Essay on Training Evaluation Models

Published: 2021/12/06
Number of words: 960

The main goal of every organization is to save on cost as well as improve productivity. Training plays a major role in enhancing an organization’s productivity, which gives the organization a competitive advantage over the rest (Giacumo, L. A., & Breman, J, 2021). This is because training allows employees to perfect their skills and competencies, acquire new skills, and improve their understanding of the organization’s goals and policies, which reduces the cost of hiring new employees, boosts allows the managers to monitor progress, affectivity of the training, and spot areas that require more attention or improvement.

Many training assessment models have been developed in the past years. Kirkpatrick model is one of the widely recognized training evaluation models. Research has proven it effective as it works for both formal and informal training. It rates trainees based on four levels that are: reaction, learning, behavior, and results. In these four levels, the assessor can understand how the training was relevant to individuals, whether they acquired the intended knowledge and skills, how they are being applied, and the overall effectiveness (Alsalamah, A., & Callinan, C., 2021). Despite its wide acceptance, some have argued against this model, stating that it is based on assumptions such as the four interrelated levels, which is not the case. The levels are also arranged in a hierarchy of needs style making people assume that the importance of the steps depends on what level they appear in the hierarchy.

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The Brinkerhoff method, also called the success case method, is an evaluation model that assesses training effectiveness and looks at the impact of coaching and other organizational interventions. It was published by Brinkerhoff, who argued that performance is the determinant of the achieved results (Cady, S. H., Medley, B., & Stiegler, C. T., 2018). Therefore, this model aims to assess overall management performance; unlike other models that focus on human resource development, it focuses on the extreme cases, that is, best and worst-case scenarios, unlike other models that measure the average scenarios. Research shows that it is easier and cheaper to use due to its wide application since it is limited to learning. However, it is not a hundred percent accurate relying on the extreme cases to evaluate the overall effectiveness of a training policy. This model only relies on the assumption that a model can either perform well or poorly.

Thirdly, Phillips’s training evaluation is closely related to Kirkpatrick’s model apart from the few added concepts (Bernardino, G., & Curado, C., 2020). It was formed as a result of scholars that wanted to expand Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model as they found it limiting. This led to the addition of the fifth level: the return on investment, which uses cost-benefit analysis to measure the value of training. However though many accepted this enhanced version, Phillips’s theory still faces several criticisms. Some argued that it is not timely as ROI is calculated after program delivery; therefore, the result wouldn’t change anything (Cady, 2018). Its usefulness is also questioned, saying that calculating ROI is of little benefit since the four levels are enough to evaluate.

Talent development reporting refers to an industry-led initiative responsible for developing and implementing internal reporting and management standards for all major human capital processes. It is the responsibility of a corporate training director to coach new employees to come up with new training programs (Giacumo, 2021). They are also responsible for assessing business needs, researching current training methods as well as overseeing training. Such an industry mainly focuses on training and growing individual skills, and it, therefore, requires constant evaluation of the training progress to ensure that no individual is left out. This is a sensitive area due to the existing differences amongst people and should therefore be given maximum attention.

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The Phillips model of training evaluation would be the best choice for a corporate training director due to its wide focus on human resource development, a key aspect of talent development. Kirkpatrick’s model could also be effective apart from the fact that it misses the fifth level: return on investment, which is essential for coming up with the required data for talent development (Bernardino, 2020). A corporate training director must collect factual data as per performance changes and provide all the financial information required for reporting. Therefore, the Phillips model offers a greater advantage compared to the other models despite its few limitations. It is also easy to apply due to its worldwide acceptance and the existing foundation from Kirkpatrick’s model.

In conclusion, as explained above, training evaluation is an important aspect for every organization that aims to improve its performance and productivity. Regarding the same, there are quite a several models aimed at achieving this. Both models have their advantages and disadvantages, as addressed above (Giacumo, 2021). Therefore, it’s the responsibility of organizational owners to decide which evaluation method works best for them and to their advantage. This is because it is impossible to draw a general conclusion on which model is best since different organizations have different goals and preferences. All models are therefore important and effective depending on the aim of their application.


Alsalamah, A., & Callinan, C. (2021). The Kirkpatrick model for training evaluation: bibliometric analysis after 60 years (1959–2020). Industrial and Commercial Training.

Bernardino, G., & Curado, C. (2020). Training evaluation: a configurational analysis of success and failure of trainers and trainees. European Journal of Training and Development.

Cady, S. H., Medley, B., & Stiegler, C. T. (2018). Assessing Change: Integrating Kirkpatrick’s and Phillips’ Models into The Five Levels of Evaluation. Organization Development Journal36(1).

Giacumo, L. A., & Breman, J. (2021). Trends and implications of models, frameworks, and approaches used by instructional designers in workplace learning and performance improvement. Performance Improvement Quarterly34(2), 131-170.

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