Scheme evaluation - Scenario - return on investment: page 1 of 1

Guide: Whilst the Kirkpatrick four-step model is commonly used for evaluating programmes, other researchers have suggested adding a fifth level onto Kirkpatrick's model.

Guide: This is the calculation of Return on Investment (ROI) ... has the training offered greater financial benefits than it has cost?

Select the knowledge links to find out more about this fifth level ROI evaluation and to see suggestions for how each stage in Kirkpatrick's model might be implemented.

knowledge resource 1
knowledge resource 2

Guide: Now let's see Harry and Ayesha working out how to achieve an ROI evaluation.

Ayesha: Right then. That old Kirkpatrick model seems to be really working but I've also got to evaluate cost-effectiveness.

Harry: Well, I've been working on that using this 'Return On Investment' process devised by this Phillips chap. Here, have a look.

Ayesha: Oh right, I see. I can see that we've got step one - is there a change in job performance that is positive and measurable? That was covered by our last questionnaire and by using the standards as a measure - but what about the others?

Harry: Well, it's difficult. Step two - isolate the effects of the training from other factors that may have contributed to the results - means that we've really got to consider all the other training or just look at people who have only been involved in mentoring.

Ayesha: I don't suppose we could just ask people?

Harry: Well we could if we knew what the questions were?

Ayesha: OK. Let's think it through. How's this? What other forms of staff development have you taken part in? Did they achieve what they set out to do? How much did the development cost ... the cost of the course, your time on the programme, and the cost of your substitute while you were on the programme?

Harry: Brilliant! And then all we need to do is work out the cost of our programme and compare it to the cost of other forms of training for all our participants.

Ayesha: The trouble is that this is quite a large undertaking that will need quite a chunk of time allocating to it. I think we had better run it past the senior management team before we start.

Harry: Yes, because when we get to step three - convert the results to monetary benefits - they should really ask the same questions about the benefits of other forms of training as well as the mentoring programme.

Ayesha: Oh right, I see. Step three is rather subjective isn't it, because it's based on stakeholder opinion, so it's difficult to prove ... so ...

Harry: So, we'd have to get the senior management team to agree to our evaluation methods for it to have any relevance.

Ayesha: That's right. Let's work on it a bit more so that we can present a robust case.

Harry: OK, let's do that. Once we've got that worked out, step four - total the cost of training, and step five - compare the monetary benefits with the costs - should be, well, relatively straightforward.

Ayesha: Yeah, right Harry.

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