There is no doubt that a planned approach to training in any business has a positive impact on productivity, quality of work, staff turnover and financial results.  Despite this, some businesses still avoid developing a structured training plan, frequently because they just don’t believe they will see a return on investment.

Of course, evaluating individual and organisational training needs is essential in order to reap the greatest reward but that should not be too time consuming a process.

In order to identify the training needs of a business it is necessary to consider the strategic business plan and compare it against the current skills, capabilities and resources available within and to the business.  This comparison will help to highlight areas where there might be opportunities to improve learning and development activity. Don't forget, it is not always necessary to fulfil your skills requirements in-house, so it is worth focusing on those areas that cannot be supplied externally initially. 



A great resource and industry standard benchmark is Investors in People.  Since 1991 Investors in People has set the standard for better people management. Their internationally recognised standard defines what it takes to lead, support and manage people well to achieve sustainable results.

Why not use this free tool to benchmark your organisation against the Investors in People standard https://www.investorsinpeople.com/get-started/free-benchmarking-assessment



If it is not feasible for your business to set aside budget for training at the moment, there are many free on-line training resources available to you and your staff, they include:

futurelearn.com - https://www.futurelearn.com/ - This website offers a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world.

Advanced Learning Loans - Further and higher education can be prohibitively expensive, particularly when returning to education as an adult. However, there are programmes in place to assist individuals looking to undertake additional training.

24+ Advanced Learning Loans are available for individuals aged 24 or above to undertake approved qualifications at Levels 3 and 4, at an approved provider in England. 24+ Advanced Learning Loans give individuals access to financial support for tuition costs similar to that available in higher education and are administered by Student Finance England.

24+ Advanced Learning Loans are paid directly to the college or training organisation on behalf of the individual. They are not means tested or subject to credit checks and any individual who meets the criteria will be able to apply for a loan regardless of their current employment status. For more information about please contact your local college.

Chambers of Commerce - Your local Chamber of Commerce will provide regular training events and you do not always have to be a member to take advantage of them. However, you may find that membership of your local Chamber offers great support, networking opportunities and invaluable resources to your business. Find out more here http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/business/business-faqs/where-can-i-get-advice-on-training-and-apprenticeships.html

Charitable and voluntary sector support - If you are a charity, or support the voluntary sector, you can get lots of help here: http://www.smallcharities.org.uk/resources-training-consultancy/