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You are here: AITD member discussion area : Evaluation - The New World Kirkpatrick Model No one logged in.
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Posts: 1

Hello everyone,

I am currently trying to apply the New World Kirkpatrick evaluation/business partnership model to an L&D project I am currently working on.

The program is 21 days long (yes!) . However , it includes smaller 1-2 day training programs delivered from various training units. This totals to 21 days.

I am interested in different views on how to go about creating an evaluation plan that would focus on Level 3 and 4.

Any thoughts?


Najla Dole 

Posted: 01-Apr-2013 03:01 PM | Reply
Dr Phil Rutherford
Posts: 132
Dr Phil Rutherford


Hi. Many hearts have been broken when people have tried to define training as the cause of changes at levels 3 and 4. The correlation between training and changes can quite often be found (eg, someone has been to a training course and productivity in his/her area increases), but ascribing the training course as the cause for such changes is much, much harder. In fact so hard very few organisations even attempt it without taking a forensic mindset to their evaluation and analysis.

It really doesn't matter how long your course is, or how diverse the program is, if your strategy for determining changes at levels 3 and 4 doesn't start and end with your organisation's strategic/business plan. If you look along this continuum you will see that training only takes up a very small amount of time and resources - the rest is taken up with the 101 activities which help individuals and the organisation learn and grow. It is all of these things which must be taken into consideration when conducting level 3 and 4 evaluations. And in doing so you are likely to find that training had a very small impact on the results at these levels.


Phil Rutherford Ph.D Web: Blog:

Posted: 09-May-2013 04:21 PM | Reply
ed bernacki
Posts: 8
ed bernacki

About 2002 I was part of the annual event for the Canadian STD. Jack and Patti Phillips presented their version of this work (which I think is Kickpatrick plus a fifth level). 

I asked if they ever considered creating a model for conferences.  The answer was no. About six years later I found a book on conference ROI based on.......the exact same model. 

I think this way of think truly fails to discover what is unique about ROI and conferences. I think this is a big step backward.  It assumes that conferences are only about learning. I have been trying to get the industry to also focus on collaboration and innovation -- not of this is possible using the basic training model. I wrote a book on designing more innovative conferences -- yet little of what makes a conference innovative would be measured that this basic model. 

Ed Bernacki
Posted: 10-May-2013 03:03 PM | Reply
Dr Phil Rutherford
Posts: 132
Dr Phil Rutherford


I really hate to say this about my own profession but after nearly 40 years I have learned that the worst students are .... trainers and educators.

We only have to look around our own profession to see just how little it has grown across the board despite the massive funding it receives today. Sure, there are pockets of excellence and very dark corners where a lot of futuristic thought is being shared, but in the main the industry has, in my opinion, gone backwards.

For example - Kirkpatrick's model has been around for over three decades but there is still no concrete models showing how levels 3 and 4 can be used to evaluate training. Also, Phillips' model is seen as the next best thing (by some) when in reality the whole notion of ROI can, and should, be applied at all levels - not as an add on. Experienced trainers who rigorously apply a systems approach whould know this - and they would identify exactly how levels 3 and 4 can be applied.

Another example - read any literature about workplace training (ie, VET) and you will find very little mention of the 'workplace'. It is all about inputs and nothing about outputs or effects. On the other hand, read any business literature and you will also find very little written about training. Somehow the two are seen as separate when in reality they are intertwined and interdependent. One cannot exist without the other, but where is this highlighted? Even at conferences we find very few - if any - business professionals discussing how effective training is. (And vice versa.)

Another example - in Australia we sweat tears of joy over the Cert IV and Dip for TAE and profess it is a program which is going to save us from death and despair in the economy and jobs market, but since it was introduced in the mid 1990s our productivity has actually gone backwards. Moreover there were better 'train the trainer' courses in the 1970/80s than there are now - much better. (In fact it could be argued that industrial training was far better in the 1920s than it is today, but that is another topic.)

I could go on but you get the point. If we can't get our own profession right then what chance do we have to be seen as capable of influencing other industries?

Phil Rutherford Ph.D Web: Blog:

Posted: 12-May-2013 09:20 AM | Reply
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