The Kirkpatrick Model

For over 50 years, The Kirkpatrick Model has been The Standard for Leveraging and Validating Talent Investments™. The Kirkpatrick Model has evolved through decades of application by learning and development professionals around the world.

Our time-tested method works in all sectors, such as government, military, corporate, consulting, services, and humanitarian. The model is applicable to all programs. Popular topics for Kirkpatrick program evaluation plans include onboarding, product and program launches, leadership development, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), safety, security, and succession planning.

We have not encountered an industry or program where the model will not work, which is a testament to its timeless, flexible, and elegant design.

Level 1: Reaction
Level 2: Learning
Level 3: Behavior
Level 4: Results

The Kirkpatrick Model

Level 1: Reaction

The degree to which participants find the training favorable, engaging, and relevant to their jobs

Level 2: Learning

The degree to which participants acquire the intended knowledge, skills, attitude, confidence, and commitment based on their participation in the training

Level 3: Behavior

The degree to which participants apply what they learned during training when they are back on the job

Level 4: Results

The degree to which targeted outcomes occur as a result of the training and the support and accountability package

Read Stories of Impact

Curious if the Kirkpatrick Model will work for you? Get inspired by a few organizations that applied the principles and achieved great results. 

History of the Kirkpatrick Model

Dr. Donald L. Kirkpatrick is credited with creating The Kirkpatrick Model, or the four levels of training evaluation, in the 1950s when he used it as the basis of the Ph.D. dissertation entitled, “Evaluating Human Relations Programs for Industrial Foremen and Supervisors.”

The model grew through organic worldwide usage and became the standard for demonstrating the effectiveness of training programs.

In 2010, Dr. Jim Kirkpatrick, Don’s son, and Wendy Kayser Kirkpatrick, slightly modified the definitions of the four levels and began calling it The New World Kirkpatrick Model. These definitions better recognize Don Kirkpatrick’s broader intent with the model and clarify its usage today.

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