Training Need Assessment

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UNIT 4
Structure 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9

TRAINING NEED ASSESSMENT

Planning and Organisation of Training

Introduction Concept of Training Need Assessment Approaches in Training Need Analysis Data Collection Methods in Identifying Training Needs Information and Skills Needed in Training Need Analysis Identification of Training Needs through Task Analysis Let Us Sum Up References and Selected Readings Check Your Progress - Possible Answers

4.1

INTRODUCTION

Training is one of the interventions of human resource development process for improving competence, and for the ultimate goal of raising the standard of organizational performance. Training efforts are directed towards developing training activities, which are relevant and appropriate to ensure the fulfilment of an organization’s needs. The identification of training needs hold the key to the success of any training programme. Based on training need assessments, training programmes are organized as a response to the development requirements, not merely as a rapid fix solution to a given problem. In the previous units, you read about overview of training, the approaches and strategies of training and planning, as well as the organization of training. This unit discusses the concept and various methods of training need assessment. After studying this unit you should be able to • • • explain the meaning of training need assessment delineate the role of an organization for identification of training needs discuss the approaches and methods of training need assessment.

4.2

CONCEPT OF TRAINING NEED ASSESSMENT

Alkin (1971) saw ‘need’ as the discrepancy between what is and what ought to be. Once identified, needs are placed in order of priority. In 1987, Butler and Butler reported that there are so many different levels of people involved in development process, each of them with diverse interests and goals, that it makes the task of need assessment complex and vitally important. Smith, Etiling and Diamond (1991) defined the need assessment as “the systematic identification of the needs and problems of a specific target group”. According to Allison Rossett, “training need assessment is the systematic effort that we make to gather opinions and ideas from a variety of sources on performance problems or new systems and technologies”. According to T. Deb, “identification of training needs is the method of determining if a training need exists and if it does, what training is required to fill the gap”. From all of these definitions, it can be concluded that

49

Fundamentals of Training

identification of training needs is the difference between actual performance and required performance. In other words, what an organization wants and what the employee has. It is represented in the figure below. Figure-1: Need for Training

REQUIRED PERFORMANCE
NEED FOR TRAINING

ACTUAL PERFORMANCE
According to the Ohio State University School of Public Health (2004), “The need is not a want or desire. A need is defined as a gap that exists between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’. Training Needs Assessment is designed to identify these gaps and determine if the problem can be solved by training.”

4.3

APPROACHES IN TRAINING NEED ANALYSIS

Four major approaches for identification of training needs have been proposed by different authors (Rummler, 1987). A brief description of each approach is given below.

4.3.1 Performance Analysis
This approach deals with determination of the performance context of the training. For example, the extension manager in charge of human resource development at the district level has to find the answer to the question like, What training will improve the job performance of village level extension workers (VLWs)? To find the answer to this question, one has to understand how the VLWs affect the performance of an extension organization at the village level and study their job performance. The elements of job...
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