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Measuring Soft Outcomes

Soft Outcomes are outcomes from training, support or guidance interventions, which unlike hard outcomes, such as qualifications and jobs, cannot be measured directly or tangibly. Soft outcomes may include achievements relating to:

  • interpersonal skills, for example: social skills and coping with authority
  • organisational skills, such as: personal organisation, and the ability to order and prioritise
  • analytical skills, such as: the ability to exercise judgement, managing time or problem solving, and
  • personal skills, for example: insight, motivation, confidence, reliability and health awareness. 

This section will help you understand what is meant by soft outcomes and distance travelled and how to measure and record them.

The " Guide to Measuring Soft Outcomes" developed for the Institue for Employment Stdies offers a definition of these terms and options for recording and measuring them.

The "How to Measure Soft Outcomes" (Hall Aitken, 2008) explains the difference between soft and hard outcomes, and describes the range of outcomes that can be measured, suggesting tools to help you do this.

Soft Oucomes: A Share Approach was developed by Equal Brighton and Hove, and provides a guide to help you develop systems to record and demonstrate the distance travelled towards soft outcomes by your project or programme. It will guide you through how to create your own custom tool to enable this in 8 key steps.