Why you need skills audit, training needs assessment

Technological advancements, market demands, and other forces are continuously exerting pressure on organisations to change, or risk becoming redundant. Therefore, from time to time, every organisation needs to look at how well its core skills remain fit for purpose.

The best blacksmith in 1970 may not remain the best in 2018, not just because he is half a century older, but most probably because methods and techniques in iron fabrication would have most definitely  changed.

Investment in continuous professional development is a critical ingredient for sustainable organisational growth. Genesis Global Finance provides skills evaluation support to organisations as well as related training development planning.

Skills Audit and Training Needs Assessments – A skills audit is intended to provide decision makers with critical decision support information in respect of skills development planning and capacity building. A skills audit aims to identify, improve and address skills gaps within the organisation and align them with the redesigned workflows and processes within organisational functions and departments.

Objectives of Training Needs Assessments and Skills Audits — The overall objective of a skills audit is to identify: the skills and knowledge that the organisation currently possesses; the additional skills and knowledge that are still required to meet business objectives; and any training or such other remedial interventions required to address identified skills gaps.

Accordingly, a major outcome of the skills audit process is a skills gap analysis outlining the most critical training needs for the organisation.

The results of a Training Needs Assessment will enable the business to determine its training needs by identifying appropriate training and development needs for specific individuals or professional categories, which may improve effectiveness of training initiatives.

The results can also be used for internal employee selection and to ensure that the correct persons are deployed in each position. Furthermore, a training needs assessment or skills audit will enable the skills to be aligned with the redesigned workflows and processes within organisational functions and departments.

Rationale for undertaking Skills Audits — Skills audits are conducted to determine the level of skills and to determine possible skills gaps. A relevant example is the Mzansi skills audit done for the South African financial sector. The research analysed responses from samples of employees from selected banks conducting self- assessments electronically using job profiles with competencies agreed upon by a committee. These key competencies were designed on a menu covering skills like customer interface, information technology, back office support, financial, end-to-end processing, and knowledge of banking, management and leadership.

The Mzansi training needs assessment identified critical priority areas for skills development in most of the areas like customer interface related skills, IT software package training, network engineering and IT support, legislation implementation skills especially compliance training, exchange control regulatory compliance, management and leadership training as well as specialist financial skills development.  This study though based on a sample is very similar to a simple skills audit.

Full Scope Skills Audit — A full scope training needs assessment or skills audit will involve:

a skills verification for all staff and a review of current skills assessment;

alignment of current skills to organisational strategic goals, based on a skills development framework; and

determining staff training & development interventions required to address identified skills gaps & produced a skills matrix & skills development plan.

Expected Outcomes after a Training Needs Assessment or Skills Audit — Your organisation will be able to use skills audit results to:

confirm existing skills and competencies within the organization;

identify skills development requirements necessary for the attainment of strategic goals;

align employee skills with the redesigned workflows and processes;

This article was compiled by Felix Kumirai and Rufaro Mhuka, transformational strategists and resource mobilisation consultants at GENESIS GLOBAL FINANCE. The contents herein are for information purposes only, and GGF does not accept responsibility for any loss arising from the use of materials or opinions contained in this article.

Source :

The Herald

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