Collectively, the PERLC supported organizational and community readiness locally, regionally, and nationally through the provision of technical consultation and dissemination of learning products and tools aligned with public health preparedness and response competencies
Fourteen PERLC located within CEPH accredited schools of public health participated in the PERLC network.
In support of participating in evaluation activities to demonstrate the value of the trainings and measure the impact of these efforts, the PERLC organized a PERLC Evaluation Working Group
(WG). The primary purpose of the WG was to inform and promote center-level and program-level evaluation across the network; identify common training evaluation methods and measures; and share materials, resources, and lessons learned with state, local, and tribal public health organizations (Hites, 2014
). Additionally, the WG convened to develop standardized training evaluation measures. Using Kirkpatrick’s training evaluation model (Kirkpatrick, 1996
), the PERLC network established four evaluation sub-working groups to address each level of outcome evaluation: Level 1 (Reaction), Level 2 (Learning), Level 3 (Behavior), and Level 4 (Results). Each level of evaluation measures was framed within the PERLC program-level logic model
. Group membership was drawn from PERLC evaluation expertise from across the nation, representing many disciplines of evaluation, including education, industrial/organizational psychology, and public health. Participants self-selected into specific Kirkpatrick level groups according to self-identified areas of subject matter expertise (Hites, 2014
Developing standardized measures across the four levels proved challenging given the varying needs and infrastructure across the different state, local, and tribal programs. Hence, the sub-WGs chose to develop tools and resources for conducting training evaluations easily adaptable to a program’s operating environment. The collection of these materials is presented as a knowledge repository designed to provide online access to training evaluation information to assist those with beginning to intermediate level evaluation skills.
This knowledge repository is intended for the emergency preparedness and response workforce, including organizations, institutions, and programs, interested in improving and measuring the impact of their emergency preparedness and response learning products. Over the course of the PERLC program, evaluators have adopted the basic schema of Kirkpatrick’s four-level model
and applied its structure towards evaluating a wide variety of trainings integral to the PERLC mission. Utilizing an overarching evaluation model across the PERLC network proved to be valuable, as it highlighted the importance of working within a network and the overall impact of the PERLC program (Hites, 2014
State and local health departments, tribal public health professionals, Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement and Hospital Preparedness Program awardees.