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Training Evaluation – Individual & Organisational Benefits


I am currently working with the companies in our group on their journey towards accreditation as Investors in People. IiP requires organisations to demonstrate that they fully evaluate the benefit of training for both the organisation and the individual.
I am very interested to learn how other organisations, particularly though not exclusively holders of the Investor in People standard, carry out such evaluation. What methods and systems do they employ?
Working with our external IiP advisor consultant, I am trying to establish an understanding with managers at all levels that evaluation of training does not reside soley with the training department or the trainer, but that it is also an integral part of the management function within the training cycle.
Andy Tattersall
Andy Tattersall

4 Responses

  1. Training Evaluation
    I agree with the view that the manager’s role includes training evaluation. I would go further and say that, outside of quality issues, it should only be managers that evaluate training, though with help from us professionals!

    It is the manager that consents for an employee to be out of the workplace to be trained, so it should be the manager that ensures that some value is being added by the training.

    This is the approach we are taking, and we ask both the manager and the individual BEFORE attending the course what outcomes they are looking for. A month or so after the course, once the employee (with the help of the manager) has had an opportunity to put in to practice some of the things learned on the course, we come back and ask both parties “did you achieve your stated outcomes? If not, why not?”

    We use a very simple form and provide the admin support element. Making sure the manager and employee go through this process forces managers to ask pertinent questions. The feedback allows us as the training department to investigate why a course is not adding value – is it the course, the tutor, or the attitude of the line manager or employee?

    I hope this helps!


    Martin Schmalenbach

    PS – for the same reasons we do not get involved in absolute ROI calculations – if all the Board are interested in is getting a financial return, perhaps they should invest their money in a savings account! However, we do benchmark investment in training against national and industry averages to force us to ask ourselves awkward questions, and to also take in to account perceived behavioural changes. For hard skills, things are easier – either Bloggs can type at 45wpm, or he can’t.

  2. We use a similar system as previously shown
    Our system is very similar to the one exlained by Martin Schmalenbach. If you would like to see a copy of the pre and post course evaluation forms we use, please don’t hesitate to contact me on [email protected].

    Kind regards

    Karren Hall
    Training Development Consultant

  3. Avoid the paperwork!
    Hi Andy

    Having worked with IIP for too many years to remember, one thing I can say is do whatever you can to make the effort of evaluation worthwhile. Too many organisations attempt (naively) a scientific analysis of organisational outcomes based on an enormous trail of paper evidence. The test the IIP assessor applies should be the civil test, not the criminal test, ie. you should be looking for evidence of whether, on the balance of probability T&D has made a difference and was worthwhile. So try T&D user groups, management discussions, cross-sectional focus groups & existing ‘quality’ measures to understand whether the top-level interventions are helping people to learn & perform. Good T&D planning will have made the business objectives link prior to the activity taking place.

    I am yet to see an organisation where reactionnaires and 3-monthly follow-up forms can really help in terms of top-level evaluation, albeit they do have a role for trainers and trainees.

  4. Training Evaluation – Individual and organisational benefits
    I am also interested in identifying measurables for evaluating training. I am working on ways of viewing links with performance, attendance and quality improvement. I agree, however, that the initial factor must be to link the intended training to the expected benefit, then measuring if this had been achieved following the event. This can then be related back to the training cycle by reviewing why it did not (if this is the case) and improving the process next time. Key to all this is to include line managers from the start and keep them involved in the process of identification, assessment and review.

    If you want to discuss further then you can contact me on [email protected]


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