Summative evaluation of training should be conducted regularly (preferably after every class or online training session) using a widely used model, such as the Kirkpatrick Model of Training Evaluation (2006). The four levels that should be considered during a summative evaluation include:
- Level 1: Reaction Assessment / Survey
- Level 2: Learning Assessment
- Level 3: Behavior Assessment
- Level 4: Results
Other training evaluation techniques and methods that should be considered to measure the effectiveness of training programs include NIOSH's Training Intervention Effectiveness Research (TIER) paradigm, Ecological Momentary Assessment, and Simulation Methodologies for Training and Evaluation (Centers for Disease and Control, 2004).
Key questions for evaluating the quality and appropriateness of an overall training program should include the following:
- Staffing: Is there evidence of instructor competency? Are instructors using the training outline, assessment, and content developed?
- Resources and Facilities: Were appropriate staff and facilities available and committed to the program? Are new educational technologies integrated, and have impacts been assessed?
- Course development: (Needs assessment) Have minimum training requirements been identified? Is training provided in a manner that employees receiving it are capable of understanding? (Objectives) Is there evidence that objectives are being accomplished? (Course design) Are courses designed taking into account objectives and assessments?
- Delivery: Does the program incorporate adult learning principles, a variety of teaching methods, and appropriate training materials? Is there an appropriate mix of classroom, demonstration, and active learning? Are the course materials current and the delivery methods relevant to the training target audience?
- Evaluations: How does the program measure effectiveness? Are improvements made into the program based on evaluations? Does the program address identified deficiencies (based on course evaluations), relevant new standards or regulations, or new training methods and technologies?
- Records: Are record identifiable, retrained, and accessible?