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Training ‘Wasted’ for One-in-Four


A quarter of all training is wasted because delegates do not get the chance to apply their learning and are not adequately supported by their line manager, according to new research.

According to the study, 70% of training delegates claim they have the opportunity to apply their learning, regardless of the subject matter. Of the 30% who did not get the opportunity to apply what they learned, five out of six - that is, 25% of the total delegates – say they are not supported by their line manager.

The survey, by training company Knowledgepool, aimed to get a Kirkpatrick Level 3 benchmark.

"Most training delivery is evaluated at Kirkpatrick Level 1, using ‘happy sheets’, and the results are invariably good," said Kevin Lovell, learning strategy director at KnowledgePool. "But Level 1 happens before delegates have the chance to apply what they learn. Ask them two months later whether they used what they learned, how much line manager support they received or about their perceived performance improvement and you often get a very different picture. This survey clearly illustrates that line managers play a pivotal role because where their support is evident, there is a much higher transfer of learning to the workplace."

This trend is confirmed by individual performance improvement results. KnowledgePool’s national average scores show that delegates with an opportunity to apply what they learned reported performance improvement scores roughly double that of delegates who could not apply what they learned. Similarly, delegates receiving line manager support enhanced performance by around 30%, compared to those without line manager support.

KnowledgePool is using the scores in an evaluation tool as part of its Livebooker managed training services system. The system will automatically conduct behavioural change and business benefit evaluations - that is, Kirkpatrick levels 3 and 4 - for any learning intervention and benchmarks the results against national average scores.


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