Each training session should have a clear goals statement which introduces the concepts that will be delivered in the session – in general terms, an answer to the question “why is this session occurring?”, for example, ‘To define the concept ‘violence against women’ or ‘To facilitate an understanding of the variety of human rights legal instruments for addressing violence against women’.  The model session contains example of a goals statement presented in the facilitator’s [introduction to the session] [link to the model session “What is Gender-Based Violence intro].  

The next step in developing a training program is to identify the training objectives.  The training objectives should be based on the findings of the needs assessment and the goals statement.  They should be the central focus of the facilitator's preparation and should be explained clearly to the participants.  Clarifying these objectives will aid in the process of selecting the appropriate content and structure for each session.

A learning objective is the response expected from the participant.  It is not:

  • a goals statement;
  • a course title; or
  • what the instructor intends to do.

The types of learning objectives include the following: 

  • Cognitive - what the participant will perceive, comprehend or remember. The participant should clearly receive information and develop knowledge.
  • Affective (attitudinal) - what the participant will feel, value, become committed to or enthusiastic about.  The participant will become sensitized to the issue in question. 
  • Behavioral - what the participant will be able to do, perform, demonstrate, use or explain.  The participant will acquire or reinforce skills.


Effective training aims to improve:     knowledge

                                                        + skills

                                                        + attitudes

to contribute to:                                appropriate behavior.


Criteria For Developing Learning Objectives

The learning objectives should [be]: 

  • Relevant to the participant's needs (It is essential to consider the specifics of the target audience: i.e. professional classification, background knowledge or reading necessary for the presentation of the training material)
  • Consistent with the overall learning goals.
  • Consistent with the knowledge and skills of the trainers.
  • Stated in behavioral terms.
  • Stated in clear language.
  • Narrow, specific and measurable.
  • Achievable within the time of the training.
  • Achievable in terms of learning resources.
  • Incorporate varied and interactive training techniques.  To secure and retain active engagement from participants, it is best to vary the teaching techniques used throughout the course.
  • Reflect flexibility of training and its adaptability to the participants’ needs.
  • Suitable for evaluating learning results.

Writing The Learning Objectives

1) Begin the objective with a statement of the expected result, e.g. "As a result of this session, the participants will be able to…"

2) Select the appropriate verb - be sure to use an action verb, e.g. identify, write, organize, utilize, create, define, apply, analyze, conduct, evaluate, develop.

3) Complete the learning objective with the content of the relevant course segment, e.g. "As a result of this session, participants will be able to create an effective training program."

The model sessions on gender-based violence contain more examples of [training objectives]. [link to model session “What is Gender-Based Violence” training objectives]


What is a Training Needs Assessment  |  Goals and Objectives

Organizing a Training Workshop  |  [Preparing the Training Program]  |  Conducting Exercises | [Training Methods]  | Tips for Facilitators |  [Model Sessions]  |  [Final Remarks]

[Guidelines for Developing a Training Program]

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