Training Needs Analysis

Within the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 currently supported by L143 The Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) Work with materials containing asbestos, training needs Regulation 10 Information, instruction and Training requires refresher training. The ACoP further states:

“Refresher training

Para 147 Refresher training should be given at least every year and should be appropriate to the role undertaken. ….

Employers should identify the specific training needs of their employees so that the refresher training can be appropriately tailored. It should not be a repeat of the initial training. Where training needs dictate, refresher training should include an appropriate element of practical training, particularly covering decontamination procedures, use of RPE, and controlled removal techniques. Refresher training will be required more frequently than annually if:

(a) work methods change;

(b) the type of equipment used to control exposure changes; or

(c) the type of work carried out changes significantly.

Para 148 (Guidance) then expands upon this by stating:

“Refresher training should be appropriate to the role, e.g. licensable work or non-licensable work. Supervisors of licensable work, for example, should receive supervisory refresher training, not operative refresher training and it should be appropriately tailored. Refresher training should include reviewing where things have gone wrong and sharing good practice.

The Licensed Contractor’s Guide (HSG 247) makes reference to Training Needs analysis (TNA) in Chapter 4:

The most important step in choosing training is determining what is needed and ensuring that it is conducted as early as possible. Often, employers opt for too little, too late when training their employees - this leaves employees with incomplete or inappropriate skills.

Conducting a TNA will allow employers to determine how many of their employees need to be trained, and what they need to be trained in.

A full scale TNA is a long-term project and will require the assistance of an experienced training consultant who will use a combination of research techniques such as observation, questionnaires, interviews and focus groups.

These techniques enable the investigation of both the individual needs of the employees and the organisational needs of the company. However, the following four steps provide helpful information that will allow you, as employers of asbestos removers, to determine the training needs of your employees.

This is particularly useful since TNAs are required for all workers who are employed to work with asbestos insulation, asbestos coating or AIB.

Step 1 Perform a gap analysis

This process will assess current skills and desired skills to establish the extent of the skills gap, if any.

Identify the staff to be trained.

  • What duties do the staff perform? Which of these involve hazards and which require training?
  • What is the experience, education and technical level of the trainees identified?
  • Have these trainees received training before?
  • Does this previous training meet their skills?
  • Is there legislation which affects the training to be given? (All asbestos operatives and ancillary staff who work with asbestos insulation, asbestos coating or AIB must have their training needs assessed before starting work).
  • What will the training accomplish?  

Step 2 Identify causes of problems and/or Opportunities

It is unlikely that all the training needs that emerge from the first step can be addressed immediately. So, the needs will have to be prioritised. Prioritisation can be assisted by asking the following questions:

  • Does the need apply to all your employees or just those who work in particular areas?
  • Does the need apply to one or several individuals?
  • Does this type of training involve some form of knowledge or skill that may be difficult for your employees to learn?
  • Is there legislation requiring the need to be met? If so, the training will need to be provided regardless of the number of people it applies to, or the knowledge/skill level of the training

Step 3 Evaluate current training

Once training needs and priorities have been established, a training plan will have to be prepared.

The current training arrangements should be assessed.

If there is a formal training department this will have to be evaluated to see if the needs identified by Step 1 are being met. Even if there is not a formal training department, there are likely to be some employee training materials such as manuals and guidance. These materials can be

integrated into any new training solution. Review the procedures you already have in place, and be prepared to adapt them to your new training needs.

Step 4 Provide training and conduct an evaluation

Once the needs have been prioritised and the training provided, the TNA needs to be evaluated by

conducting the four steps again. So, the TNA process is a cycle, which needs to be continually addressed, as demonstrated below

The above steps only provide a guide to conducting a TNA. A full-scale TNA is likely to require assistance from a qualified trainer and will be more thorough.