Training is a vital component for any organization or business to be successful. Thorough evaluations are needed to determine the most effective training programs and how best to implement them. Kaufman’s Five Levels of Evaluation is one such method used to develop both initial and on-the-job training programs. Modeled after University of Wisconsin professor Donald Kirkpatrick’s four-level evaluation method, Roger Kaufman’s theory applies five levels. It is designed to evaluate a program from the trainee’s perspective and assess the possible impacts on the client and society that could result from implementing a new training program.
The first level of Kaufman’s evaluation method is broken down into two parts. Level 1a is the “Enabling” evaluation, designed to evaluate the quality and availability of physical, financial and human resources. This is an input level. Level 1b, “Reaction,” evaluates the efficiency and acceptability of the means, methods and processes of the proposed training program. Test subjects are asked how they feel about the instruction.
Levels 2 and 3 are classified as micro levels designed to evaluate individuals and small groups. Level 2, “Acquisition,” evaluates the competency and mastery of the test group/individual in a classroom setting. Level 3, “Application,” evaluates the success of the test group/individual’s utilization of the training program. Test subjects are monitored to determine how much and how well they implement the knowledge they gained within the organization.
“Organization Output” is level 4 in Kaufman’s method of evaluation. This level is designed to evaluate the results of the contributions and payoffs of the organization as a whole as a result of the proposed training program. Success is measured in terms of the organization's overall performance and the return on investments.
In the final level of Kaufman’s method of evaluation, “Societal Outcomes,” the contributions to and from the client and society as a whole are evaluated. Responsiveness, potential consequences and payoffs are gauged to determine the success of implementing the proposed training program.