There are several ways to conduct a training needs assessment. One way researcher J. Barbazette (2006) suggests (p.3) you make sure the assessment method you choose will fit your needs is by asking yourself the following questions:
Why (Asking why helps to tie the performance deficiency to a business need)
Who (Asking who clarifies exactly who is involved so the process can be customized to their needs)
How (Asking how the performance deficiency can be corrected helps to determine if training will be the best option or not)
What (Asking what is needed to perform a specific task will help achieve the desired results)
When (Asking when training can be best delivered will minimize the impact on the business)
Since no single method serves every situation, the questions above can be used as a set of guidelines if you choose to create your own method, or to ensure whichever method you choose will serve the needs of your organization.
An actual method that is widely used includes the following three steps:
- Perform a Gap Analysis
- Determine your Training Options
- Present Outcomes & Recommend Training Plans
This learning path will explain these three steps in further detail.