In larger organisations you need to analyse the skills and training needs of each department or team against the team’s objectives and any targets.

A team Training Needs Analysis will involve taking into account the needs of people within the team but also evaluating anything that can help the team to work together more effectively.

Involve the people who really know about what’s going on on the ground. The people who are delivering services are the ones who can decide what outcomes are really needed, and help to determine learning opportunities that are fit for purpose.

Diana Farmer
Head of Training and Development, Rethink

Objectives and targets

Before you can carry out a Training Needs Analysis of a team and the people who make up that team you need to know your team objectives and any targets. Once you know these, you can assess the skills within the team and how effectively they can deliver the team objectives. You can also set the objectives for each member of the team. Any gaps between the team’s objectives and the skills of the individual members or the wider team, will give you an early indication of the training needs of your team.

Assessing the needs of team members

A Training Needs Anaylsis of a team is partly about identifying the support people need to meet their work objectives and partly a reflection of their individual ambitions and interests. Even in organisations where there are few opportunities to move up a set career ladder, people are unlikely to remain motivated unless there are some development opportunities and challenges.

Annual appraisals and performance reviews are a good time to assess people’s interests and to discuss their specific work objectives. Remember to include volunteers too, if appropriate.

Annual appraisals should include discussions about what additional skills and learning they need to improve what they do and what their career ambitions and personal development objectives are.

Be clear in advance what skills and learning development opportunities your organisation can supprt.

More information on appraisals can be found in NCVO’s Good Guide to Employment.

For sample appraisal forms online, have a look at VolResource and ACAS.

Relying on an annual appraisal to identify learning needs will not allow you the flexibility to address challenges as they arise, so build in more frequent training reviews, for example as part of regular supervision sessions.

You can use our Training Needs Analysis competence based tool (pdf) to help identify job-related learning needs. This is a template that sets out the core competencies within each team member’s role and then identifies the areas where they would benefit from developing confidence and skills. The example in this link is designed for volunteer managers and sets out the competencies for volunteer managers as outlined in our National Occupational Standards for volunteer managers. However, you can adapt this format for other roles. You can use the national occupational standards that we have for trustees, campaigners, fundraisers, managers and development workers to help you identify the core competencies that people need to do those jobs well.

Skilled managers

Line managers need to have the necessary skills to work with staff and volunteers to help them identify their training needs and the knowledge about how to meet them.

You can find information about how you can support the learning needs of your team in our National Occupational Standards for managers and leaders. National Occupational Standards set out the core competencies people need to do their jobs well and the skills they can develop to progress their careers. The unit on Providing learning opportunities for colleagues is particularly useful for line managers who are responsible for carrying out a Training Needs Analysis of their team.