Methods for Training Evaluation

Methods for training evaluation are the major part of training and development that need to fix carefully, because it can create high value to know the overall training effectiveness and ROI of any training program. The effectiveness of a training program depends on the proper implementation of the methods of training evaluation. Basically, a pre-defined training evaluation form or training evaluation template has been used to conduct an effective training evaluation. Employee engagement can be increased through proper implementation of a training program and training evaluation.


What is Training Evaluation?

Training evaluation is a process of getting training feedback regarding the effectiveness of a training program. On the other hand, it can be stated as a “training effectiveness assessment method”. Things to be measured through training evaluation are quality of training, competency of trainer, job performance, skills and attitude of employees etc.

Training evaluation helps to find out whether training program is accomplishing overall training objectives or not. Training evaluation is not an easy method when you want to know the exact result. Because, pre-training assessment is not conducted in most of the cases for the purpose of comparison with post training assessment data. As a result, training evaluation can’t be completed successfully. Organizations use different type of methods for training evaluation.

Also Read: Top 15 Employee Motivation Strategies and Benefits


Purposes of Conducting Training Evaluation

Most of the organizations are highly concern regarding training activities and they allocate budget for the training programs also. As a result, they want to know the outcome of the training which can be calculated through an effective training evaluation system. Training evaluation technique enables organization to know major 3 things which are-

  1. Training effectiveness in terms of skill, attitude, productivity etc.
  2. ROI of the training program.
  3. Find out the training gaps for further improvement.

The purposes of conducting training evaluation can be summarized as below:

ROI and Cost-Benefit Analysis: This is considered as the main purpose of conducting training evaluation. Methods for training evaluation generally implemented to do cost-benefit analysis of the training program. ROI analysis helps HR Manager to compare training outputs over the investment of the training program. From the analytical report, HR Manager can take corrective action to overcome any gap in future training.

Training Effectiveness Improvement: If the methods for training evaluation system are implemented properly then it will help to analyze overall effectiveness of the training. Gathering data through pre-defined training evaluation format can be analyzed to know specific training gap. Then you can take action to overcome those identified gaps regarding skills, attitude, productivity etc. so that it couldn’t be repeated in next training session. On the other hand, it helps to know the changes of skill, attitude or productivity of employees after getting training opportunity. You can easily design an effective learning and development strategy from this training effectiveness analysis.

Training Gap Analysis: Methods for training evaluation helps to identify all the training gaps that need to be detached in next training session to achieve training goals. Training gap focuses on overall effectiveness of the training procedure like trainer’s qualification, training venue, training outcome over training goals etc. Steps of training evaluation system also enables HR manager to find out competency gap of the employees.


Levels of Conducting Training Evaluation

There are 3 major levels of training evaluation which are conducted based on four different criteria, these are- reaction of trainees, behavioral changes, knowledge acquired and job performance.

  1. Pre-Training Evaluation
  2. Intermediate Training Evaluation
  3. Post-Training Evaluation.

Pre-Training Evaluation: This evaluation conducted at the beginning of the training. The purpose of this evaluation is to understand participant’s expectation regarding the training. This evaluation enables organization to change training strategy, schedule, training manual etc. in order to make training program successful.

Intermediate Training Evaluation: The ultimate purpose of methods for training evaluation is to make training session fruitful. Intermediate training evaluation methods can help organization to find out scope for implementation of an efficient training program. Basically, it is done through gathering of verbal information from training participants.

Post-Training Evaluation: For post-training evaluation, some criteria are used for the evaluation of the training, those are- Reaction, Learning, Behavior and Results (RLBR).


Preparing of Training Evaluation Form

Training evaluation form is a type of questionnaire developed for gathering trainees’ feedback (both positive and negative) regarding the effectiveness of a training program. This from is developed and generally distributed to training participants after the training program so that they can give right feedback anonymously. HR Manager or training manager can get a clear picture regarding effectiveness of the training from the analysis of those feedbacks.

A training evaluation form generally consist of below information-

  • Training Title
  • Date and Venue of the Training Program
  • Name of the Trainer
  • Some comprehensive question with rating scale
  • Suggestion box

You can easily prepare a training evaluation form or download sample training evaluation form which you can use to do training evaluation.


5 Effective Methods for Training Evaluation

There are different proven methods for training evaluation that can be used to measure training effectiveness. These are as below:

  1. Kirkpatrick’s Four-level Training Evaluation Model
  2. The Phillips ROI Model
  3. Anderson’s Model of Learning Evaluation
  4. Kaufman’s Five Levels of Evaluation
  5. The CIRO Model


  1. Kirkpatrick’s Four-level Training Evaluation Model

Professor Donald Kirkpatrick developed this Kirkpatrick training evaluation model during the 1950s. The 4-level approach of this most successful training evaluation models helps organization to measure the effectiveness of a training program. 4 levels of Kirkpatrick methods for training evaluation are as below:

Level-1: Reaction

In this level, trainee’s reaction regarding the overall training program is measured through a training evaluation form or training evaluation questionnaire. This survey is conducted after the training program. Employees learning experience on the training can be identified in this stage.

