The Kirkpatrick model: A useful tool for evaluating training outcomes

J Intellect Dev Disabil. 2009 Sep;34(3):266-74. doi: 10.1080/13668250903093125.


Background: Services employing staff to support people with disability usually provide training in a range of areas including communication and managing challenging behaviour. Given that such training can be costly and time-consuming, it is important to evaluate the evidence presented in support of such programs. Efficacy in clinical practice is measured using evidence-based practice. However, there is currently no model that is widely used to compare and evaluate training programs despite the large number of training programs reported each year.

Method: Six studies published in the last decade that reported the outcomes of communication-based training and six that reported on the outcomes of challenging behaviour training were evaluated using the 4-level Kirkpatrick model.

Results: Comparison of the levels of evidence is made for these 12 studies.

Conclusion: The Kirkpatrick model provides one technique for appraisal of the evidence for any reported training program and could be used to evaluate whether a training program is likely to meet the needs and requirements of both the organisation implementing the training and the staff who will participate.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Disabled Persons* / psychology
  • Educational Measurement / methods*
  • Health Personnel / education
  • Health Services*
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training / methods*
  • Inservice Training / standards*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Professional-Patient Relations