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Training Needs Analysis By

Dr Stephen Byrd PhD MBA FInSMM A training needs analysis process is the assessment of an individual against the competence definitions of their job. Synergy will write competence definitions covering: all roles within the business functions. Each organisation is unique, in the customers they serve, the values, beliefs and culture they work by and the technology they use and more importantly the people they employ. Therefore competence definitions must also be unique to the organisation and the roles that people perform within that organisation. Competency Definition sits at the heart of Training Needs Analysis. Although the establishment of competence definitions is a skilled and time consuming task without competence definitions establishing performance benchmarks it is difficult for the individual to assess their performance against the organisation's expectations from them in the role that they have been assigned to do. If the role, and performance in the role, cannot be properly assessed then personal development portfolios cannot be effectively applied, and performance review and development systems and training needs analysis once again become subjective processes. For an organisation to be effective all employees must know what is expected of them, must be given ample opportunity to acquire and apply knowledge and skills and must receive an objective appraisal leading to fair reward, recognition and progression. Competencies when linked to role analysis can identify whether roles have been appropriately designed to manage the process life cycle. When competence definitions are linked to personal development portfolios and performance review and development appraisal systems, the HR function can keep track of the individual as they acquire multi functional and level competencies. In this way design of competence definitions will assist the organisation with the establishment of a more effective HR development strategy, manpower and succession plans, training of trainers, (who in turn can establish more effective assessment centres, learning resource centres and management development programmes). •

Synergy will agree the competence definitions format for each key post that you assign to us.

For example, in writing competence definitions they could include: • • • •

the overall role definition a series of level of work competence statements the behavioural indicators the performance and measurement criteria

These combine to ensure that the competence definitions within the role help advise the role holder on what is needed to achieve optimum performance. To scope a competence definitions assignment start with these key questions: • • • • • •

What key roles or functions should pilot the competence definitions study How many levels should the competence definitions encompass Should the competence definitions initially be restricted to Tasks Should Task competence definitions initially be restricted to core competencies How will competence definitions be applied within the organisation What other HR development strategies and systems are required to support this initiative


For the organisation to maintain standards, within functions and levels, across its business, it may be prudent to establish a competence definitions data dictionary with classifications and applications indexing. It is useful to consider competence definitions that are core to a level and/or a function, those that are generic across the organisation, those that are specific to key roles and those that are peripheral competence definitions. Finally competence definitions need interpretation guidelines to advise role holders and managers on what evidence and how it should be assessed to determine whether the competence has been acquired. Why level competency definition In setting competence definitions we believe in a level of work approach to separate: • • • •

Strategic Technical Personal Behavioural

competence definitions, in addition to the more obvious task competence definitions. Unless competence definitions exceed task requirements the individual cannot be guided into becoming a rounded organisational team worker. Establishing core competency standards A number of generic core task competence definitions may be required to simplify training needs analysis these could cover for example: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

planning and organising, the achievement of objectives, producing results through others, cooperation, selection of people, use of initiative, degree of dependability, extent of vision, imagination and creativity, loyalty, human relations, problem ownership and solving, use of commonsense, enthusiasm, ability to work under stress, judgment in taking risks, etc. meeting deadlines with limited resources.

However, our identification of the core skills process will provide your employees with the knowledge, skills and attitude to perform the task, and that what you wanted isn’t it.


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