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The training cycle: Monitoring and evaluation


In the final installment of our feature on the training cycle, we look at issues around the monitoring and evaluation of training.

Once training has been planned, keeping track of it - and the results it has - can be a real problem. Although Training Managers and training departments can be fully involved in the identification and planning of training requirements, tracking training which has taken place - and deciding what determines whether it has been worthwhile - require a degree of co-operation between the learner, their department or manager, and the training department or person responsible for monitoring and tracking organisational training - and often a sheaf of forms to be sent back and forth.

IT systems provide an excellent way of keeping track of both training and the costs associated with it - essential for anyone who looks after a training budget. A system can be anything from a simple Excel spreadsheet, or Access database, to a complex Learning Management System or LMS, which uses e-mail to support the collection of data about the success of the training intervention after it has taken place. Systems can be set up once training to match training needs has been identified, so that it's possible to track where training has been undertaken and where it is still required at any point.

Find out more about how others manage their training from the Any Answers pages on the subject. TrainingZONE also has a range of features on the topic of Learning Management Systems.


Although evaluation of training programmes comes at the end of the cycle, the process should begin right at the beginning when establishing the training needs of individuals and the organisations as a whole. Ultimately, what determines the success of work-related training is the extent to which it contributes to the success of the business as a whole. Just how to establish this has been the subject of many a theory and debate in the training world - TrainingZONE's own Any Answers pages bear witness to this, as do the features pages. While some types of training lend themselves more easily to assessment against financial returns than others - customer service programmes, for example - many will advocate that you should be able to identify a financial return on investment from any training which is undertaken. TrainingZONE's own EvaluationZone development programme, run by evaluation expert Paul Kearns is based in this premise.

Previous articles in this series:

Assessing and defining needs
Sourcing training
Delivering training


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