessment of this type will determine the skills, knowledge, and ability needs of an agency. It also identifies what is required to alleviate the problems and weaknesses of the agency as well as to enhance strengths and competencies. Organizational assessment takes into consideration factors such as changing demographics, political trends, technology, and the economy.

Occupational assessment examines the skills, knowledge, and abilities required for affected occupational groups. Occupational assessment identifies how and which occupational discrepancies or gaps exist, as well as examining new ways to do work that could fix those discrepancies or gaps.

Individual assessment analyzes how well an individual employee is doing a job and determines the individual's capacity to do new or different work. Individual assessment provides information on which employees need training and what kind.

The benefits of training needs assessments are:

* Puts training needs in context of organizational needs (business drivers)

* Validates and/or augments sponsor's ideas about the need for training

* Ensures training design will respond to need

* Identifies non-training issues influencing performance

* Ensures survival of training function

* Establishes foundation for post-training evaluation


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