Quality training: Needs and evaluation-findings from a European survey

Brian P. Mathews, Akiko Ueno, Tauno Kekale, Mikko Repka, Zulema Lopez Pereira, Graca Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Quality systems and quality management are key elements for organizations wanting to maintain or develop their competitive edge. The training that underpins quality management determines the likely effectiveness of the quality initiatives undertaken. With the introduction of the new ISO 9000: 2000 the issues of training needs analysis and training evaluation both form part of the standard. This article presents findings drawn from a questionnaire survey about quality management tools adopted and the training provided, focusing on the training needs assessment and training evaluation. A total of 450 responses is analysed. Findings from the UK, Portugal and Finland are compared to identify similarities or differences in national practice and identify any areas where one country can learn from the practices of another. Training needs assessment is dominated by senior management decision and supervisors' opinions. The skills inventory is the most widely applied formal technique. Finnish organizations tend to pay more attention to customers and work groups when defining training needs. In general, objective and formal methods should be adopted more widely (e.g. training audits). As with much training evaluation, informal feedback and participant satisfaction measures are the most frequently adopted. Formal, structured methods such as cost-benefit analysis are adopted by less than one in five organizations. Linking to quality-related organizational objectives is reasonably frequently done (about 40%), but this is mostly subjective. A greater objectivity is also needed in training assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-490
Number of pages8
JournalTotal Quality Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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