Over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be unpacking eight steps – dedicating each blog to one of the eight, to drill down to exactly what will be required of you and your organisation when it comes to initiating your workplace safety training.
Last year we published a two-part blog on how to roll out HSE training in the workplace, which included the following eight steps:
Step #1: Perform a training needs analysis
Step #2: Keep adult learning principles in mind
Step #3: Develop learning objectives
Step #4: Design your training materials
Step #5: Develop your training materials
Step #6: Implement the training
Step #7: Evaluate the training
Step #8: Rinse, lather and repeat any step where necessary
Today we begin with step #1, showing you how to perform a training needs analysis (TNA).
What is a TNA?
A systematic approach for determining what training needs to take place. It considers:
- business needs
- current competencies
- training methods
Remember: At the core of any effective training programme is the need to correctly identify what or who needs to be trained. A poorly-conducted needs analysis can lead to training solutions with/for:
- the wrong competencies
- the wrong people
- the wrong learning methods.
An effective TNA will answer the following 6 questions
- What is needed and why?
- Where is it needed?
- Who needs it?
- How will it be provided?
- How much will it cost?
- What will be the business effect?
In other words, the result of a TNA is a plan to ensure your training becomes a targeted, effective activity. You will find out exactly what your employees need to know to achieve your organisational goals, where your current content is missing the mark, and how you can deliver consistent training to keep the skill base of your employees afloat.
Employers can conduct a needs analysis by following the four steps below.
Step #1: Develop a workforce profile
This initial step involves developing an accurate workforce profile to determine the skills and knowledge required for specific roles and responsibilities. Vital information to capture includes the demographics of your workforce, such as:
- experience, and
- literacy level.
You can collate this information in a database or spreadsheet that allows filtering to extract meaningful statistics (for example, viewing the number of people in a certain role across all business units).
Step #2: Verify your compliance requirements
To conduct business safely and ethically, most organisations have compliance regulations they must meet (e.g. legislative requirements, licenses, and codes of conduct). At this stage, you can map your matrix of organisational compliance requirements to your workforce profiles to determine the training you need to conduct to ensure your employees and business are covered.
Step #3: Source, analyse, and map existing training materials
Now that you’ve identified the educational needs of your employees, take a look at the state of your current training. This is often where most of the time is spent during a TNA. Your current training will be sourced, analysed, and mapped against your compliance matrix and workforce profile to determine where the gaps lie, as well as any associated impacts. You’ll conduct this review with the question, ‘what works and what doesn’t?’ in mind, in terms of educationally sound, engaging, and consistent content. During this step, you will undertake a close review of the courses so that you can produce a summary of materials, which includes:
- content overview
- learning outcomes
- usage statistics.
If required, you can also map your training to national competencies or qualifications so your employees can receive accreditation on completion.
Step #4: Make recommendations
Generally, the key deliverable of a TNA is a detailed report providing recommendations and advice for developing the most effective and appropriate training products. This could include purchasing suitable off-the-shelf products, giving your current training a makeover, or investing in custom course design. Redundant courses can be removed, content updated or added to ‘almost there’ courses, and content condensed or consolidated to produce a streamlined training experience.
Three things your report should include:
- Suggestions for developing best-practice training solutions
- A review of what’s happening nationally, or even globally, to train workforces in your industry
- Advice for building a cohesive, functional training catalogue
In our next blog, we’ll take a look at how to introduce effective workplace training that takes into account the specific needs of adult learning. See you then!