Methods for Training Evaluation

5 Effective Methods for Training Evaluation

Methods for training evaluation are the major part of training and development programs that helps to know the overall training effectiveness and ROI of any training program. The effectiveness of a training program can easily find out through the proper implementation of training evaluation methods. In most cases, a pre-defined training evaluation form or template has been used to evaluate the effectiveness of the training program. Employee engagement can be increased through the proper implementation of a training program and training evaluation. Generally, HR departments use training evaluation forms as training evaluation tools. The training evaluation process or training evaluation strategies may vary from one organization to another.


What is Training Evaluation?

Training evaluation is a process of obtaining feedback regarding the effectiveness of a training program. This is also known as the “training effectiveness assessment method”. Things to be measured through training evaluation are the quality of the training program, competency of the trainer, job performance, skills and attitude of employees, ROI of the training, etc.

Training evaluation helps to find out whether the training program is accomplishing overall training objectives or not. Training evaluation is not an easy method when you want to know the exact result. Organizations can not expect the right ROI from the training program if they failed to calculate or evaluate the training program accurately.

Read: Top 15 Employee Motivation Strategies and Benefits


Purposes of Conducting Training Evaluation

Most of the organizations are highly concerned 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 an 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 below:

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

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

Training Gap Analysis: Methods for training evaluation help to identify all the training gaps that need to be detached in the next training session to achieve training goals. Training gap focuses on the overall effectiveness of the training procedure like trainer’s qualification, training venue, training outcome over training goals, etc. Steps of training evaluation system also enable HR managers to find out the 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 is conducted at the beginning of the training. The purpose of this evaluation is to understand participants’ expectations regarding the training. This evaluation enables organizations to change training strategy, schedule, training manual, etc. in order to make the training programs successful.

Intermediate Training Evaluation: The ultimate purpose of methods for training evaluation is to make training sessions fruitful. Intermediate training evaluation methods can help organizations to find out the scope for implementation of an efficient training program. Basically, it is done by gathering 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

The 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 form is generally distributed to training participants after the training program so that they can give the right feedback anonymously. HR Manager or training manager can get a clear picture regarding the effectiveness of the training from the analysis of the feedback.

A training evaluation form generally consists of the below information-

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

You can easily prepare a training evaluation form or download a sample training evaluation form which you can use to do a 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 mentioned 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 model helps organizations to measure the effectiveness of a training program. 4 levels of Kirkpatrick methods for training evaluation are as below:

Level-1: Reaction

At this level, the 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 experiences in the training can be identified in this stage.

Level-2: Learning

At 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 the 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 training with ultimate training goals. This is actually a post-training method of training evaluation that 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 that evaluates the return on investment (ROI) of a training program. This model is basically similar to 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 method for training evaluation.


Level 5: Return on Investment (ROI)

Below is the step-by-step procedure to calculate the 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 charts, immediate supervisors, Team or peer groups, etc.

c) Segregation of training effects:

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

d) Convert data to monetary value:

Now take action to convert data into monetary values for completing a 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 the total training cost. On the other hand, negative ROI comes when the total training cost is higher than the net training benefits.

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. The three stages of Anderson’s Model are as below.

  • Stage 1: Evaluation of the current training program against the strategic priorities of the business.
  • Stage 2: Measuring the contribution of a training program in strategic business results.
  • Stage 3: Find out the most relevant approaches of the company in order to decide whether the ROI is worthwhile. If ROI is 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 the resources invested in a training program, i.e. time, costs in developing materials, etc.

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

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

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

Step-4: Measure 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 courses. 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 Model. CIRO’ is an acronym that stands for the below:

  • Context
  • Input
  • Reaction
  • Output


The 4 stages of the CIRO Model are as below-

Stage-1: Context Evaluation

This stage of the CIRO Model assesses the 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 the ultimate objective is to eliminate organizational deficiencies 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 stages of methods for training evaluation where information is gathered by analyzing available resources for determining the best training method to achieve training goals or objectives.


Stage-3: Reaction Evaluation

Feedback is taken from training participants through training evaluation forms to know and evaluate their reactions to learning. This evaluation helps to improve training quality in the 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 training evaluation methods are used worldwide to identify the training effectiveness that enables organizations to further improvement of their training programs. Though every training evaluation method has unique advantages and disadvantages, all of them are not cost-effective. So, choosing effective methods for training evaluation depend on many factors.


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