Maximize Your Program Outcomes with a Training Evaluation Sonar Plan – Part 4


The Navy must always be prepared before entering the field. They do not wait until they are in the middle of the ocean to think about how they will navigate their submarines and respond to threats.

They prepare for every eventuality and engage the sonar upon launch, monitoring it carefully during the entire excursion, making adjustments as required to stay on course and avoid danger.

How can you plan your evaluation efforts as diligently as if you were a navy submariner? Read on to find out.

Tools should be built during the design and development of a program. Don’t wait until after the training is complete to think about how you will monitor on-the-job application and results. Building tools and scheduling future pings during the training design and development process increases the likelihood that they will be implemented and actually occur. 

Scale Your Training Evaluation Plan to the Importance of the Initiative

The amount of training evaluation sonar required is directly proportional to the level of importance the initiative holds for the organization. Routine training programs can incorporate passive and active sonar that does not require a great amount of time and effort:

Sample Routine Training Evaluation Plan

 Kirkpatrick Levels 1 and 2:

  • Pulse checks
  • Activities
  • Post-program survey

 Kirkpatrick Levels 3 and 4:

  • Self-monitoring tool (introduced during training)
  • Delayed survey
  • WLP calls to a few supervisors to ask if they have seen the desired on-the-job performance

Mission-critical programs should contain multiple passive and active techniques at each of the four levels. This helps to ensure that potential implementation problems are identified and can be resolved before they reduce the organizational impact of the initiative:

Sample Mission-Critical Training Evaluation Plan

 Kirkpatrick Levels 1 and 2:

  • Pulse checks
  • Numerous activities
  • Post-program survey
  • Post-program interviews (if indicated by survey results)

 Kirkpatrick Levels 3 and 4:

  • Self-monitoring tool (submitted to supervisor or WLP weekly)
  • Supervisor observation checklist
  • Delayed survey
  • Dashboard
  • Interviews or focus group
  • Executive modeling and/or supportive messages

With a bit of advance planning, you will maximize the impact of your training and be able to show the organizational value with the data you collect. You can learn much more about creating such a plan in the Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program.

Finally, hats off to our U.S. Armed Forces. We appreciate you!

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Additional Resources

Free Kirkpatrick resources

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program

The Brunei Window Washer: Bringing Business Partnership to Life