Assessing Training Needs

Assessing Training Needs
Based on materials developed by
The Centre for Development and
Population Activities
Learning objectives
• By the end of this unit participants will
be able to:
– explain how needs assessment helps in
development of a training event
– list the steps for conducting a needs
– identify the training needs of a specific
• Have you ever been in a situation where
– the facilitator spent a lot of time covering
material that you already knew?
– the material was far more in-depth or
complicated than you needed?
• How did this make you feel?
• How did this affect the group’s morale?
So, it is important to carry out
a training needs assessment
before undertaking training
Is training the right solution?
Training can help to:
– Increase knowledge
– Improve skills
– Support individuals
to motivate and
develop attitudes
Training can’t:
– Overcome lack of
equipment or
– Improve problems
caused by poor
policies or
“Solutions to problems are like keys
in locks; they don’t work if they don’t
fit, and if the solutions aren’t the
right ones, the problem doesn’t get
(Mager and Pipe 1970)
How could you assess needs?
Consult key stakeholders
Look at records and reports
Read job description
Case study
Split into groups of 5 - 6 people
Read the case study + task description
Task 1: 15 minutes
Task 2: 15 minutes
Report back: 10 minutes
Whole group to identify and agree priority
training areas for the case study trainees
• Whole group to identify the steps taken to
determine training needs in this exercise
Reflection on case study
• Was it easy or difficult to determine
training needs?
• What might have made it easier to
identify needs?
• What needs, if any, cannot be met by
• How do you think this exercise might be
useful to you when you design a training
• Do you feel confident about conducting a
needs assessment for workshops in the
• What part do you think will be most difficult?
• What part do you think will be the most
Further reading
• Brief overview of training process
• Conducting a training needs
assessment by Jeanette Swist
• A manual for media trainers: a learner
centred approach