Skills and competency analysis

When a company or organisation decides it needs to make changes because of new technology, evidence of critical incidents, change in business direction, new legislation, etc – very often managers will recognise there is likely to be a requirement for training but need to give thought to say who, what and how much – who needs to be trained, what training do they need and what is the gap that needs to be closed, bearing in mind the training outlay and experience that has already been invested in and individual or a team.

Our experience is firmly based on the Systems Approach to Training methodology to guide clients towards their training solutions and provide a guarantee that a structured approach is being used to ensure people have the skills, knowledge and attitudes to be effective in their jobs.

Recognising that performance deficiencies, training improvements and changing requirements do not automatically trigger a need for training, we will scope the requirement and advise the most cost-effective means to meet the operational or business need. This could include advice on alternatives to training, like, revising procedures, job aids, recruitment strategies, supervision, incentives, etc. Once a training need has been confirmed, we will define the type and scope of the training required to meet the gap between the existing performance and that of the new requirement.Depending on complexity, we will draw on a variety of techniques and tools to define the competencies or to detail the job or provide task descriptions.

We can also employ our company experience in Human Factors Integration to source relevant information to accurately predict the physical function and environmental parameters for role requirements. Using various data gathering techniques ranging from interviews, focus groups, surveys, observations, etc, we will acquire a thorough understanding of the job and develop the task inventory which will be the foundation for the analysis that defines the gap in the current skills and attributes of the target audience. Understanding the gap is key to objectively defining the training solution and to recommending the appropriate and cost-effective approach to close or reduce the capability gap and to meet the organisation’s objectives. 

We were recently involved in defining the training requirement for a new remotely operated surveillance system. There was a disparate target audience that was not easy to access during the analysis phase and so a competency-based approach was used to describe the capability requirement at different levels. The gap analysis produced recommendations for the training objectives, training conditions and standards to be achieved during training. Once these had been endorsed by the client, it was possible to carry on with the course design (in parallel with equipment production) leading to successful delivery of the training solution. The analysis process was iterative with close liaison with subject matter experts to refine the detail of the requirements – it was also used to provide stakeholder feedback on how they would be able to exploit the new technology.

We are experienced in all aspects of the training loop and as a consequence of effective analysis will make pragmatic recommendations and propose solutions that will be aligned to the organisation’s goals and requirements. Importantly, there will be a documented audit trail which will be used to support sign-off and endorsement of training products.

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