Evaluation of training and development: an opportunity for a systems review?

Abstract

Following Investors in People (IiP) assessment a membership organization wanted to understand how evaluation of learning and development (L&D) activities for 800 UK staff could be improved and aligned with business objectives. We carried out focus groups, interviews with key stakeholders and a series of trio interviews with people who had recently undertaken L&D along with their manager and a peer. Analyses confirmed the need for knowledge sharing and quantification of behavioural and cognitive changes linked to current systems. These themes were explored by using the TOTADO model of evaluation (Birdi, 2006) to ensure future evaluation would be a marriage of theory and practice. We created an evaluation model that interacted with human resource systems as well as shaping future L&D activities. This was supported by a set of tools utilising the organization‟s IT platform. Use of the model encourages role innovation and reflection in the workplace based on knowledge sharing. We delivered the model earlier this year and advised the roll-out across the UK. Immediate results were IiP accreditation along with increased conversations about performance and the use of innovative approaches to learning. It is too early to measure financial or membership benefits for the organization but these are expected to occur after full implementation.

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McGregor, M., Carter, A. J., Straw, R. & Birdi, K., (2009) “Evaluation of training and development: an opportunity for a systems review?”, EWOP in Practice 3(1), 30–40. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/ewopinpractice.87064

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Merryn McGregor (Institute of Work Psychology)
Angela J. Carter
Rachel Straw
Kamal Birdi

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