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CareersFor every trainer, the most important part of training is to find out if trainees learned what they needed to know. The best way to gauge training is to evaluate it with a globally acceptable evaluation model. Donald Kirkpatrick’s Four Level Training Evaluation Model can help objectively analyse the effectiveness and impact of training so that it can be improved in the future.

The four levels of evaluating training effectiveness are:

  1. Reaction. According to Kirkpatrick, “Evaluating reactions is the same as measuring customer satisfaction. If training is going to be effective, it is important that students react favourably to it.” Reactions can be gauged by assessing training relevance, timing, ease and comfort of the experience and the venue, as well as the systems that were used when the training took place.
  2. Learning. Level two determines if an adequate level of learning occurred. What was learned? What skills were developed or improved? Did any attitudes change? It is important to measure this, because knowing what your trainees are learning and what they are not will help tailor future training sessions.
  3. Behaviour. Kirkpatrick asks, “What happens when trainees leave the classroom and return to their jobs?” To put it in another way, the point of evaluating trainees’ behaviour is to ask if there were any changes in job performance because they attended a training programme.
  4. Results. This is the most important step and perhaps the most difficult of all because it attempts to look at business results that have accrued because of the training. Typical level four measures to look at are output, quality and costs, as well as key performance indicators such as productivity, response time, customer satisfaction, non-compliance, retention and wastage.

– Samir Dawoodani
The writer is an HR and training consultant and can be contacted via LinkedIn.

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on January 27, 2013.