How to Write a Needs Assessment in APA Style

by Dan Seitz; Updated September 26, 2017

One of the most important tools for a human resources department is the needs assessment. The needs assessment tells the department exactly what the company needs to help its employees do their jobs more efficiently and to enjoy their work more. The American Psychological Association (APA) style is the most efficient method of presenting the information you've gathered, but not everyone is familiar with that style. However, the APA style is simple to learn and will fit in well with the information you gather from your fellow employees.

Step 1

Gather the raw data for a needs assessment, such as employee surveys, anonymous questionnaires and anonymous employee feedback. Compare the company's standards against industry standards. Identify what career development, technical training or other solutions might be needed, and rank them. Look for problems in performance and opportunities to improve performance. Gather the most effective solutions for the problems you've discovered. Arrange the raw data so you can write it out in a logical order; for example, you might start your assessment with the employee feedback.

Step 2

Write a title page for your assessment. The title page should include author credit, and if necessary, an author's note. After the title page, summarize your findings in a maximum of two paragraphs. In APA style this is called the "abstract," but business writers may be more familiar with it as the "executive summary." The abstract should state what you were looking for in the first few sentences, what you found in the next few, and end with a few sentences on your solutions.

Step 3

Write a brief introduction explaining why the needs assessment was conducted. Create a new section, and explain your method for gathering data. Label this section "Method." In the next section, show what information you received, such as the overall results of your surveys, or relevant quotes from employee feedback. Label this section "Results." In the following section, explain what methods you have chosen to address the feedback. Label this section "Discussion" or "Conclusions." End with your contact information, and list any texts you may have referenced in your report.


  • For any citations, use a citation generator; it will save you substantial time.

    Unless your workplace specifically requires you to label in APA style, you can alter the titles of the sections as long as you do not alter the basic structure.

About the Author

Dan Seitz has been writing professionally since 2008. He has been published on,,,,, and He holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater and is currently earning his Master of Arts in film at Emerson College.

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