Any appraisal of your own training requirements needs to balance the support you need to help you meet your work objectives, your ambitions and interests, and the development opportunities your organisation can offer.
It is important that both you and your line manager are realistic so that neither of you have expectations that are too high.
If you are asking for people’s training needs, then as an organisation you need to be able to meet them, or at least partly meet them, relatively quickly. If people ask for training and don’t receive it they can get disenchanted and it affects their view of training.
Training and Development Manager, National Trust
Meeting training needs
Identifying learning needs at individual level is not just about what needs to be learnt, it is also about how best to do it.
There are a number of ways that organisations can support learning and skills development. You can read more about the main ways that organisations do this in the Meeting learning needs section. You might find it helpful to think about the learning methods you are most interested in before you discuss your Personal development plan.
There’s also information on learning styles and how people have enjoyed and benefited from learning at the Campaign for Learning website.
Assessing your training needs
You can use our Training Needs Analysis competence based tool (pdf) to help identify job-related learning needs either for yourself or with your line manager. This is a template that sets out the core competencies of your role and then identifies the areas where you 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.
If you are a leader or a manager then you may also find it helpful to use a 360 degree feedback assessment system. This takes your responses to the competence based tool but also includes anonymous feedback from other colleagues, managers and stakeholders to give a rounded picture of individual performance, and the impact that people are making at different levels within the organisation.
Personal development plan
The outcome of Training Needs Analysis at an individual level should be a personal development plan (.pdf) which outlines you personal learning objectives and links them to your agreed work objectives. The link takes you to the personal development plan we have developed as part of our Training Needs Analysis toolkit.
Personal development plans tend to address the following questions .
- What do you want to get from your work?
- What are your strengths?
- What areas would you like to improve?
- Where would you like more responsibility?
- What is preventing you from developing as you would like?
- Which interests or talents would you like to develop?
- How do you like to learn?
- What skills or experience would allow you to feel more confident at work?
 Adapted from Business Links “Personal Development Plans”
Personal development plans should also identify the learning requirements within the organisation, prioritise them and set out the ways in which the requirements can be met; including the resources needed, the timescale and how the learning will be evaluated