Training Needs Assessment in Schools - What, Why, How?


Mrs. A. Hemamalini
Deputy Manager - Training
Lakshmi Vidya Sangham


Teaching Profession is the noblest profession. Especially teaching at Schools is considered to be more an important one. The school teaching lays a strong basement or foundation for the saplings to grow up in their future. The teachers of present generations are good in their subject competency but failed in their part of delivery. A teacher spends most of his/her time in the part of delivering the contents. It is evident that the Management feels a gap between "What is" and "what needs to be" either in the academic or in the non-academic issues.

The process of transformation from "What is" to "what needs to be" is called to be the training. Even though it is a well known fact that teachers need training, but many a times, the schools do not know where to start from. Training Needs Assessment helps Schools to optimize training thereby reducing the cost.

The training needs assessment is a tool which is used to determine what training courses need to be made available to the teachers so that they can perform efficiently and enhance productivity. It is imperative that we separate desires for a particular training programme from actual training needs. Training needs to be conducted on what the employee needs and not on what he desires.

Training needs Assessment will help us to bridge in the gap between the actual and the expected. It helps us to zero in on the individual needs of the employee.

Methodology of the Training Needs Assessment:

There are many ways of conducting the training needs assessment. It is always suggestive that many a ways can be approached to obtain a wholesome analysis of the teacher and the organizational needs.

Consultation with the Management:

Since the Management is aware of what the present competencies of the work force are and the anticipated requirement in the future, they will be able to express their requirements.

Discussion with the employees:

There are likely to have incidences wherein the teachers feel insecure. The importance of the training needs assessment should be discussed with the teachers and make them comfortable. This may lead teachers to open out themselves and cooperate in the process.

Conducting Surveys:

Surveys are beneficial from the perspective of time. Data can be gathered in a short duration. Besides, the guarantee of anonymity in the survey process encourages the employees to be more open and forthright in their opinions. The questions in the questionnaire can be open ended or close ended i.e. with a limited number of options to select from. This questionnaire can be based on the personality test, classroom management and the subject wise.

Formation of Focus groups:

Focus groups can be formed on issues of training and the participants can be encouraged to arrive at training programs and needs. The duration of the entire programme should at least be an hour and a half for the participants to feel comfortable and to voice their opinions freely.

Correlation of the Management's goals and its mission statement with the Training needs assessment:

By closely observing the mission and vision statement of the School, we can understand the expectations of the Management. It also highlights on the issues of where the schools want to head for in the future.

Survey should be brief. Many questions in the questionnaire may dissuade the teachers from participating. The proceedings and ideas that originate from a focus group should be carefully recorded as these can be extremely valuable.

There are six steps that experts recommend in conducting the training need analysis.

Step 1:

Discussions with the Management on what they think are the needs of the employee.

Step 2:

Create a friendly survey for employees to participate and allow open ended questions where employees can themselves come up with new ideas. Review each and every question to avoid ambiguity and bring in the relevance of questions across subject wise and level wise of the teachers.

Step 3:

Arrange for a focus group where teachers can discuss on what training programs they require.

Step 4:

Review the data that is collected with Management.

Step 5:

Formulate a plan to conduct the training program to agree upon.

Step 6:

Formulate the training calendar and Implement the training schedule.


The final phase in the training and development program is evaluation of the program to determine whether the training objectives were met. The evaluation process includes determining participant reaction to the training program, how much participants learned and how well the participants transfer the training back on the job. The information gathered from the training evaluation is then included in the next cycle of training needs assessment. It is important to note that the training needs assessment, training objectives, design, and implementation. Evaluation process is a continual process for the organization.


Mrs. A. Hemamalini
Deputy Manager - Training
Lakshmi Vidya Sangham

Source: E-mail January 21, 2010


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