With almost 60% of in-house facility managers identifying training as a top issue, we know that training is crucial in the cleaning industry.1 However, it is very time consuming to create and execute on your own, and sometimes supplemental training is needed. Fortunately, there are many training options now available, but how do you know if they are worth your time? The good news is there is an established model of assessing training outcomes that can help!

In this blog, I will introduce you to the Kirkpatrick Model by covering 1) What it is, 2) How it can be used, and, 3) some of the results from the HealthyClean Certificate Program as an example. 2

Let’s get started…

What is the Kirkpatrick model?

The Kirkpatrick model is a method of measuring learning effectiveness. It was developed in the 1950s by Don Kirkpatrick as part of his Ph.D. work at the University of Wisconsin. Since then, the model has become well established in the instructional design industry, becoming the leading model to assess if learning outcomes have been achieved .3

The Kirkpatrick model uses four levels to assess learning. The levels begin with the basics (did participants enjoy the course?) and move to bigger impacts of the training (did the training positively impact the business?). The table below outlines the four levels, what questions each seeks to answer, and the data used to answer each question.  

LevelQuestionData used
Participants ReactionDid the participants enjoy the training and feel it was relevant to their job?End of course survey that asks the learner what they felt about the training
LearningDid the participants learn the content as was intended?End of course evaluations (also called tests, quizzes, or assessments)
Behavior ChangeDid the participants apply what they learned on the job?Observation or survey after returning to work
Business ResultsWere business outcomes achieved because of the training?Pre-established Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). e.g., less complaints, turnover, or injuries

Using the Kirkpatrick model

In an ideal world, all levels of the Kirkpatrick model would be assessed for all courses. In my experience, however, outcomes from any level are hard to come by. Time, money, resources, and knowing how to measure and what to ask for are barriers to understanding the true effectiveness of training programs. But, in an era where training is of utmost importance, and where everyone is stretched for time, assessing training for effectiveness and impact is one of the best things we can do to make sure we are using our time wisely.

So how can you use the information above to determine if a course is worth your time?  Here are three suggestions:

  1. Review the training’s learning objectives and ensure they meet your staff’s learning needs. 
    • It’s a hard stop if the learning objectives don’t set out to train on what your employee’s needs.
    • The training should also test the learner on each learning objective to ensure they learned the information. A good rule of thumb is one question per learning objective, but there may be more.
  2. Ask the course developer for the outcomes of the training.
    • Use the table above to help explain what questions you are looking to answer and understand the data they provide.
    • Only move forward if you like the results, or if you are satisfied with the information that was provided.
  3. Pilot test with a few employees and do your own assessment.
    • Participant Reaction: Ask your pilot group these questions:
      • Did they like the training?
      • Did they learn valuable information that will help them in their job?
      • Did they think the training was a good use of their time?
    • Learning: Ask your pilot group what they learned and see if it matches the stated learning objectives
    • Behavior Change: Monitor to see if those in your pilot group apply the learnings from the training.
    • Business Results: Keep track of KPIs that are important to your organization to see if there are larger business impacts after the pilot team took the training.

HealthyClean Results

If you’ve been following the CloroxPro journey into the world of high-quality education and training, you know that we now offer two ANSI-National Accreditation Board courses, and that to obtain those accreditations, we follow a global standard for measuring training outcomes.4

But what you may not know is that the ASTM standard requires certificate issuers to use an established model like Kirkpatrick’s to monitor Participant Reaction and Learning. The goal of doing so is to drive continuous improvement, which is one of the ways that the training delivers quality over time.

As a result, CloroxPro has been doing yearly evaluations on the HealthyClean Trained Specialist Course since its launch in 2021.  Below are some results from last year’s assessment.5  As time goes on, CloroxPro plans to expand to also include Behavior Change and Business Outcomes, so keep an eye on this space for more outcomes.

In conclusion, while most cleaning professionals recognize the importance of training, it is difficult to know which are worth their time. Fortunately, there are well established models like the Kirkpatrick Model that can help.

In this blog, I shared what the Kirkpatrick model is, how it helps with determining the value of a training, and some results from the HealthyClean Certificate Program as an example of how CloroxPro is putting the model to work for their own program.

To learn more about high quality education & training, check out my other blogs:


1. 2023 CMM In-House/Facility Management Benchmarking Survey Report [Internet]. Cleaning & Maintenance Management. Available from: https://cmmonline.com/articles/2023-cmm-in-house-facility-management-benchmarking-survey-report
2. Kirkpatrick DL. The Four Levels of Evaluation. Evaluating Corporate Training: Models and Issues. 1998; 46:95–112.
3. Kirkpatrick Partners | About Us | Donald L. Kirkpatrick, PhD [Internet]. Kirkpatrick Partners, LLC. Available from: https://www.kirkpatrickpartners.com/about-us/don-kirkpatrick/
4. Standard Practice for Certificate Programs [Internet]. www.astm.org. [cited 2024 Feb 13]. Available from: https://www.astm.org/e2659-18.html
5. Strazdas L and Rops, M. 2023; CloroxPro HealthyClean 2023 Program Evaluation