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I am looking for information to develop a training needs assessment for planning and evaluating training needs in my department. I am also looking for info if anyone uses captains/officers surveys for feedback on training.

Rob O.

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Mr. Odenwald,

A great place to start is to develop your personal need assessment, that is, what do you see. Then get together with your peers and get their thoughts. A survey is a great tool; if you use one you should ask for and be prepared for the truth. I am not sure what your position is in your department; if you send out a survey the participants will want to know what the end result of the survey is going to be.

NFPA also has a lot of useful information regarding training programs. A needs assessment and implementation plan is a critical starting pont though.


I'm the new training officer and strongly believe that the line officers need to have input on training, they see what is needed. I agree that I must be prepared for the truth. Thanks for the reply.

Thanks for the input. Ive been thinking on the same lines. It helps the hear from others that have tried it in their dept. and hear how it works.

Rob, my volunteer department uses the officer surveys to take a pulse on the condition of the department. Every member is given a survey type format that covers general topics in how the officers are performing their duties. We also have a comments section at the end of every topic so that there is a more directed focus on how the officers are performing. As far as training goes we do an annual survey with input from our members on what we need more training on, topic specific, and general areas. The chief officers, our training captian, and the members of our training grounds committee get together and set up a yearly training schedule. This becomes a guideline for what we want to see in training for the year. We are also flexible due to changes that need to be made in guidelines, or procedures that we find need to be addressed after an incident.
We completed a training needs survey last year. If you give me your email I will send it to you on Monday.
Thanks for the input.

I basically evaluate on scene activities and input from Officers on where we need to be. Also Labor has a good amount of input.
These ideas are taken and evaluated by priority relative to the budget and we attempt to meet those needs.

Mike F
Mr. Odenwald,

We take imput from our members on the types of training activities they would like to cover. We also cover what is mandated by the Government. The one area that we pay particular attention to is our post incident reports and critiques. We look at what went right and wrong and what training needs to be addressed.

Thanks for the input. We rely heavily on our post incidents analysis also. Thanks.

Thanks Mike,
I'm trying to develop a needs analysis for us. I developing an evaluation form for the Captains to use to help guides us.


Do you have examples of your department surveys? I would like to see if we could adapt them for use if that is alright with you. I strongly believe in getting input from the members of my team. Some believe this is decision by committee; I say nothing can be further from the truth if the communication channels are used as tools, not crutches. For example, if you were looking at reconfiguring a piece of apparatus to go from cross staffing to full time staffing (e.g. a Rescue Company) input is critical to the research process because of the myriad of experiences etc. Before decisions are made the masses need to know who will make the decisions and more importantly that decisions will be made that are unpopular but they will be clearly communicated.

You are correct, you will get silly, often sarcastic or condescending remarks from some, I see those as a learning opportunity for those involved.



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