training needs analysis

Effective training or development depends on knowing what is required for the individual, the department and the organization as a whole. With limited budgets and the need for cost-effective solutions, all organizations need to ensure that the resources invested in training are targeted at areas where training and development is needed and a positive return on the investment is maximized.

TNA enables organizations to channel resources into the areas where they will contribute the most to employee development, enhancing morale and organizational performance. TNA is a natural function of appraisal systems and is a key requirement for the award of Investors in People.


Training Needs Analysis (TNA) is the method of determining if a training need exists and, if it does, what training is required to fill the gap. TNA seeks to accurately identify the levels of the present situation in the target surveys, interview, observation, secondary data and/or workshop. The gap between the present status and desired status may indicate problems that in turn can be translated into a training need.

Why do we need training?

Training is a means to ensure that employees have the knowledge and right skills to be able to do their work effectively and competently. Training may be needed when there is a gap between the desired performance, and the current performance, and the reason for that gap is lack of skill or knowledge.

Why should you conduct a TNA?

1. Avoids training for ‘training sake’.

2. Supports cost effective training.

3. Targets areas of greatest need.

4. Gives information on the organization’s climate.

5. Gives commitment from managers and trainees.

6. Separates the ‘symptoms’ from the causes.

How to Conduct a Training Needs Analysis?

Conduct a training needs analysis in 8 steps:

1. Determine Desired Outcomes: Clarify goal of the training and expected business outcomes.

2. Link Desired Outcomes with Employee Behavior: Identify the competencies (behaviors, skills, qualities and knowledge) that are linked to desired outcome.

3. Identify Trainable Competencies: Evaluate the critical competencies and determine if they are abilities one should possess prior to job entry or abilities that can be leaned on the job.

4. Evaluate Competencies and Determine Performance Gaps: Evaluate current competencies and identify where there are gaps between current ability and desired ability.

5. Prioritize Training Needs: Identify the percentage of employees who need training on the competencies and consider the importance of the competencies to the business objectives.

6. Determine How to Conduct Training: Consider adult learning theory and best practices in training on the particular competencies.

7. Conduct a Cost Benefit Analysis: Consider the costs associated with the training methods, the extent to which the training will address the performance gap, and the impact on business.

8. Planning for Training Evaluation: Training is only effective if the information is retained and applied on the job.


Training needs analysis addresses the following questions

– What training is needed and why?

– Where is training needed?

– Who needs training?

– How will training be provided?

– How much would a training cost?

– What will be the impact on business?

To do the TNA process you should follow these 7 steps

1. Document the problem.

2. Investigate the problem.

3. Plan the needs analysis.

4. Select the technique.

5. Conduct the analysis.

6. Analyze the data.

7. Report the findings.

Classification of training needs

There are different types of training needs. Focusing only on performance deficiency in needs analysis is too restrictive.

– Democratic needs

Are options for training that are preferred, selected or voted for by employees or managers or both. Programs that address these needs are likely to be accepted and desired by organization members. Therefore, democratic needs can be used to build support for training programs.

– Diagnostic needs

Focus on the factors that lead to effective performance and prevent performance problems, rather than emphasizing on existing problems. Diagnostic needs are identified by studying the different factors that may affect performance. The goal is to determine how effective performance can be obtained.

– Analytical needs

Identify new and better ways to perform a task. These needs are generally discovered by intuition, insight or expert consideration.

– Compliance needs

Are those mandated by law? This category of needs most often deal with mandated training programs such as safety training, prevention of sexual harassment, training for implementation of reservation policy, etc.


Bakkah team for training and consulting