Topic #1 Proactive and Reactive TNA
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A training needs assessment
allows organizations to determine if there is an actual need for
training. Conducting a training needs assessment allows the organization
to be proactive without implementing training and paying the cost of
training without knowing if it will resolve an issue the organization is
According to Watkins, West-Meiers & Visser,
Needs assessments proactively identify
(a) the performance data that define your needs, (b) the prioritization
of your needs, (c) the performance criteria for assessing potential
interventions, and (d) the information necessary to justify your
selection of one or more activities to improve performance (Watkins, West-Meiers & Visser, 2012,).
A proactive needs assessment is better than a reactive training needs
assessment because it enables the organization to justify the need for
the training and the cost for the training. If training is needed in
more the one area, the organization is able to prioritize the needs. It
also enables the organization to not spend money unnecessary on training
that may not be the best option for the organization. With a proactive
training needs assessment, the organization is able to determine if the
training is valid.
With a reactive training needs assessment, the organization does not
review the performance needs of the company as a whole. This means that
the organization is reacting to a specific issue at hand and this may
not fully resolve the issue. This is a disadvantage because the
organization the needs assessment provides valuable information to
identify weaknesses and strengths within an organization. It is also a
disadvantage because the organization may spend money unnecessarily on
training and not issues can be resolved through training. Reactive needs
assessments are only better when it is a response to strategic
planning, tactical procedures and operational objectives. It is best for
the organization to first determine the scope of the needs and if it is
in response to training issues where the organization should be
proactive or strategic planning, tactical or operational decisions.
Watkins, R., West-Meiers, M., & Visser, Y. (2012). A guide to assessing needs.
Washington, D.C.: World Bank.