An evaluation framework for training: a case study in the northeast of Scotland

Mohamed S. Abdel-Wahab, David R. Moore, David Gibbons-Woods, Gemma Kearny, Tracy Pirie

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

The promotion of the value of training amongst SMEs is a challenging task. The cost associated with training as well as the time taken-out for attending courses are often seen as key barriers for SMEs participation in training. In 2008, the European Social Fund (ESF) provided training grants for SMEs, regardless of their type of activity, in Aberdeenshire to promote participation in training. The training grants are used to develop and deliver a series of short training courses that are aimed at addressing SMEs training needs. This paper sets out an evaluation framework for the training offered (as a result of the grants) in light of the Return-On-Investment (ROI) methodology. The evaluation of training will address levels 1 and 2 out of the five levels in the ROI methodology, namely: perceived value of the course and learning achieved as a result of attending the course. A questionnaire was designed and tested in order to collect data at levels 1 and 2. However, it is envisaged that evaluation at levels 3-5 (results in terms of business performance and ROI) will require the tracking of participants through a 'unique identifier' in order to establish the actual contribution of the training courses to a business. It is argued that the adoption of a structured approach for the evaluation of training, namely ROI methodology, is paramount if SMEs are to conceive the impact of training. It is concluded that for SMEs to participate in training, there should be a focus on providing evidence on its potential value and relevance to their business activity. Until this happens, the traditionally low level of participation in training by SMEs will continue, irrespective of it being offered for free through training grants.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event25th Annual ARCOM Conference - Nottingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Sep 20099 Sep 2009

Conference

Conference25th Annual ARCOM Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityNottingham
Period7/09/099/09/09

Fingerprint

evaluation
grant
participation
methodology
European Social Fund
Values
promotion
questionnaire
costs
learning
performance
evidence

Keywords

  • case study
  • evaluation
  • ROI methodology
  • training grants

Cite this

Abdel-Wahab, M. S., Moore, D. R., Gibbons-Woods, D., Kearny, G., & Pirie, T. (2009). An evaluation framework for training: a case study in the northeast of Scotland. Paper presented at 25th Annual ARCOM Conference, Nottingham, United Kingdom.
Abdel-Wahab, Mohamed S. ; Moore, David R. ; Gibbons-Woods, David ; Kearny, Gemma ; Pirie, Tracy. / An evaluation framework for training : a case study in the northeast of Scotland. Paper presented at 25th Annual ARCOM Conference, Nottingham, United Kingdom.9 p.
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Abdel-Wahab, MS, Moore, DR, Gibbons-Woods, D, Kearny, G & Pirie, T 2009, 'An evaluation framework for training: a case study in the northeast of Scotland' Paper presented at 25th Annual ARCOM Conference, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 7/09/09 - 9/09/09, .

An evaluation framework for training : a case study in the northeast of Scotland. / Abdel-Wahab, Mohamed S.; Moore, David R.; Gibbons-Woods, David; Kearny, Gemma; Pirie, Tracy.

2009. Paper presented at 25th Annual ARCOM Conference, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

TY - CONF

T1 - An evaluation framework for training

T2 - a case study in the northeast of Scotland

AU - Abdel-Wahab, Mohamed S.

AU - Moore, David R.

AU - Gibbons-Woods, David

AU - Kearny, Gemma

AU - Pirie, Tracy

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - The promotion of the value of training amongst SMEs is a challenging task. The cost associated with training as well as the time taken-out for attending courses are often seen as key barriers for SMEs participation in training. In 2008, the European Social Fund (ESF) provided training grants for SMEs, regardless of their type of activity, in Aberdeenshire to promote participation in training. The training grants are used to develop and deliver a series of short training courses that are aimed at addressing SMEs training needs. This paper sets out an evaluation framework for the training offered (as a result of the grants) in light of the Return-On-Investment (ROI) methodology. The evaluation of training will address levels 1 and 2 out of the five levels in the ROI methodology, namely: perceived value of the course and learning achieved as a result of attending the course. A questionnaire was designed and tested in order to collect data at levels 1 and 2. However, it is envisaged that evaluation at levels 3-5 (results in terms of business performance and ROI) will require the tracking of participants through a 'unique identifier' in order to establish the actual contribution of the training courses to a business. It is argued that the adoption of a structured approach for the evaluation of training, namely ROI methodology, is paramount if SMEs are to conceive the impact of training. It is concluded that for SMEs to participate in training, there should be a focus on providing evidence on its potential value and relevance to their business activity. Until this happens, the traditionally low level of participation in training by SMEs will continue, irrespective of it being offered for free through training grants.

AB - The promotion of the value of training amongst SMEs is a challenging task. The cost associated with training as well as the time taken-out for attending courses are often seen as key barriers for SMEs participation in training. In 2008, the European Social Fund (ESF) provided training grants for SMEs, regardless of their type of activity, in Aberdeenshire to promote participation in training. The training grants are used to develop and deliver a series of short training courses that are aimed at addressing SMEs training needs. This paper sets out an evaluation framework for the training offered (as a result of the grants) in light of the Return-On-Investment (ROI) methodology. The evaluation of training will address levels 1 and 2 out of the five levels in the ROI methodology, namely: perceived value of the course and learning achieved as a result of attending the course. A questionnaire was designed and tested in order to collect data at levels 1 and 2. However, it is envisaged that evaluation at levels 3-5 (results in terms of business performance and ROI) will require the tracking of participants through a 'unique identifier' in order to establish the actual contribution of the training courses to a business. It is argued that the adoption of a structured approach for the evaluation of training, namely ROI methodology, is paramount if SMEs are to conceive the impact of training. It is concluded that for SMEs to participate in training, there should be a focus on providing evidence on its potential value and relevance to their business activity. Until this happens, the traditionally low level of participation in training by SMEs will continue, irrespective of it being offered for free through training grants.

KW - case study

KW - evaluation

KW - ROI methodology

KW - training grants

M3 - Paper

ER -

Abdel-Wahab MS, Moore DR, Gibbons-Woods D, Kearny G, Pirie T. An evaluation framework for training: a case study in the northeast of Scotland. 2009. Paper presented at 25th Annual ARCOM Conference, Nottingham, United Kingdom.