Training Systems Requirements Analysis (TSRA)

The TSRA Process
Instructional Systems Development

The Navy’s TSRA process is also referred to as front end analysis. The TSRA process is tailored by the training analyst to fit the scope of the training requirement. Obviously, the analysis required to support a minor update to a part task trainer would differ in scope and resources from the analysis required to support the new development of a major new training system.

As shown in Figure 1, the TSRA proceeds through four major analysis activities. Each activity concludes with publication of a document or report. The general flow of the analysis starts with the identification and verification of a training need. It then proceeds with identification of alternative solutions, and culminates with the detailed specifications required for acquisition.

All training system requirement analysis is initiated by a user/sponsor who identifies a need. This need may be in response to a new or modified equipment requirement, a new mission or tactics requirement, job or student performance deficiencies, advances in instructional technology, or some other impetus. The user may state the need in the HARDMAN Manpower, Personnel, and Training Resources Requirements Document (MPTRRD); in an Operational Requirement (OR); in a Navy Training System Plan (NTSP); or in some other form of documentation. The scope of the TSRA is, in part, determined by the point of initiation of the need. For example, if the need is initiated with an OR, the TSRA would provide inputs to the HARDMAN and NTSP process. If the need is initiated in a NTSP, many decisions would already be made without benefit of the TSRA analysis. In this case, the TSRA would proceed on the basis of prescribed requirements unless the sponsor requested validation of those requirements.

Upon request from a sponsoring agency to initiate a systematic investigation of a particular training need, the NAWCTSD will, with the help of the user/custodian community, perform a TSRA, and make recommendations for alternate solutions to satisfy the training need. The TSRA provides the first analysis of the training requirements for the weapon system.

The TSRA describes the basic purpose of the training (weapon system) platform type, equipment, system, subsystems, the type of training provided (operator, maintenance, team), the location and performance requirements (level of training). One of the major components of the TSRA is a list of training objectives (what knowledge and skills are to be learned). Included is rationale supporting use of a training device; this rationale would consider such factors as training objectives supported cost, availability, and maintainability.

The results of the TSRA are thoroughly coordinated with the fleet and training community before being incorporated into an alternatives document. The TSRA forms the basis for other training analysis documents, e.g., the Training System Alternatives Report (TSAR), Training Device Requirements Document (TDRD), Navy Training System Plan (NTSP), and Training System Functional description (TSFD). (The TSFD was formerly the Military Characteristics (MC) document.)

Figure 1 - Training Systems Requirements Analysis Process

TSRA Process


When a general training need has been stated and NAWCTSD assistance has been requested, a TSA may be performed to further define the need and to identify and evaluate possible alternative solutions. The process for general training problem analysis is illustrated in Figure 1. The TSA takes a broad look at all aspects of an existing or emerging training situation or program. The process is scaled, as necessary, to fit the scope of the training situation under review. The TSA results in a recommended strategy for meeting all identified needs, including rough order of magnitude cost estimates, milestones, and schedule. If the recommended strategy includes a training system, then concept exploration activities are initiated in order to define the desired training system.


Once the need for a training system has been identified, the TSAR is used to identify and evaluate alternative approaches to the design of the training system, and to recommend the best approach. The TSAR begins with a description of training requirements (tasks, learning objectives, training environment), then continues with a description of any constraints that will apply to the training system. Various training system alternatives for meeting the training requirements are identified and described. These alternatives are formulated after conducting a media analysis, training technology assessment and a training effectiveness analysis. During these assessments, current and evolving instructional technologies are surveyed and their training capabilities and effectiveness are determined. A cost benefit analysis across many dimensions is performed on the alternatives. Return On Investment (ROI) calculations are included when appropriate. Tradeoff areas may include cost and other resource requirements; estimated training effectiveness; engineering risk; schedule implications; Manpower, Personnel, and Training (MTPT) requirements; reliability and maintainability, and safety considerations. The TSAR includes a complete description of the alternatives and a recommended solution with supporting rationale. The TSAR is submitted to the sponsor for review and selection of the alternative.


Once a training alternative is selected and approved for implementation, a brief summary document is prepared for funding purposes. The TDRD summarizes the proposed training system, the training requirement, the training situation in which the system will be employed, and the resources required to develop, use, and maintain the training system.


The TSFD defines the basic physical and functional baseline requirements of a training device as one component of a total instructional system designed to achieve specific learning objectives in a uniform and systematic format. It describes how the trainer will be developed, consistent with any known constraints on cost, producibility and supportability. The TSFD defines the device that will be delivered to the user and also includes information regarding the facilities and logistics elements necessary to support training. In its final form, an approved TSFD is a signed agreement or contract between the NAWCTSD, the Fleet Project Team (FPT) (or the user(s) where no FPT was established) and the cognizant sponsor; it specifies the physical and functional operating characteristics that will be included in the training device when delivered to the user. As a life cycle document the TSFD is updated to match changes to the training system.


The NAWCTSD can provide assistance at all stages of the training requirements analysis process:

Request for assistance from any fleet unit may be forwarded to the cognizant Program Director (PD) in Orlando through the chain of command. Personal visits or telephone contacts are encouraged. After listening carefully to the need statement and performing preliminary analysis to verify understanding of the characteristics and scope of the need, NAWCTSD personnel will work with the requester to develop a Plan of Action and Milestones (POA&M) which meets the requester’s objectives.

Last Update: 6 August 2018