Evaluating Employability Services
When your partnership begins a new project or way of working it
is essential that the successes and challenges are accurately
monitored and evaluated. This will in turn lead to positive changes
and maximum impact.
This impact could be on anything from
the partnership's culture to the service users, but always
ultimately, the overall local and national employability
In planning evaluation, it is important to be clear on the
objectives of the service/ intervention. There are two basic
questions to ask:
- Can I increase the reach of my service?
- Can I improve what the customer is getting out of it?
Once you are able to answer these questions expand your thinking
to consider what funders, society, the economy or the Government
may be able to gain through your service.
- Consider soft and hard outcomes for the user - what they
actually did as a result of the intervention, but also how they
- Think wider than the objectives of the programme/intervention
and consider any unintended benefits or consequences e.g. improved
- Consider the needs of the funder of the programme or
- Consider wider society as a whole e.g. impact on productivity
or reduced costs of healthcare as a result of improved
Ideally you will plan your evaluation at the same time as you
are planning your programme. The first step is to define success.
There is no single answer to this, it will depend on the
intervention, the time and resources you have available and what
you can practically measure.
It is important to include both quantitative information (facts
and figures) as well as qualitative information (case studies and
There are varying levels in terms of how robustly you can
measure impact. The most appropriate for your intervention will
depend on the scale of the intervention, feasibility and resources
available to carry out the work.
- Time series analysis - take a baseline measure
at the beginning of the intervention and compare with the end
results to identify progress.
- Time series analysis with a control group to identify
the added value of your intervention as opposed to other
influencing factors - compare your client group with a
client group with the same characteristics that did not experience
the intervention. Ask the same questions at each stage.
- Randomised control trial - As for 2 but the
trial is done with sufficient numbers to ensure that the results
are statistically significant. The control group is randomly
selected. This is only suitable for fairly major projects.
Developed by WBS, the attached document provdes a simple
how to guide to assist you with the evaluation process, covering
the following key areas of consideration:
Why is Evaluation Helpful?
What is being Evaluated?
Who Should Conduct the Evaluation?
The Evaluation Plan
Choosing the Correct Evaluation Methods
Analysing the Evaluation Data
Reporting the Evaluation Results