- Assessment of the needs of the organisation or company, where a training requirement has arisen due to a change in the business model, arrival of a new system or equipment or technology changes.
- The current skills and existing knowledge of a target group, to enable any gaps in those skills or knowledge to be filled.
- The learning environment and delivery options.
- Any time constraints or deadlines for staff to have the relevant competencies.
Having identified a learning need, aims and objectives, the needs of the target group and existing skills and knowledge, it is time to move on to the design phase. The first and probably the most important step of the training design phase is determine the individual tasks needed to complete the overall objectives, often known as task analysis.
Once the tasks have been identified, the tasks must be categorized and analyzed to determine their difficulty, importance and how frequently those tasks or skills will be used in a real world situation. This then leads to the setting of learning objectives so that a clear outcome can be identified. Learning objectives often take the form “At the end of the course, the learner will be able to………. These objectives are usually stated at the beginning of any training session, so the learners know exactly what they are expected to be able to achieve following the training.
Now comes the task of actually designing the training course which should consider:
- The way in which the training content is organised
- Which presentation method would suit the target audience?
- How should the course be delivered?
- Instructor-led training
- Blended learning solution
- Self study
The next phase is to actually develop the training presentation materials, whether they be powerpoint presentations, role plays, videos, hands-on exercises etc.
Certainly for large organisations, it is fairly common practice to run a Pilot learning event and invite experienced staff so that their comments and observations can be used to modify this course to produce the finished article.
A decision has to be made on the implementation of the training course which, for large organisations will result in a training program being formulated, which will normally provide a timeline that includes:
- Class sizes
- Required facilities and equipment
True evaluation comes from the ability to assess learners performance in the workplace following the training event. This is all too often missed out, particularly when staff are sent on public scheduled training courses or even onsite training courses delivered by an external training company. Managers and team leaders should be prepared to develop a method of assessing any increased competence or performance of staff under their control. This information should be fed back to the training facilitators so that steps can be made to modify relevant aspects of the training course with a view to making it more effective.