Level-2: Learning

In this level, it is tried to find out what participants have learned from the training program. The depth of learning can be identified through a simple quiz test. What knowledge and skills participants have gained from the training session can be identified from this level.

Level-3: Behavior

This level tries to measure or identify the behavioral changes of the participants after receiving the training. This training evaluation is conducted after the training program through workplace behavior observation and comparison with pre-training behavior of the trainees.

Level-4: Results

This is the final level of this training evaluation module to measure and evaluate the result of a training with ultimate training goals. This is actually post training method of training evaluation which measures some tangible things like productivity, quality of work, employee morale, efficiency, customer satisfaction etc.


  1. The Phillips ROI Model

The Phillips ROI model is one of the methods for training evaluation which evaluates the return on investment (ROI) of a training program. This model is basically similar with the scope and sequence of Kirkpatrick’s Model (Level-1 to Level-4), having an additional level (Level-5). To complete training evaluation through this model, you must have to know the training cost and result of the training. So, need to know the process of ROI calculation which is under Level-5 of this methods for training evaluation.


Level 5: Return on Investment (ROI)

Below is the step by step procedure to calculate ROI of a training program as per this method.

a) Pre-training data collection:

Pre-training is considered here as baseline data for comparing metrics before and after the training.

b) Post-training data collection:

Post-training data is collected from different sources such as performance chart, immediate supervisor, Team or peer group etc.

c) Segregation of training effects:

Identify all key factors that have been increased due to training program and contributing in performance improvement.

d) Convert data to monetary value:

Now take action to convert data into monetary values for completing comparison of it with overall training costs.

e) Calculate of Return:

The below formula is used to calculate the return on investment (ROI).

ROI (%) = (Net Training Benefits/Total Training Cost) * 100

ROI will be positive if net training benefits exceed total training cost. On the other hand, negative ROI comes when total training cost is higher than net training benefits.

Also Read: 9 Steps of a Constructive Selection Process: HR Manager Must Know


  1. Anderson’s Model of Learning Evaluation

This is one of the favorite methods for training evaluation. The Anderson model of learning and evaluation helps to keep a priority on business strategy. Three stages of Anderson’s Model are as below.

  • Stage 1: Evaluation of current training program against the strategic priorities of business.
  • Stage 2: Measuring the contribution of a training program in strategic business results.
  • Stage 3: Find out the most relevant approaches of company in order to decide whether the ROI is worthwhile. If ROI found dissatisfactory then you have to change your training approach.


  1. Kaufman’s Five Levels of Evaluation

Kaufman’s model is one of the methods for training evaluation. The steps of this training evaluation method are as below:

Step-1a: Measuring of the resources invested in a training program, i.e. time, costs in developing materials etc.

Step-1b: Evaluation of learners’ reaction towards learning method that is similar with first step of Kirkpatrick’s model.

Step-2: Focus on if the individual or a small learning group has acquired knowledge and applied to their work area.

Step-3: Measure the performance improvement due to application of learning of the training in workplace which is similar to Kirkpatrick’s third step.

Step-4: Measure the greater (or macro) benefits for the business, like increased profitability or reduced costs.

Step-5: Evaluate the effectiveness of the training program in relation to societal benefits.


  1. The CIRO Model

The CIRO Model is one of the methods for training evaluation that evaluate the effectiveness of management training course. The CIRO Model was developed in 1970 by Peter Warr, Michael Bird, and Neil Rackham, authors of the book “Evaluation of management training”. Management training needs and results can be effectively evaluated through The CIRO Models. CIRO’ is an acronym that stands for the below:

  • Context
  • Input
  • Reaction
  • Output

The 4 stages of CIRO Model are as below-

Stage-1: Context Evaluation

This stage of CIRO Model assesses operational situation of the organization to identify and evaluate the training needs and objectives. In stage-1, training needs analysis is conducted and identified needs are set in these 3 levels:

  • The ultimate objective– The goal of ultimate objective is to eliminate organizational deficiency like poor performance, low sales, low profit, low productivity etc.
  • Intermediate objectives– These objectives require major changes in employee’s work behavior for achieving the ultimate objective.
  • Immediate objectives– These objectives are involved in acquiring new skills and knowledge.

 Stage-2: Input Evaluation

This is one of the stage of methods for training evaluation where information gathered by analyzing available resources for determining best training method to achieve training goals or objectives.

Stage-3: Reaction Evaluation

Feedback taken from training participants through training evaluation form to know and evaluate the reactions against learning. This evaluation helps to improve training quality in next step.

Stage-4: Outcome Evaluation

Training outcomes are evaluated to overcome any training gap. The training outcome is measured on the following 4 levels:

    • The learner level
    • The workplace level
    • The team or department level
    • The business level.

Above discussed methods for training evaluation are used worldwide to identify training effectiveness that enables organization in further improvement of training program. Every training evaluation method has some unique advantages and disadvantages. All the learning evaluation methods are not cost effective. So, choosing of effective methods for training evaluation depend on many factors.


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