CIPD On the Evaluation Trail

Martyn Sloman – he of CIPD Training Adviser fame- has been turning his gaze to evaluation issues. He thinks that the Kirkpatrick model should be quietly buried and replaced by something more fit for purpose in this new century and he has commissioned the Univeristy of Portsmouth Business School to lead on a study to consider new approaches for evaluation.
He continues:

‘in recent years there has been a shift in focus from training to learning. There has been more emphasis on lesss formal and directive ways in which employees acan acquire relevant knowledge and skills. Learning has become more diffuse throughout the organisation and less dependent on a distinct event or activity…’ __

I have noticed exactly the same trend. It would be good to track this. Is it 100% of companies moving in this direction or only 10%? I even know of one company where a new T and D person has decided that the only valid development is a training course and is pulling everything backwards but I hope that this is an aberation rather than a trend!

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2 Responses to “CIPD On the Evaluation Trail” - Leave a Comment

  1. Hi Nigel, an interesting comment about Kirkpatrick! The T&D person you mention is obviously operating at Kirkpatrick Levels 1 & 2, probably new to the job and has yet to find out that a training session alone deals with underpinning knowledge and conceptual know how( if you are lucky) and that is the extent of the change! However, while Kirkpatrick can be simplistic,I find the interest and the challenge in his model is in evaluation at Level 3 and 4 and how, as a learning and development practitioner in an organisation , I can develop less formal programs/initiatives/ interventions/good ideas, what ever you like to call them – more difuse learning opportunities- that make a difference to a person’s capability on the job so that they take the learning ,then use it and demonstrate in their performance that learning and change has occurred.
    Kirkpatrick could probably do with a 21stC makeover but as a starting point for an evaluation framework for learning and development practitioners new to the role it has merit because it can challenge their thinking – if they go beyond level 1&2!

  2. We did some research a couple of years ago ( – summary report) with some similar conclusions. I believe that part of the problem is shifting the thinking of the "training" community away from evaluation as something that maybe happens (if at all) at the end to focusing on the impact of learning throughout the whole lifecycle from analysis to review. Donald Clark had a go at Kirkpatrick as well –

    Part of the problem with Kirkpatrick is that it has become a lingua franca within training and is used as the basis of reference for any discussion of evaluation, measurement, ROI etc. This is a problem as it (IMHO) a) incorrectly frames the discussion, and b) implies a sequence or hierarchy to evaluation starting from level 1 upwards. Most organisations from our research never get beyond level 1 – the least relevant to the business.

    David –

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