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Four Training Process Models Explained


June 26, 2020



Training Models

When designing anything, it is usually helpful to begin with a model, a template so to speak. This cuts down on employee development time by giving you a base. Then, you can tweak the model to better meet your needs.

Same with training. Starting with a model keeps you better focused on all the “moving parts” needed to achieve your training goals. Here is a closer look at 4 of the top training models.

1) Organizing Training with Centralized Training Design Model

As its name indicates, this training and all its resources are in one location (for the most part) and managed by one person, group, or team. This means that a company with several branches would require employees to travel to their dedicated training location for training sessions.

A huge advantage of the centralized training model is consistency. The organization can be sure that methodologies and content are standardized, not a case of each department or branch organizing their own thing. This better ensures that overall training goals are met effectively and a better training ROI is achieved.

Gamified Training Process Model

On the downside, this consistency does not allow for flexibility. People learn differently, and all the learners of a single organization are not always in the same working conditions. For example, the sales team of a pharmaceutical company might feel that having to do “X” hours of in-house training cuts into their earning capacity since it keeps them off the road.

Thus, one of the challenges of centralized training is keeping things the same while allowing for the different needs of individuals, departments, and branches.

2) Organizing Department Training with Functional Training Process Model

Of all the training plan models and theories, this one is unusual because it originated in sports rather than directly in business. The sports trainers and therapists focus on what can be with the body or what needs to be fixed in order to allow the body to regain lost function. So, functional training is geared towards action and behavior rather than knowledge and theory.

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One of the best examples of a functional model training program is the Business-embedded Model.

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Business-embedded Model

As I mentioned above, this training model is a type of functional model training program. Its purpose is to make sure the training aligns with the strategies, needs, and vision of the organization. Since the business-embedded model is completely customer-centric—all participants are seen as customers—it is a preferred model for organizations in the service industry sector. 

What are the 5 phases of training?

Glad you asked! The 5 phases of training in this training model are:

  • Strategic direction: a set of customer-focused, training goal(s) and direction(s)
  • Training program design: a multi-departmental collaboration, sometimes including key customers, to create the training content and methodology
  • Structural versatility of the training program: the ways in which the training will be able to adapt to new elements as they emerge [such as moving to online training in the face of COVID-19]
  • Training delivery: which techniques are going to be best at giving the trainees the knowledge and skills, information, and motivation they need? One of them is on the go training.
  • Accountability for results: measuring your training ROI is critical; otherwise, how can you ethically justify putting resources into such a program? 

3) University Training Model Management

Consider a private, higher-level training campus solely dedicated to one organization. This is the basic definition of a corporate university.

It should be noted that corporate universities are not just training centers, although there is usually a training component. However, as stated by the Global Council of Corporate Universities (Global CCU), the overall goal is to “help implement—through education—the organization’s strategies in human, economic, financial, technological, social and environmental terms.” Today, the Global CCU represents corporate universities on five continents.

Organizing Department Training with SC Training (formerly EdApp) Training Model Management

One of the first corporate universities was Disney University, established in 1955. From the start, Walt Disney realized the importance of having each and every Disney employee trained in the Disney “3 V’s”: virtues, values, and vision of the Disney organization. Albeit in an evolved form, this same corporate university model continues for today’s Disney workforce.

4) Kirkpatrick Training Model

To know the ROI of your training program, you are going to need an effective training evaluation method. The Kirkpatrick Model will help you build the kind of training evaluation form you need.

Similar to Bloom’s taxonomy, the Kirkpatrick Model is a four-level, triangular-shaped employee development model: reaction, learning, behavior, results. It was created to be used at any stage of training: pre-training, during training, and post-training.

Base level: Reaction

A training evaluation form or “smile sheet” asks trainees questions. The training evaluation questions should find out to what degree trainees enjoyed the training and how relevant they found it to their work needs.

Next level up: Learning

Let’s say we found out that the training was fun and totally relevant. Great! Yet, how much did the participants actually take away from the hours they put in? To what degree are they farther along the path towards reaching the training measurable goal(s)?

One way to assess learning and development is, of course, tests. A pre-test prior to training and a post-test following training can give a very good measure of what was learned. 

Other online test maker tools are peer/instructor observation (especially in skills or attitude training) and in-depth interviews.

Level 3: Behavior

Just because you know something doesn’t mean you use it. This component evaluates to what degree trainees actually put into practice what they have learned during their e training.

Typically starting 3-6 months after the training course is completed, the behavior level measures trainee performance on the job. Assessment tools for this level are primarily observations and interviews repeated over time. You want to actually see the results, not just hear about them.

Top/final level: Results

So, what was the overall ROI? To what degree did your corporate training achieve the targeted outcomes? In general, was the process worth the resources it required?

Assessment measures for this level need to be put into place the training actually begins. In this way, it will be clear what is being measured and how it is being done. One such useful tool is a control group: a number of employees in the same work situation who will not be receiving the training. The demographics of the control and training groups should be as similar as possible to enable the truest comparison.

After you’ve chosen your training model, created content, and built assessment, you are going to need to put it into a “do-able form”.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  

Content Library Training Model

You may be interested in the Leadership and Coaching Management Styles course from SC Training (formerly EdApp) learning management system’s free content library! Check it out here.

Disney University (Google Books)


Lisa Aharon Guest Author

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