Training Professionals' Usage and Understanding of Kirkpatrick's Level 3 and Level 4 Evaluations

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Training professionals have long acknowledged the necessity of conducting behavior-based (Level 3) and results-based (Level 4) evaluations, yet organizations do not frequently conduct such evaluations. This research examined training professionals' perceptions of the utility of Level 3 and Level 4 evaluations and the factors that facilitate or obstruct their attempts to perform them. The research was conducted using Brinkerhoff's Success Case Method and Gilbert's Behavior Engineering Model as its frameworks. The three key factors identified by study participants as having an impact upon their ability to conduct Level 3 and Level 4 evaluations were the availability of resources such as time and personnel, managerial support (organizational) and expertise in evaluative methodology (individual). The research findings indicated a need to further explore how training professionals interpret Level 3 and Level 4 and how they can better develop their evaluative expertise, which in turn may increase effectiveness in gaining organizational support for evaluation efforts.