When should I carry out my evaluation / send out my evaluation?

Training evaluation data should be collected at different times depending on what you are evaluating. The table below summarises this:

Evaluation Level

When to collect the data

Level 1: Participant Reaction

during the training programme to inform how the programme progresses (formative evaluation)

immediately or shortly after the training programme has been completed (summative evaluation)

Level 2: Learning

pre-learning assessment, test and qualification data should be collected before the training takes place

post-learning assessment, test and qualification data can be collected at any time during the training programme or after the training has been completed

Level 3: Job Impact

baseline data can be collected at any time before, during or immediately after the training programme

post-learning data should usually be collected at least 3 months after the training programme has been completed to allow time for transfer of learning to the workplace. However, training programmes with a very narrow skills development focus or which concentrate on particular work processes can be evaluated sooner than this

Level 4: Business Impact

As Level 3.



When collecting pre-training or baseline data you will need to bear in mind that it will need to be sufficiently recent to be able to show that the learning programme has been a significant influence on any changes to it.

You should also ensure that you take into account seasonal and/or cyclical variations to any data collected. To use a very simple example, if a supermarket were to choose ‘sales of turkeys’ as a training impact measure, and on July 30th baseline data was collected showing sales of 1,000 per month while post-learning data collected on December 30th showed a huge increase in sales to 10,000 per month, it would be foolhardy to attribute the increase in sales to training rather than to Christmas. In this case year on year sales figures are likely to be more informative.

When collecting impact data on job and/or business impact, if budget and resources allow it you might consider conducting two or more evaluations. These should ideally be at regular intervals (eg 3 and 6 months) after the training has been completed. Doing so will help to evidence that any impact was actually due to the training rather than any chance variations, and will also help you to develop a clearer picture of the impact of the training on performance over time.

However, it should be pointed out that, as it generally becomes more difficult to attribute changes in performance directly to a training programme/event as time goes by, some experts recommend that the maximum evaluation period should be one year from the completion of the learning programme.

Click on the link below for further guidance on data collection methods:


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