Evaluation plan for the impact of workforce training

Training is an important element of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and has been cited as contributing to ‘job satisfaction and career development, and thus retention’. In terms of evaluating training, after each training session training providers typically collect feedback from attendees.

However, there are difficulties with this type of feedback

  • Potential bias, particularly if this is being collected on paper straight after a training session
  • The feedback may relate to the trainers’ delivery rather than the training content
  • Immediate post-course feedback does not capture the future impact of training

This immediate directly post-course feedback according to Kirkpartick model of learning is level 1: reaction.

Evaluating the longer-term impact of training allows exploration of the value of the training over time, for example how course learning has been implemented in practice. This is an approach Bristol Health Partners (BHP) adopted after commissioning leadership training for members of their Health Integration Teams.

Using this approach BHP followed up course attendees up six months post-training to explore its impact. One of the challenges in using a longitudinal follow-up can be low response rates. However the BHP team received feedback from 13 of the 28 participants (46.4%) through the post-training survey – a good response rate.

The BHP evaluation explored confidence (at an individual level), and changes in practice following the training (at an organisational level). Findings indicated that, in the long-term, the training had improved confidence (either slightly or greatly) in 53.8% of participants, and that 38% of the responders felt that they had slightly increased their ability to overcome barriers or obstacles to facilitate joint working with other organisations. These results indicate that training is more likely to have an impact at an individual than at an organisational level, a common finding in evaluations of training.

This Word document outlines the BHP approach and could be adapted for your own training evaluation.