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TrainingZONE Any Answers Digest #15


TrainingZONE Any Answers Digest - Issue 15
Wednesday 17 June 2002

********** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS ***** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS ********
Advice on undertaking training needs analysis...benchmarking
training budgets...dealing with dyslexia in business writing
skills training...effective ways to launch job shadowing...
********** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS ***** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS ********

Log on to Any Answers to share your thoughts with other
community members free of charge any time at

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What you asked this fortnight:
New questions posted include:

- Can anyone recommend a speaker to talk to senior people about
personal impact and inspirational leadership? , asks Angela

- Can anyone advise on effective ways to launch a job shadowing
scheme?, asks Teresa Haskins

- Can anyone give me some advice on getting back into call
centres and/or unit trusts/ISA training, asks Sophie

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Featured question: Advice on undertaking training needs analysis
I am a trainer in a large organisation and have been asked to
undertake a skills audit / training needs analysis for approx.
250 staff. All the staff have just had their end of year
appraisals , so I hope to use their personal development plans as
a starting point. Can any one advise me on best practice for
this ? What format should I present the report in ? Is there a
format/procedure to help with the collection /collation of data ?

Question submitted by Julie Ryland

Members responses

Hi Julie,

I have modified a technique that I used many times in my
consulting career to help with prioritising training needs and
you can then validate the findings against the data in the PDP's
you have. If you would like to talk it through, please get in

Gary Homes


I don't disagree with anything the others have said. The lessons
that participants in a recent TNA course said were most valuable
to them were:

1.Link the TNA to organisation objectives. These SHOULD ( but are
not always) be cascade through to team and individual objectives.
2.Be clear about who is sponsoring you and what they want to
achieve and WHY.
3.Don't rely on forms. Talk to people to clarify and interpret.
The group attending my course were training specialists in one of
the big 5.

Patrick Sullivan


We have a lot of experience of doing TNAs, and the reasons for
doing it should be really clear. It should take account of
organisation, team and personal needs, and should cover
quantitative and qualitative data. Time and money spent on doing
this well can save a lot of money that could otherwise be mis-

Ian Williams


Dear Julie

I think you need to be sure what it is you are trying to achieve
because a skills audit is different to a training needs analysis
- by doing the work in such a manner will provide both but
outcomes and requirements are different and will require
different data and approaches. There are approaches and these
vary and can be mixed and matched depending upon the
organisation, the speed and the thoroughness.
Best Regards

Nick Tyler


Firstly, you should be careful about using the appraisal as a
tool to identify training needs as you will likely have the
managers viewpoint on the staff needs, and not their own.
Secondly, the UK based service ACAS has a million and one forms
on their internet site which should help with presentation.

Matthew Davis


Read the full discussion and add your own views at

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Any Answers Answered:
This fortnight, new responses have been added to the following

Q - We are working on our budgets for 2003 and I am trying to
obtain some benchmark data on what companies are spending on /
budgeting for training. I would be extremely grateful for any
information on budget allocations that they are making or
research reports that give comparative data.

Richard Rogers

(edited responses appear - see site for full responses)

A - Richard, you could try surveys by ASTD and IPD.
But would you mind if I presumed to offer some words of caution?
Without wishing to be flippant, what are you going to do with the
answer? If you do find something truly useful I'd love to see

Nigel Newman

A - The Engineering Employers' federation and the Engineering &
Marine Training Authority do a regular scoreboard for the
engineering sector benchmarking exactly this (in monetary and
time values, on and off the job, etc).

David Nicoll

To read the full responses, see

Q - I am running a business writing skills in a couple of weeks
and one of the delegates is dyslexic. I am looking for advice on
what possible issues could arise and how best to deal with them,
especially as I have 11 other delegates on the course.
Vivienne Holmes

(edited responses appear - see site for full responses)

A - Hi Vivienne,
As you probably are aware, dyslexia is not a cut and dried area.
There are many forms and degrees that it comes in. If your
delegate has a severe form then he will probably need
significantly longer to carry out certain types of tasks. Most
people who have dyslexia have developed strategies to deal with
the areas that give them problems (and it could be different for
each person).

Nigel Higgs

A - The previous respondent is right about your candidate - they
will have developed strategies to deal with their way of
understanding words. Your role may be more about not putting
extra pressure on this candidate by asking them to do stuff that
may be difficult. For example, try not to get them to give
feedback in written form on flipcharts. Getting candidates to
give feedback in different ways i.e. pictures, diagrams, through
discussion is a good method anyway as it helps people to use as
many learning styles as possible. The Accelerated Learning
concept has some great ideas here ..

Colin Williams

To read the full responses, see

Any Answers would cease to function without all those who
regularly share their knowledge and experience. If you've
benefited from receiving advice from an Any Answers question but
have yet to post a response yourself, why not do your bit by
responding to one of the questioners now at

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Copyright (c) 2002 Sift Group Ltd. All rights reserved.
May be reproduced in any medium for non-commercial purposes as
long as attribution is given.

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Tel:+44 (0)117 915 9600 Fax:+44 (0)117 915 9630 ISSN 1474-2225


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