Forgetting curve - it's up to you!

What is the first thing that people do when they leave a training course? You may not be able to remember yourself, but after six days you lose up to 77% of newly learnt skills and knowledge.

What is the first thing people do when they leave a training course?  You may not be able to remember yourself, but they start to forget what they have learned.  You would not be mistaken for thinking this is nothing new as in 1885 German researcher Hermann Ebbinghaus, famously pioneered a series of experiments identifying what is now known as the ‘forgetting curve’.  This term describes the rate in which newly acquired knowledge starts to deteriorate or be forgotten.  Ebbinghaus discovered that a significant amount of information was forgotten within twenty minutes of having been learned.  The table below outlines the results from the research on the forgetting curve.

Knowledge recall (Forgetting curve)

Time Period   Percentage of Knowledge retained
 20 mins  60%
1 hour  45%
 9 hours  38%
 2 days  30%
 6 days  23%

Although this research might seem a little old, the principles and theory are widely recognised by respected psychologists as still being relevant for the modern day.

To visualise this in financial terms, if you invested £3,000 in training for personnel without preventative action there would be a gradual loss totalling £2,310 leaving only £690 from your initial training investment.

Time Period   Training investment loss £
 20 mins  40% £1,200
 1 hour  55% £1,650
 9 hours  62% £1,860
 2 days  70% £2,100
 6 days  77% £2,310

Given the tough economic environment all organisations currently operate in it has become even more important to maximise your ROI on any training investment.  With this in mind Festo have a way of overcoming both of these problems in the form of our Post course clinic service.

The clinics are designed to maximise knowledge retention, skills and assist in the transfer of them into practice in the workplace.

Pos Course Clinic Structure

The clinic takes place at the client’s site.  It is important to be as close as possible to the working environment for which the training was planned.  Clinics follow a structured approach to maximise the value of the process for both employee and employer.

Target group

Generally, the clinic format is most effective in situations where four or more people from the client have attended the same training.  Tailored coaching services are available for smaller groups or individuals.


Clinics are offered in either full or half day format, depending upon the number of individuals to be supported and the needs of the client.


  • Provide feedback to client on effectiveness of training
  • Assist in the implementation of training processes and procedure
  • Build awareness of individual attendees’ skills and knowledge
  • Identify and help address personal support required to transfer training into practice
  • Accelerate and increase the transfer of acquired knowledge and skills into practice
  • Guide the client on how best to continue development programs in support of business goals

To discuss the clinic service in more detail over a coffee, please contact the business centre on (01604) 667584 or alternatively, e-mail

Download Post Course Clinic sheet


World Skills