- Five pitfalls to avoid in evaluating training
- Scotland publishes first UK guidelines for diagnosing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)
- The Alcohol Framework 2018 Preventing Harm
- Scotlands new drug and alcohol strategy launched
- AFS welcome new alcohol strategy
- Recent reporting on alcohol sales data
- Cross-Party Group Improving Scotland's health: 2021 and beyond October 2018
- Diageo is failing to provide latest guidelines on their products
- Drinks companies keeping consumers in dark about risky drinking
- Reducing alcohol consumption can address health inequalities
- Alcohol-specific deaths remain at very high levels
- Oh Lila goes digital
- Global first alcohol policy set to save hundreds of Scots' lives
- AFS welcomes minimum unit pricing for alcohol
- Walker's crisp ad exposes children to alcohol marketing
- Truer picture of alcohol harm revealed
- Focus on link between alcohol and obesity
- Alcohol causes 3,700 deaths in Scotland every year
- Last Christmas for heavily discounted alcohol
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- Minimum pricing blog
- Minimum pricing gets green light
- Reflections on GAPC 2017
- Alcohol brands and young people
- Time for honest conversations about alcohol
- Q&A on alcohol marketing
- UK children anxious about parents' drinking
- Quarter of Scots drink above guidelines
- Alcohol producers failing to inform public
- Concern over alcohol-related deaths
- We need to make it easier for people to drink less
- Worrying rise in alcohol-related deaths
- Minimum pricing will save lives
- Pocket money prices for alcohol continue
- Scotland's alcohol problem laid bare
- Cheap alcohol is costing Scotland dear
- One drink a day can increase breast cancer risk
- Poverty linked to increased harm from alcohol
- What next for reducing alcohol harm in Scotland?
- Scotland must do more to turn tide of alcohol harm
- Concern as funding for alcohol services cut
- Budget: No change in alcohol duty
- Scottish Government urged to curb alcohol marketing
- Consumers have the right to know health risks
- Chancellor urged to tackle cheap, strong cider in Budget
- Online help for families affected by alcohol
- Alcohol-free childhood is healthiest option
- SWA granted leave to appeal minimum pricing
- Drink drive warning
- Scottish Greens call for action on alcohol marketing
- Scottish Government receives European alcohol award
- SWA will appeal to UK Supreme Court
- Half of alcohol being sold under 50p per unit
- SWA urged to respect minimum pricing decision
- Alcohol and mental health are closely linked
- Minimum pricing can be implemented in Scotland
- Alcohol sold at pocket money prices
- Scotland has so much to gain from reducing how much we drink
- AFS welcomes revised alcohol consumption guidelines
- Emergency services face shocking levels of alcohol abuse
- Every child has the right to grow up safe from alcohol harm
- Public health must prevail over big business
- New toolkit to help children affected by family alcohol problems
- Price check reveals cheap cost of strong alcohol
- Sales increase underlines need for minimum pricing
- Time to kick alcohol out of sport
- Alcohol linked with stomach cancer
- AFS calls for compulsory health warnings on alcoholic drinks
- Are supermarkets 'responsible retailers' when it comes to alcohol?
- Scottish health charities call for excise duty rise to tackle cheap alcohol
- Alcohol campaigners unite to call for stronger protection from alcohol advertising to children
- New resource for people concerned about alcohol in their community
- Minimum pricing decision delayed until summer
- No completely 'safe' level of drinking
- New alcohol guidelines published
- Minimum pricing - European court ruling
- Alcohol fuels ambulance assaults
- 82% of Scots agree drink driving is unacceptable
- Scotland's alcohol strategy - what next?
- Scotland leads way in evidence-based alcohol policy
- New report reveals impact of alcohol on emergency services
- Alcohol: a global concern
Five pitfalls to avoid in evaluating training
Brian O’Hara joined Alcohol Focus Scotland as our new Senior Coordinator (Learning and Development) in December 2018. Here he shares his experience and reflects on the importance of evaluating training.
5 pitfalls to avoid in evaluating training
So I’m two months into my new role as Senior Coordinator (Learning & Development) for Alcohol Focus Scotland. There’s been a lot of interesting stuff to get my head around and a lot of exciting work ahead to get my teeth into.
One of the things that has really struck me about the organisation is the care and attention that has been given to evaluation of all the learning interventions they offer. As I familiarise myself with session plans, trainer’s notes and activities, I also have one or more comprehensive evaluation reports to go alongside them.
I shouldn’t be surprised really. One of the organisational values is: evidence-based and this great practice in evaluation certainly demonstrates that. It did get me thinking though about some of the pitfalls organisations fall into when it comes to evaluation.
Here are 5 to avoid
1. Not bothering to do it at all
It happens! In the heat of battle, under pressure to deliver, training gets done and its mission accomplished - on to the next job. But wait a minute, it takes time, effort and even money to get training done. How do you know all that was worth it? Presumably, there was a reason or a need for doing the training? How do you know that need was met?
Make a point of bothering – evaluation is a key part of the training cycle and can help the wider goals of a Learning & Development function such as increasing customers, attracting funding, demonstrating the functions value to the organisation, and more.
2. Not thinking about evaluation until the training is underway or finished
Again, it happens! Training is all organised, underway and suddenly it occurs that a senior manager or funding body needs an evaluation report. Hasty plans are drawn up on the back of a napkin, something gets produced but is there any real value in it?
Although it comes toward the end, we should be thinking about and planning evaluation at the start of the process. I’ve taken to using a session plan that includes a section covering evaluation strategy so it can be developed at the design stage
3. No Structure
Let’s throw a quick questionnaire together. A survey monkey. Google some questionnaires. Quick feedback session at the end of the training.
Stop! There are years of work out there about evaluation and plenty of models that can help you to take a structured approached. I’ve always worked with Jack Phillip’s modified version of Kirkpatrick’s levels of evaluation model:
iii. Application on the job
iv. Business impact
v. Return on Investment
It’s a clear model; easily followed and explained to stakeholders.
It can get trickier as you ascend the levels however, as Roosevelt said: “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…” Being able to evidence business impact and return on investment is solid gold.
4. Using the same evaluation for all training
This worked for this course, let’s use it for them all!
There’s a big difference between a few hours Fire Safety training to meet regulatory requirements and a few days coaching training to embed a coaching culture in an organisation. We need to take account of this when planning our approach to evaluation and adjust our approach accordingly.
5. Doing nothing with the evaluation information
When you’re asking your participants for feedback you’re setting their expectation that something will be done with it. If participants don’t see anything changing – particularly when they’ve given the same feedback more than once – they’ll quickly disengage with your evaluation – or worse, your training or organisation.
Review your evaluation information regularly. Take action on it and publicise what you’ve done. This will help engage your participants and gain their support in developing your training to its maximum potential.