How to Measure Effective Training in the Workplace

How to Measure Effective Training in the Workplace

Written by Jennifer Miller | Curriculum Development Coordinator

It is not uncommon for an employer to send a worker to a Train-the-Trainer course with the intention of having that worker return as an “expert” on the topic. The employer trusts that the worker now has the skills required to deliver effective training. But, how would an employer evaluate the effectiveness of the training with limited knowledge of the topic? This is a problem many employers face, and regardless of their own expertise level there are methods that they can use to evaluate the effectiveness of the training being delivered in the workplace.

I would like to introduce you to one of the most common and effective solutions for evaluating training effectiveness – Kirkpatricks’ Four-Level Training Evaluation Model.

Kirkpatrick’s Four-Level Training Evaluation Model

By and large, the best way to measure the effectiveness of training is to apply the Kirkpatrick Model. The Kirkpatrick Model considers training across four levels. The four levels are listed below, along with a few suggestions of how you might evaluate whether each level is being achieved.

Level 1: Reaction

This level looks at the degree to which participants found the training engaging and relevant. You can evaluate this level by asking employees how they liked the training and whether they think it will be useful on the job. You could also have participants fill out a survey about the training upon completing the course.

Level 2: Learning

This level measures the degree to which participants acquire the intended knowledge, skills, and attitudes intended through the training. You may be able to evaluate this by observing workers after training, or by polling them some time after to ensure that their attitude toward the job is still in line with the training. Another great measure of learning is to re-test participants after a period of time to ensure retention.

Level 3: Behaviour

This level measures whether or not what was learned in training is being applied on the job. This level is harder to evaluate, but may be able to be observed, or detected through discussions.

Level 4: Results

This is the degree to which targeted outcomes occur because of the training. This level is more abstract than the other three, but still measurable. The methods of measurement will vary, as every company’s desired outcomes differ based on the overall objectives and individual goals of the training.

In all, Kirkpatrick’s Model offers a tested, reliable, world-wide standard for measuring the effectiveness of any type of training, including health & safety training. Next time your workplace trainer delivers a course, try sitting in on the session and looking for signs of level 1 and 2. It’s an excellent opportunity for learning for everyone involved.

Did you know that OSG has trained over 5000 successful workplace trainers?  Trainers learn to deliver dynamic and effective programs when they take any of OSG’s Train-the-Trainer courses, which include a mandatory Train-the-Trainer Day* where participants learn about adult learning techniques and effective program design.

Let us help you train your workplace trainer. Call 1-800-815-9980 to speak to a Health and Safety expert, or view all of our Train-the-Trainer courses today!

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*OSG does not own a copyright on the Kirkpatrick Model. For information visit

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