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Measuring Training Effectiveness

Measuring Training Effectiveness

By Benifys | HRPeople

July 09, 2009

Delivering a training program is not enough, the cycle does not end there. Measuring the effectiveness of training programs gives a realistic idea of how effective the training program really has been, it’s technical preciseness nowithstanding. Today, we look at one of the most widely used tool for this purpose, which is Donald Kirspatrick’s four level model, for evaluating the impact of training programs on short term or long term goals of the organization.

The need to measure training effectiveness

  • To gauge the effectiveness of the current ongoing training programs in an organization
  • To identify gaps in training output and use the information to improve the training initiatives
  • To evaluate whether the budget allocated for the training activity is justified, and whether the program has a good ROI.

  • Donald Kirkpatrick and his Four Level evaluation model

    Donald L Kirkpatrick, Professor Emeritus, University Of Wisconsin (where he achieved his BBA, MBA and PhD), first published his ideas in 1959, in a series of articles in the US Training and Development Journal. Kirkpatrick then went on to write a book (first published in 1975) called “Evaluating Training Programs” in which he devised a new model that he called the four levels of evaluating training program.

    Now widely recognized as the authority on measuring training effectiveness, his four level theory has since then gained worldwide popularity and is arguably the most widely used model for the evaluation of training and learning programs. Kirkpatrick’s four-level model is now considered an industry standard across the HR and training communities.

    According to Kirkpatrick, each one of these four levels is equally important and every level has an impact on the next level. Also, as you move along one level to the next one, the process progressively becomes more difficult and time consuming, but it also provides more valuable information.


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