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Identifying training needs

20 May 2014

What is the area or skill that you or your officials need to learn about?

For example, are there new laws of the game that you need to find out about or areas such as risk management, or your health and safety responsibilities, that you need to know more comprehensively? At what level is the training needed?

What is the current skill level of your officials? Have they had any training in this area before?

For example, do people need to learn the basics (introductory), are they building on some existing knowledge or previous training (intermediate), or are they looking for advanced skills development?

Where will the training need to take place?

For example, at your national sports organisation, your club, the local community hall, or at a central venue in your area?

What is the level of interest in doing the training?

For example, do people understand the need for the training and are they interested in doing it, or will it be difficult to get those who need the training to attend it?

How will issues such as the timeframe and duration of the training impact on someone's ability or interest in being involved in the program?

For example, will certain times prevent some members from attending due to work or other commitments (evenings vs weekends) and will participants have to travel to another area to access the training?

Do you have funding or a budget for the training?

This may impact on how much time you can spend on specific learning areas or how many people can attend.

Are there things about your officials that you should be aware of to make the training relevant and useful to the needs of participants?

For example, what is the spread in age and ability among your officials, are there ethnic or cultural issues to be considered, and does it link with other training that may be going on at the same time?

Will any support be required to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to fully participate and succeed in the training?

For example, not everyone will have the same level of literacy skills and there may be participants with disabilities who need support.

As an NSO, does the training for your staff or volunteers work towards building a range of skills that will be important for your sport’s ongoing development?

For example, training occurs across a range of areas such as club governance, policy development, fundraising, risk management or targets areas where knowledge has been lost due to turnover of officials.

What opportunities will there be for people to practise and maintain the skills they learn?

For example, the person trained in 'risk management' may be involved in developing a policy for the club or doing a risk audit before your weekend competitions. Those who are highly skilled when it comes to managing conflict may be chosen for specific events where there is a history of participant or spectator abuse.

How will you know that new skills have been gained?

Will there be a follow-up session a few weeks after the training to get some feedback on how everyone has been doing, or will you be observing specific officials during the event?

How is the training going to be delivered?

For example, workshop style. Are you prepared to be innovative in your approach and recognise the experience people already have vs taking an old-style teacher/student classroom approach?

Do you have current industry experience/knowledge?

Are you experienced enough as an official in your chosen sport to run a session on upskilling in a particular area? If you are relatively new to officiating, you may need to spend some time with a more experienced official before you run the session or buddy-up for your first couple of workshops.

Working with other clubs

When considering training for your club/NSO don't forget that it is likely that other clubs in your area will have similar needs and interests. This provides opportunities for collaboration to ensure limited resources are used in the most effective way possible to avoid duplication. Talk to other clubs and officials in your area and identify those areas of commonality (for example, rules of the game, risk management, game management) that can be met through joint initiatives.

Working with other sporting bodies can also make the training experience more enjoyable by being able to share ideas and experiences.

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