What is Training Needs Assessment ( TNA)?
Training Needs Assessment:-There are many methods that are being recommended by the training specialists at different times for training needs assessment. These methods are being applied in assessing training needs on the basis of knowledge skills and performance.
Some reports in TNA show that the attitude of the people is untouched due to the limitations of those methods. Most of the methods are competency and task-based which do not permit knowing human sensitivities or expectations.
Using GGD an investigator can cover human sensitivities and other socio-psychological factors. Hence it is better to use more than one method to assess training needs.
To assess the training needs of staff the investigator should analyze the following critically.
Age is always important for staff regarding services and performance. So the assessor should analyze the age of the staff which can be related to the competencies.
Education qualification is closely related to TNA which should be analyzed before conducting a final survey on assessment. It is true that education is the pertinent prerequisite of the competency of staff.
The span of experience:
There is no alternative to experience for better performance. The investigator should know about the experiences of staff members relating to their job. By analyzing the span of experiences of staff the assessor will be able to arrive at a consensus about their needs for training.
Previous training ( Received):
To assess the training needs of the staff members their training status should be analyzed. Sometimes many staff receives many pieces of training but they do not or can’t utilize that over their service life and vice versa. Hence the assessor should find out the training status of the staff very critically to build up a linkage with factors.
Job description analysis:
This is the main task to analyze the job description of the staff. According to the tasks included in the job description, a survey should be conducted. Mainly training needs assessment is done on the basis of the job description. In other words, this is the major part of TNA.
The aim of a training program is to sharpen the staff’s skills. So it is necessary to find out the relevant skills of the staff.
Specific task analysis:
A task is always included in the job description. But sometimes specific tasks are not included sometimes the staff do many works which are out of the job description in that case-specific tasks should be critically analyzed.
Perception and individual values must be looked into by the investigator while doing the training needs assessment.
Another competency ( if any):
Some competencies may create the opportunity for personnel to do a better job which should be included and recorded in terms of TNA. Sometimes competency lies hidden and is not explored because of job and organizational nature. In the process of this opportunity hidden competency could be exposed which must be related to other elements.
While other competencies can create the opportunity to do a better job same thing may happen in adverse situations if any personnel has discrepancies that can create problems in the performance. Sometimes it can occur due to recruitment. For example, if a person is recruited as a social researcher but his background is chemistry then he will not be able to deal with his job properly. Hence she/he needs extensive training on research methodology. These kinds of discrepancies should be discussed in the procedure of TNA.
Use of FGD in TNA
Presently in Bangladesh especially in the NGO sector, TNA is done with two objectives. One is for the staff of the organization and the other is for the project participants. FGD could be used in both cases. The uses of FGD in TNA for staff and project beneficiaries are discussed in this chapter separately.
Indeed this discussion is made based on our experiences. So there is substantial scope to think exclusively to use this method for this purpose.