Why calculate ROTI?

Calculating the return on investment from a training programme can be important when, for example, the training programme is seen as significant investment by the organisation, or it is aligned to the achievement of a particular strategic or operational objective. It can also be useful when it is unclear whether a programme will generate any financial benefits or what those benefits might amount to.

However, while ROTI can play an important role in a training programme evaluation, an ROTI calculation alone will not usually be sufficient to make the business case for a training programme or persuade senior managers to take action in some way. This is because most often it is just one small element of the value of the training. Depending on the agreed objectives and expectations of the training programme, factors such as what learners thought about the training programme (level 1), what learning actually occurred (level 2), and what influenced whether the learning was applied to the workplace (level 3) may all be of significant interest to decision makers.

The following sections provide guidance on when and how to calculate ROTI.