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Evaluation toolkit

Welcome to the evaluation toolkit pages

In 2010, the APCRC developed an evaluation toolkit for commissioners with commissioners. It provides a number of tools that can help you to help plan your evaluation, and although some of these tools have been specifically designed for use within the commissioning cycle others have more widespread use. By using these tools you can be confident that you are planning your evaluation thoroughly and in the most appropriate way.

Please note, the toolkit was originally developed in 2010. We now have a new online toolkit, which you can access here: nhsevaluationtoolkit.net. We are now aligning this website to the new toolkits so watch this space. If you have any feedback about the content please do let us know at

Six top tips for planning your evaluation

  1. Understand the evidence base
    1. Understand what evidence is already available to inform not only your service design but also the type and level of evaluation you need.
  2. Plan your evaluation early
    1. Plan your evaluation early in commissioning cycle i.e. when deciding priorities and designing services.  This will enable you to ensure that you use the most appropriate methodology, allocate adequate resources and set realistic timescales.
  3. Understand your Theory of change
    1. Understand the theory of change i.e. how will the service/intervention lead to the desired long term patient outcomes (benefits)?
  4. Set clear aims and objectives
    1. Have a clear understanding from all stakeholders as to why you are undertaking the evaluation and what you want it to achieve.  This in turn will help you to identify the right methodology, measures and data collection tools.
  5. Involve all key stakeholders
    1. Engage all key stakeholders in the planning of the evaluation, this helps elicit buy-in and can ensure your evaluation is successful.  It is also an opportunity to identify local evaluation experts that can help you to design the right evaluation.
  6. Share your findings and act on them
    1. Share your findings and have clear plans for the implementation of recommendations to make sure that they have an impact on patient care.

For help and assistance or if you have any questions, then please do get in touch with the APCRC at