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Trainer’s tip: Kirkpatrick’s Level 3 Evaluation


Martin Schmalenbach offers advice on how to encourage managers to return evaluation data.

It's hard to simplify an already simple process (I'm making assumptions here!).

I suspect the reason why you are having to chase managers for this data is that they don't value the evaluation process enough to give it attention, not thet there is something wrong per se with the process.

Tackle this situation as if you would tackle any performance challenge:

  1. describe the actual problem and desired outcomes, in detail. Use measures and observable behaviours that are relevant to the situation. This will be your baseline.
  2. determine the root causes for the current behaviours and situation.
  3. select enough of the biggest contributing root causes that, if tackled, would enable you to just achieve the required outcomes described in step 1.
  4. develop interventions that will reduce/eliminate these root causes (and not introduce additional root causes!). You can do this in part by building an impact model, working backwards from the measures and behaviours that describe the required outcome, indentifying the skills, knowledge, behaviours, attitudes, processes, policies etc needed to deliver the outcome.
  5. deploy your interventions!
  6. revisit the work you did in step 1, where you built your baseline, to see the extent the required outcomes have been achieved. Any shortfall should be investigated in a similar way, as a continuous improvement project. Any 'over achievement' should also be investigated for future learning to see if the overachievement was worth the investment - could the minimum required outcomes have been achieved for less? Use this to evolve the whole process towards being more efficient in use of resources...

I can happily send you an article describing these stages and the tools needed for each. Just email me at martin [at]

Good luck & best wishes,

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Kirkpatrick's Level 3 Evaluation


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