In 1995, through its National Leadership Council, the National Park Service adopted a ten year plan for the training and development of its employees. In order to meet the goals of the ten year plan, the Maintenance, Office Support, and Universal Competencies career fields needed to understand what the employees and supervisors believed to be important, as well as how effective those individuals felt their training had been.
The Eppley Institute utilized existing job descriptions and competencies and carried out a modified Importance-Performance analysis (IP) in order to do the following:
- Determine employees’ perception of the importance specific job related competencies had on the overall performance of an employee’s duties.
- Determine employees’ perception of the degree of preparation required for the completion of specific, job-related competencies.
- Analyze differences between employee and supervisor perceptions of importance and preparation.
- Analyze differences between entry, developmental, and full performance level employees.
- Provide a report on each of the competencies, which identifies the competency’s rating and includes participant feedback.
Each of the Needs Assessment documents provided a list of competencies which were categorized in a four point matrix. The matrix identified the level of importance for the competency as well as the current level of training that the employees felt that they had received for each. These matrices have become the basis for training course development for the three career fields of Office Support, Universal Competencies, and Maintenance.