Stage 1: identify training needs
A training needs analysis is the first stage in the training cycle, the purpose of which is to define the needs of all stakeholders. For example, this would include consideration of the overall business objectives as well as those of the individual.
This process determines the gap between the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) of an individual and what they need to have in order to carry out the job, according to requirements. This identification of training needs should generate clear objectives for the training, thus informing the rest of the training cycle.
It is important to consider what KSAs trainees already have, as well as what they need to acquire. For example, an administrative assistant may know how to type documents, but may not know how to take notes using shorthand. Therefore, only training in shorthand would be required and not training in typing. Training this individual in typing (a skill they already have) would be a waste of resources.
To identify the gaps in KSAs, a comprehensive training needs analysis needs to be carried out that considers six main categories for both the business and the individual. These are:
- Context analysis
- Person (user) analysis
- Work analysis
- Content analysis
- Training suitability analysis
- Cost-benefit analysis
We explore these in detail in Short Course 2.
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