FAO Capacity Development

Learning needs assessment

A -  Organizational goals and context

(Questions in this section aim to explore the goals and/or desired changes of the organization and to identify complementary activities required for more effective and sustainable results.)

A1  What are the goals of the organization and/or the desired changes that need to brought about?

A2  What are the roles and job functions of the target audience within the organization?

A3  Does the target audience have sufficient and reliable information to carry out their work (e.g. job description, purpose and expectations from the job, and feedback on performance)?

A4  Does the target audience have all the resources (financial, technological, infrastructure) to perform the work up to required standard?

A5  Are the financial and non-financial incentives adequate to support work performance (e.g. career prospects, salary increases)?

A6  Does the target audience have appropriate knowledge and skills to carry out the tasks or is insufficient knowledge contributing to the issue?

A7  Does the target audience have the appropriate motivation to carry out the job (e.g. interest in the job area)?

A8  Is the internal organizational environment supportive (e.g. supervisors, peers)? Are relevant organizational processes in place to facilitate individual work? (e.g. standard operating procedures, performance appraisal mechanisms)?

A9  Is the mandate of the organization appropriate? Is organizational set-up conducive to good performance, such as institutional linkages with relevant partners, interdepartmental contacts, opportunities for knowledge-sharing?

B-  Participant profile and existing knowledge/skills

(Questions in this section aim to gather in-depth information on the target audience and existing levels of knowledge and skills, including pre-requisite skills.)

B1  Who among the target audience will enroll in the learning initiative?

B2  What background do they bring to the learning initiative in terms of prior knowledge, skills, experience, exposure to the topic?

B3  What are their strengths in terms of knowledge, skills or attitudes?

B4  Do they have the pre-requisite skills?

B5  What is their attitude towards the content of the learning initiative?

B6  What level of formal education does the target audience have (if relevant)?

B7  How and where will learners want to learn (e.g. on-the-job, in class)?

B8  What expectations do learners have of the initiative in terms of the workload involved?

B9  What is their degree of proficiency in the language of instruction?

C-  Current job tasks and knowledge/skill gaps

(Questions in this section aim to identify key performance issues to ensure that learning contents respond to individual and organizational goals)

C1  What are the current job functions of the target audience? (Depending on the depth of the needs assessment being conducted, answering this question can range from a brief description to a very detailed analysis of job tasks).

C2  What are the gaps in knowledge, skills or attitudes that hinder the achievement of individual and organizational goals?

C3  Which of these gaps are most critical to address?

C4  What are the possible consequences of not addressing one or more identified gaps?

C5  Which gaps affect the largest number of potential participants?

C6  How does the envisaged learning initiative relate to the specific needs, challenges and culture of participants’ organizations?

D- Follow-up support

(Questions in this section aim to identify possible challenges for potential learners to apply their learning in their work setting, and guide actions to possibly address such obstacles.)

D1  Is the knowledge/skill to be enhanced relevant within the actual workplace setting?

D2  Will the skill remain relevant in the near future?

D3  What resources will the target audience have at their disposal to use/apply their learning?

D4  Do the physical layout, design and/or facilities of the workplace support the individual practicing the skill, or will the skill be difficult to implement in the current physical context?

D5  Is there anything that can be done to overcome such hindrances?

D6  What support from peers and/or superiors will be available to the target audience in their work environment to perform what they have learned?

D7  How is the target audience currently interacting in the work setting to exchange information, network or share knowledge?

D8  How can support from the work setting be strengthened?

Share this page