The Four Levels of Training Evaluation: A Deep Dive

June 5, 2023
7 min read


Kirkpatrick's Model is a widely recognized framework for evaluating the effectiveness of training and educational programs. Developed by Donald Kirkpatrick, this model categorizes program evaluation into four distinct levels. In this article, we will delve into each level, exploring their key components and discussing how they contribute to assessing the success of high education programs.

Level 4: Results

Level 4 examines the broader organizational impact of the educational program. It focuses on the overall outcomes and benefits achieved by the organization as a result of the training. Key aspects of Level 4 include:

  • Business impact: Assessing the program's contribution to organizational goals, such as increased revenue, cost savings, or improved efficiency.
  • Return on expectations (ROE): What a successful training initiative delivers to key business stakeholders demonstrating the degree to which their expectations have been satisfied.  
  • Sustainability and long-term effects: Evaluating the long-term effects of the program on organizational culture, employee retention, and continuous improvement.

Level 3: Behavior

Level 3 evaluates the transfer of learning into actual behavior change or performance improvement in real-world settings. It focuses on the application of knowledge and skills in the workplace. Key components of Level 3 include:

  • On-the-job observation: Assessing participants' performance through direct observation or performance reviews to determine if they apply the acquired knowledge and skills effectively.
  • Workplace application: Gathering feedback from supervisors or colleagues to measure participants' ability to use the learned concepts and skills in their daily work.
  • Impact on key performance indicators (KPIs): Analyzing the impact of the program on relevant KPIs, such as productivity, quality, or customer satisfaction.

Level 2: Learning

Level 2 assesses the knowledge and skills acquired by participants during the educational program. It focuses on measuring the learning outcomes. Key elements of Level 2 include:

  • Pre- and post-assessments: Administering assessments or tests before and after the program to determine the level of knowledge gained.
  • Skill demonstrations: Observing participants' ability to apply the acquired knowledge in practical scenarios or simulations.
  • Confidence and Commitment: Confidence and commitment to perform new skills on the job are built in part through a good training program that provides ample opportunity to practice, ask questions, and discuss expectations.

Level 1: Reaction

Level 1 focuses on participants' immediate reaction and perception of the program. It aims to gauge their satisfaction and engagement during the learning experience. Key aspects of Level 1 include:

  • Participant feedback: Gathering feedback through surveys, questionnaires, or interviews to assess participants' opinions, interests, and overall satisfaction.
  • Perceived relevance: Evaluating participants' perception of the program's relevance to their needs and professional goals.
  • Engagement and participation: Observing participants' active involvement in discussions, activities, and interactions with instructors and peers.


Kirkpatrick's Model provides a comprehensive framework for evaluating the effectiveness of high education programs. By assessing the four levels—Reaction, Learning, Behavior, and Results—educational institutions can gather valuable insights into program success and identify areas for improvement. Understanding and applying the principles of Kirkpatrick's Model can help educational programs deliver tangible results, drive organizational growth, and continuously enhance the learning experience for participants.

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If you are in the MENA region, Take the Next Step: Sign up for the Kirkpatrick Certification Programs through RMK The Experts, the MENA Region's Exclusive Affiliate.

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