To help employers improve their safety training programs, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) issued ASSE/ANSI 490.1-2016, Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety, Health, and Environmental Training. This module covers some of the important concepts in the standard for training evaluation.
Once a safety training program is established, it should be evaluated initially to verify that it is being implemented as intended. After that, employers should periodically, and at least annually, step back and assess what is working and what is not, and whether the program is on track to achieve its goals.
Whenever training program evaluations identify opportunities to improve the program, employers, managers, and supervisors, in coordination with employees, should make adjustments and monitor how well the program performs as a result.
Sharing the results of monitoring and evaluation within the workplace, and celebrating successes, will help drive further improvement.
As with other programs, safety training program evaluation and improvement includes:
To make sure that the training program is accomplishing its goals, an evaluation of the training can be valuable.
Below are some methods commonly used to evaluate the effectiveness of training.
However you conduct the training evaluation, it can give employers the information necessary to decide whether employees achieved the desired results, and whether the training session should be offered again at some future date.
To make sure the training program is conforming to ANSI/ASSE Z490.1, we recommend a five-Level approach developed by Dr. Donald Kirkpatrick and modified by Dr. Jack Phillips. Back in 1954, Donald Kirkpatrick developed a four-level evaluation model and later, in 1997, Dr. Phillips added a fifth-level that addresses the impact of training on profitability.
Phillips states that after determining a learning program's business impact at Kirkpatrick's Level 4, you can translate that impact into monetary terms and compare it to the total cost of the program to calculate ROI. Today, the Kirkpatrick/Phillips model is the most widely used training evaluation approach in the world, and is expressed as five levels of outcomes as follows:
The first three levels of training evaluation focus on the impact of training on the learner. The four and fifth levels evaluate the impact safety training has on the company. We'll discuss each of the five levels in more detail in Module 7.
ANSI Z490.1-2016, Section 3.4.2, recommends evaluating three important elements of a safety training program.
Let's look at each of these three important elements more closely.
Training works best when it's designed and performs as part of an integrated safety management system rather than a series of unrelated training sessions. Below are elements that should be included in the evaluation of a training program.
In an effective training program the training should be conducted using a systematic process that includes a needs assessment, objectives, course materials, lesson plans, evaluation strategies, and criteria for successful completion. Areas of emphasis include:
By evaluating the results of training, it's possible to make improvements to existing plans and gain awareness of the need for new training. Items to evaluate include:
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