Every organization starts delivering training with the mere intention of improving their staff’s skills, increasing productivity levels, enhancing retention rates, and refining their brand. However, one thing that should be considered is how all these goals will remain bare if the training doesn’t bring to the staff what is supposed to. So, what can companies do to ensure that their training program will be effective and deliver the expected results? Easy, they can do a training evaluation. How is the assessment done? You can follow a few training evaluation strategies that will show how effective the training was, what went well, and what needs to be improved. 

Now that we got your attention, let’s get into training evaluation methods.

Why Measure Training Effectiveness?

Employee training is one of the common grounds of companies, organizations, and corporations worldwide. They want to keep up to date with the skills that the staff should have in the contemporary workplace. With every year that passes, more is invested in the training and the development of the team. Training Industry magazine claimed that the spending on employee training and education would grow by 14% yearly. 

We talked about how employee training is cultivated with several business objectives in mind. Measuring the effectiveness of the delivered training seems to be one of the key factors that boost employee engagement and, in turn, retention. Also, by measuring the training efficacy, those who provide the training want to ensure that it will influence overall employee skill development and productivity. Ultimately, that’s the goal. One wouldn’t want to deliver training that won’t bring any positive outcome. 

Training Evaluation Techniques

There are several types of training evaluation methods through which you can measure the effectiveness of enterprise training. We’re touching upon four of them. 

The Kirkpatrick Taxonomy Model

The Kirkpatrick Taxonomy model is a world-renowned training evaluation method. This technique is used to assess the two types of training—formal and informal—and compare them against four criteria levels. Analyzing the data from the four levels enables you to create a plan to clearly define the goals, assess the outcome, and pinpoint the areas where improvement is needed. 


Reaction is the first level criteria, and it measures the reaction the training brought to the participants. How did they respond to it? Did they engage with it? Did they find it helpful and relevant to their job? Usually, an after-training survey is used to evaluate the trainees’ experience in training. 

This level of training is focused on the learner, and it intends to draw out their takeaways.  


Learning is the second level criterion of the Kirkpatrick Taxonomy model. It measures whether the learners have acquired the planned knowledge, skills, and competencies that the training was intended to bring. The learning is measured through pre-learning and post-learning assessments like exams or evaluations in the interview style, which identify comprehension and accuracy. 


Behavior is the third level of this model and one of the most important steps of the general evaluation. In this stage of the assessment, the students are evaluated whether they really were impacted by the training and whether they’re applying what they learned. All this is done by assessing behavioral changes that show whether everything is clear for the participants and if they can use the skills and knowledge obtained in the workplace. 


This final level is entirely dedicated to measuring the results the training brought. This step compares the learning that’s been done against an organization’s business outcome, and the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) established before the training took place.  

The Phillips ROI Model

The Phillips ROI model is an extension of the Kirkpatrick model. Jack Phillips decided to address several of what he believed to be its limitations. That’s why he added the fifth level, which allows organizations to calculate the ROI of their training. As time went by, his approach to training evaluation became known as the Phillips ROI model. 


The Phillips ROI model starts by evaluating the reaction of the training participants about the training they were part of.  


The second stage of the Phillips ROI assesses the learning that took place during the training.


The Phillips ROI model follows the Kirkpatrick taxonomy in this direction as it observes whether the participants used in the workplace what they learned in training. In cases when it isn’t used in comparison to Kirkpatrick’s taxonomy, this model works on determining whether the issue lies within the application of the learning or its implementation. 


The fourth level of the Phillips ROI model focuses on the impact that the training brought. It focuses on identifying the factors that might or might not influence the particular training outcomes.  

Return on investment (ROI)

The fifth and last level of the Phillips ROI model is the ROI itself. Through this level, you can analyze and determine the value of training programs and, in turn, measure the return on investment. This model is more suitable for organizations that want to assign a monetary value to the training results. One thing you should know is that due to the complexity and the costs associated with ROI analysis, only a small percentage of training courses require this level of evaluation.  

Kaufman’s Model of Learning Evaluation 

Kaufman’s Model of Learning Evaluation work, also known as the Kaufman’s Five Levels of Evaluation, was published in 1994. This model, too, was based on the Kirkpatrick Taxonomy with a few modifications and additions done. The change is immediately seen at the start as the first level of Kaufman’s Model of Learning Evaluation is divided into input and process—compared to the Kirkpatric Taxonomy.

Level 1: Input and process

The first level of Kaufman’s model examines the relatability and suitability of the training resources and the way it was delivered. 

Level 2: Acquisition

In the second level of the evaluation process, Kaufman’s model focuses on the participants and the knowledge and skills they might have acquired in this training. 

Level 3: Application

The application stage of the Kaufman’s level focuses on utilizing levels of the training that they got on their jobs.  

Level 4: Organizational results 

The organizational results level focuses on the benefits that organizations that provided the training will be eligible for. 

Level 5: Consequences 

The fifth level of Kaufman’s evaluation model centers around the impact that the particular training has on the organization’s clients and society.  

Anderson’s Value of Learning Model

Anderson’s Model of Learning is a distinctive evaluation model. The main focus of this model is to align the organization’s strategic priorities with the learning function. Only when these objectives are set up can an organization assess the training program’s success in meeting the goals.  While we compared the other models, Anderson’s model is difficult to compare and/or contrast as its approach is unique. This model assesses a training program in three stages:

  • Determine the current work focus and the near-future objectives
  • Utilize various methods to assess the learning
  • Establish relevant approaches for your organization

The CIRO Model

The CIRO model is a unique way of evaluating training programs. The CIRO acronym stands for Context, Input, Reaction, and Output. Compared to models like Kirkpatrick’s Taxonomy and others that can be applied to many evaluation programs, this model is used to assess management training. The CIRO model has four stages:


In the first level  of the evaluation, the CIRO model focuses on gathering information related to job performance and what would increase the staff efficiency and productivity. 


The second stage, too, focuses on collecting information. However, the information relates to potential techniques and methods an organization can use to train its staff. 


In the third stage of the CIRO model, the collected information is participants’ views and the feedback they have about the training they received. 


The fourth stage is all about the presentation of the information about the training results. 

These were some of the most known and most used training evaluation methods. However, you as an organization will have to decide which of them will be the most effective technique for the type of training you’re delivering and the goals you want to achieve. So, what training evaluation model will you be choosing? Let us know in the comments. 


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