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After the training

Even the best training is only valuable if the learning outcomes are implemented in a work situation.

The first objective of the post-training period is to apply the acquired knowledge or to turn this knowledge into skills. This can only work in conducive circumstances (i.e. where such knowledge has not already been used) in which scenarios for application are defined, and must be supported.

It is not sufficient to simply carry out a task several times in order to know how to do it systematically, regardless of the context. There must also be objectives for applying knowledge as well as the motivation to meet these objectives, and it is important to take time to analyse any difficulties in meeting them and to seek solutions to overcome them. Anyone carrying out such work should receive guidance or support from their immediate line manager or a colleague who is an expert in the field.

Evaluating outcomes and impact of the training involves comparing what has been gained in terms of outcomes to what was expected. Before commencing the evaluation it is important to know who or what is being evaluated.

What can be evaluated?

The evaluation has multiple purposes, in other words there are several things to evaluate at various times. The evaluation should therefore be conducted as a process, starting with the definition of the training projects.

  • Participant satisfaction at the end of the training: The satisfaction evaluation commonly referred to as an "on-the-spot" evaluation,
  • The acquisition of new knowledge, know-how or conduct by the participant at the end of the training: The educational evaluation
  • The actual use of the employee's new knowledge in his/her position: The transfer to a work-based setting assessment, commonly referred to as "delayed" evaluation, 
  • Meeting the objectives set by the training: The evaluation of the impact of the training or impact evaluation.

Why carry out an evaluation?

In general terms, the evaluation should enable the company to measure:

  • Whether the time, effort and money invested in the training are justified,
  • Whether objectives have been met, 
  • Whether the productivity expected for a professional activity has been reached.

In order to carry out an evaluation, the measurement indicators must be defined for the expected outcomes for each training action before the training takes place.

Using these indicators, the training manager can justify whether to continue with or drop particular training courses, according to:

  • The evaluation made by the participants at the end of the training,
  • The results obtained by the participants in any knowledge tests organised at the end of the training, 
  • The new skills and conduct observed in a work situation, by collaborating closely with the supervisors of the employees who attended the training.

 

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