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Why the 4-level Kirkpatrick model works in some companies but does not in others explains the best the notion of companies’ maturity levels. The consultant and co-owner of IHRM – Institute of HR Maturity Paul Kearns describes the development stage of how a company approaches education on a 6-level scale.

Level 1: Training administration

Education is not planned, managing directors are not interested. A certain training budget is allocated, however without analysing real training needs. The HR in charge of education usually has a cumulative function and manages trainings on the admin side. Main issue is the managers’ belief, that their problem will be solved forever by one-off event organized by someone else without their own input.

Criterion for evaluating the training success is the number of participants; education is deemed an expense not an investment. HR considers for success if nobody complains about the training.

Level 2: Training professional

Criteria for selecting an external training agency are set for the first time. Some training goals are set, suitability of training participants is tested.

The training specialist tries to identify the training need, at the same time he/she still needs to fulfill the requirements of the managers. They, however, cannot clearly specify their problem or its solution.  No education control systems are in place; the delivered trainings can be of different quality and have just little connection to the business environment.  In this stage the management is rather interested in achieving minimal standards than in achieving a competitive advantage by means of education. Generic trainings and standard catalogue modules dominate.

Source: Inspired by Institute of Maturity and Paul Kearns.

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