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Laypeople as well as training and development professionals often confuse assessment and evaluation. This is understandable because, like many terms, there is no single definition. I will attempt to provide some clarity between the two terms and give an overview of best practices and current thinking about assessment and evaluation.
While both involve measurement, I refer to assessment as an up-front technique aimed at discovering the current state of a workforce’s skill or competency level. Assessment forms the foundation for workforce planning, succession planning, employee development, and other human capital programs.
In contrast, evaluation measures the effectiveness of training or other performance improvement interventions. Although evaluation is usually thought to occur only after training, it should not be an afterthought and can be a valuable part of planning a performance improvement program. I will present current thinking about evaluation levels, timing, and measurement approaches.
About Our Speaker
Dr. Shelley Kirkpatrick is the Director of Assessment Services for Management Concepts. She leads all assessment and training evaluation design, development, and implementation initiatives. Her work focuses on helping her clients 1) get the most out of their training programs by evaluating training effectiveness and 2) identify mission critical competency gaps to inform workforce planning and other initiatives.
She is an organizational psychologist with more than 20 years of experience developing individual and organizational assessments for the federal government. A former professor at Carnegie Mellon University and The American University, Dr. Kirkpatrick has authored more than 50 articles on leadership, motivation, and related assessment topics that have appeared in academic journals as well as practitioner-based publications. She holds a Ph.D. in organizational behavior and human resource management from the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland at College Park, and a B.S. in psychology from Bowling Green State University. She currently serves as the President of the International Society for Performance Improvement’s Potomac Chapter.
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