Effectiveness of training and development
By using an index approach, the CMI allows the combination of qualitative and quantitative information yet provides the ability to quantify both so that an overall score can be obtained for each training event. Quantitative measures include financial measures. Qualitative measures include design and delivery measures, knowledge acquisition and learning application measures. The use of an index allows these measures to be easily adapted to the unique requirements of each training environment. These dimensions of the CMI can be expanded or decreased in response to changing conditions/experience or the complexity of information required about each training event or particular training environment.
Here is a graphical illustration of the course management index.
Course management index
Click the thumbnail for a full-sized version
The CMI lifecycle measures include baseline information, financial indicators, design and delivery measures, knowledge acquisition/skill development measures and learning application measures for each training event.
Each of these CMI measures will be described briefly.
Baseline information is used to provide an assessment of the learning environment, the requirements, and the motivation before an individual attends a training event. By determining the context of the training, it provides a baseline against which application of learning on the job can be assessed. The specific baseline questions relate to the work environment that required the acquisition of these new abilities and skills. Sample questions include the need that motivated participation in this course; the skills, knowledge, values and/or expertise expected from the training event; the frequency with which this new ability will be used; and the knowledge of whether the skill development or behavioural outcomes have occurred.
Financial measures provide a means to determining the most cost effective method of delivering a high-quality training event that will meet the needs of the staff and organization. This involves a consideration of the development, operational, fixed and overhead costs. From such an analysis, it can be decided whether it is more feasible to develop a tailored course offering or obtain it from a commercial vendor. These figures can also be used to track the cost of each training event and compare it with the costs of other course offerings. For those organizations providing training on a cost recovery or profit basis, additional measures provide the means to determine whether each training event is revenue neutral or providing a profit or loss.
Sample measures include actual versus planned development, operational, fixed and overhead costs. Cost recovery or profit/loss measures include course demand increasing, decreasing or steady; actual versus planned number of students per course; number of cancellations (declining or escalating); actual versus planned revenues from course fees; and the cost/revenue ratio per course.