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With many different types of evaluation models available to use, its sometimes quite hard to decipher which one is best for organisations or project’s. As L&D professionals, the importance of demonstrating the business value of learning & development initiatives must be known. According to the CIPD, “By evaluating learning and development programmes, employers are better able to ensure that these initiatives are aligned with their business objectives and overall learning and development strategy.”

A survey of our DPG Community members revealed that Kirkpatrickis the most commonly used method.

It’s over 50 years since Donald Kirkpatrick published his training evaluation model. It quickly became adopted within L&D and became the most widely used evaluation model in modern times. The Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model has recently been adapted to The New World Kirkpatrick Model, to meet the needs of 21st century Learning and Development teams. The New World Kirkpatrick Model encourages learning professionals to measure and track success on four levels. Rather than start with the learner and ‘happy sheets’ the model flips itself to ensure that the business objectives and measurements are agreed with key stakeholders and leading indicators are identified to gauge success.

According to Lesley Blower, Learning Resource Manager at utility giant Npower who completed a Kirkpatrick programme with us, "….the light bulb moment was the realisation that you start at level 4, identify your desired results and leading indicators to measure if you’re on track, and design your training to reflect that outcome."

The levels in the model are:

  • Level 4 - Results – The degree to which targeted outcomes occur as a result of the training and the support and accountability package
  • Level 3 - Behaviour – The degree to which participants apply what they learned during training when they are back on the job
  • Level 2 - Learning – The degree to which participants acquire the intended knowledge, skills, attitude, confidence and commitment based on their participation in the training
  • Level 1 - Reaction – The degree to which participants find the training favourable, engaging and relevant to their jobs

Find out more about joining thousands of other L&D professionals who have gained the internationally recognised Kirkpatrick certification by clicking here.

How do you evaluate the learning initiatives for your organisation? How do you demonstrate value?

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  • Thanks Ady!

    I’ve used the Kirkpatrick model since I first moved into L&D in 2001. It’s still as relevant and effective now as it was then.

    Karen :)

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