Measurement of training courses conducted by human resource development personnel typically follows the four-level training evaluation model developed by Donald Kirkpatrick, a professor at the University of Wisconsin. Training professionals use this model for all types of training, including formal courses, workshops, seminars, and multimedia and self-paced alternatives. By measuring training effectiveness from four different perspectives, you get a comprehensive view of your training programs. Using the results, you can improve your training effectiveness, address problems, and verify investments.


Measuring the reaction of training course participants helps you determine if your training course met their expectations. To evaluate satisfaction, distribute a survey after each training events finishes. Ask participants to rate the value of the training. Encourage participants to offer constructive comments as well. Ideally, your training provides relevant and engaging information. If scores are low, analyze the comments to determine trends and devise possible solutions to problems. For example, participants may rate an instructor highly but give the course an overall low score. Reading the comments, you might learn that is because participants dislike printed reference materials and want electronic documents. Use this information to modify course materials, provide documents in useful formats for reuse, improve instruction, and enhance the learning experience.


To measure if participants acquired skills and knowledge, training professionals design tests that cover course topics. These tests might include multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, matching, or short-answer questions. Link these questions to the course’s learning objectives. Exams might also include verbal or written responses to case studies and performance tests to ensure a participant has mastered the course content. Administer a test at the beginning of the course and at the end of the course as well to measure improvement.


Measuring the success of training for human resource development typically includes observing employees back on the job. This might involve interviewing managers about changes in performance, and determining if employees can perform tasks more accurately and efficiently. Observe employees after 30, 60 or 90 days. This ensures knowledge retention.


To measure the results and business impact, examine operational metrics. For example, track and monitor completed sales, customer satisfaction rates, or employee retention statistics. Use this information to prove whether training makes a difference in business outcomes. This helps justify business expenses associated with training design, development and delivery. Providing effective training to employees enables their professional development as well as company growth.