Training is an important and complex procedure that may have different effects and levels of success for each individual. That is why training needs to be evaluated in order to improve its effectiveness, especially maritime and seafarer training, which is crucial not only for the safe transport of global goods but also for all those people’s welfare onboard.
owever, there are ways to assess a training program’s impact and identify its weak points, such as the one Donald Kirkpatrick created in the 1950s. Specifically, Donald Kirkpatrick’s model consists of four levels, categorized as follows:
Level 1: Reaction
This level assesses participants’ immediate reactions to the training, focusing on their satisfaction, engagement, and comfort with the training experience.
Evaluation tools at this level include feedback forms based on subjective personal reactions to the training experience, verbal reactions that can be noted and analyzed, and post-training surveys or questionnaires. Questions on this level could take the following form:
- What were the main strengths and weaknesses of the training?
- Was the training worthwhile?
- Is there any further support needed?
Level 2: Learning
At this level, the evaluation turns to measuring the participants’ knowledge, abilities, and attitudes obtained during the training. For this level, it is a good idea to conduct assessments before and after training so that results may be compared.
Evaluation tools include case studies, interviews with the participants, quizzes, and interactive scenarios. Some sample questions that trainees could be asked are:
- How can you use what you’ve learned?
- Are you more confident in your skills, and why?
Level 3: Behavior
Level 3 assesses how well participants apply their training knowledge and abilities in their actual work contexts. The findings of this level of evaluation will demonstrate not only whether the learner understood the training correctly, but also whether the training is applicable in that specific workplace.
Evaluation at this level should take place a few months after the training so as to provide reliable data on the extent to which participants change their behavior. Some of the questions to ask the participants could be:
- Did you use any of what you learned in the weeks or months after the training?
- Do you believe you’ve changed the way you act?
Level 4: Results
Level 4 evaluation examines the influence of the training on the organization’s goals and outcomes. Key performance indicators (KPIs) which are measurable indexes that show how well each organization is meeting its objectives, can be used to track the results, depending on the company’s objectives and the training program. Questions that can be used to assess KPIs are:
- How does the training impact employee satisfaction and engagement levels?
- Are there any specific areas or skills that employees have shown significant improvement in after the training?
Why use this model?
Ultimately, this model offers an organized method to assess the impact of training on participants and the business as a whole. Organizations can use this approach to acquire useful insights about the success of their training programs and make educated decisions for development.