People often say that employees and teams are the building blocks of any organization. How individuals communicate, collaborate and cooperate determine the successful functioning of a workplace. Therefore, employee engagement and job satisfaction are some of the key priorities. Additionally, if organizations want to retain employees despite constantly evolving circumstances, they need to find ways to upskill and reskill them.


  1. The Importance Of Training Evaluation

  2. The CIRO Model Of Training Evaluation

  3. How Does The CIRO Model Work?


Employee training and development is a necessity in any corporation. Volatile work environments demand that employees keep up with the times and technology. Therefore, training and developmental programs are instrumental in ensuring organizational effectiveness. However, only a training program doesn’t suffice. There should be checks in place to ensure the success of these programs. Therefore, training evaluation becomes a critical component. 

The Importance Of Training Evaluation


Training evaluation is the process of obtaining relevant information that helps to gauge the effectiveness of employee training programs. They help analyze, reflect and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of programs. By doing so, organizations can also assess if such programs are helping employees meet overall goals and objectives. Discovering training gaps and opportunities can help determine improvement in training programs and whether certain elements should be continued or discontinued. Here are some additional benefits of training evaluation:

  1. It brings in greater accountability as it ensures that there isn’t any compromise on deliverables
  2. It creates a proper feedback mechanism and helps identify loopholes
  3. It helps improve work quality and performance of employees within a given budget; therefore, it improves cost efficiency of training programs

Multiple training evaluation models have developed over time and the CIRO evaluation model is one among them. Read on to understand its meaning, importance and relevance. 

The CIRO Model Of Training Evaluation


It was Peter Warr, Michael Bird and Neil Rackham who wrote the book, Evaluation of Management Training, in 1970 and developed the CIRO model. Like other training evaluation models, CIRO was developed to evaluate the effectiveness of employee training programs and courses. But unlike other models, CIRO is especially aimed at evaluating corporate training. It can be broadly applied to different roles and positions in an organization.

To understand the CIRO evaluation method, one needs to know what CIRO stands for. It’s an acronym that defines the four levels of the training model:

  • Context
  • Input
  • Reaction
  • Output

Similar to other training models, CIRO is hierarchical. One needs to study the context before looking at the input, reaction and output. In other words, only after understanding one level can someone move on to the next step of the analysis. 

How Does The CIRO Model Work?


As we’ve already established, the CIRO model of training evaluation has a four-level approach. The different stages are:


1. Context Evaluation

At this level, the model helps in assessing the operational situation of a business. The information can be used to gauge the training and development needs. By conducting a training needs analysis, one can highlight factors that had an impact on training effectiveness. This further helps in establishing training objectives, which are of three types:

  • Ultimate objective, which eliminates particular gaps and deficiencies
  • Intermediate objective, which helps achieve the ultimate objective by bringing behavioral change in employees
  • Immediate objective, which covers skills and knowledge gaps in addition to employee attitudes and behaviors

2. Input Evaluation

At this stage of the CIRO model, one must gather information about possible methods and techniques to identify the best possible option. This stage is concerned with the design, planning, management and delivery of a training program or course. After analyzing available resources, one can determine how the resources can be used effectively.

3. Reaction Evaluation

This stage helps gather participants’ views, suggestions and feedback on the training programs or courses they received. The information helps in identifying ways to improve the program if there are any existing loopholes. Participants are encouraged to provide their feedback on:

  • Program content
  • Value addition
  • Approach

 4. Outcome

This stage of the CIRO model is concerned with the results or outcomes of the training program. The outcomes are evaluated in terms of what actually happened as a result of the training. They are measured on four levels:

  • Learner level
  • Workplace level
  • Team or department level
  • Business level

If you want to implement different training evaluation models in your organization successfully, you need to prioritize strong leadership development. Managers and team leaders often shoulder the responsibility of encouraging and shaping employee learning and development. Harappa’s High Performing Leaders Program is ideal for managers who want to champion innovative solutions for organizational needs. Trusted by over 50 organizations and 130,000 learners, the program will help you drive transformative behavioral outcomes among employees. Schedule your free demo and get started!

Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics such as the Kirkpatrick Model, the Advantages Of Training, On-The-Job Training Techniques and Off-The-Job Methods that will help organizations tap into employee potential.

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