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Factsheet:

Identifying learning and development needs

Resource summary

This factsheet was last updated in February 2015.

How are learning and development needs identified?

Identifying learning and development needs is based on a formal or informal assessment of prevailing levels of skills, attitudes and knowledge, and on any current or anticipated gaps. Such an analysis will enable decisions about what learning provisions are needed at individual, team or organisational level. These gaps should be interpreted and prioritised in connection with the wider organisational strategy.

Implementing a formal learning needs analysis (LNA) - also sometimes known by alternative terms such as training needs analysis (TNA) or training and learning needs analysis (TLNA) - may be seen as a health check on the skills, talent and capabilities of the organisation (or part of the organisation). It is based on the systematic gathering of data about employees’ capabilities and organisational demands for skills, alongside an analysis of the implications of new and changed roles for changes in capability.

Such a process should flow from business strategy, and its aim is to produce a plan for the organisation to make sure there is sufficient capability to sustain business performance. It is also important to consider statutory requirements, for example certain positions require specified levels of health and safety expertise.

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  • How are learning and development needs identified?
  • Preparing for a learning needs analysis
  • Collecting and using the data
  • Learning needs analysis for smaller organisations
  • CIPD viewpoint
  • Useful contacts
  • References
  • Further reading

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