Introduction to evaluation


One day, Foundation level. Cardiff. Price for SRA members: £195

** The advanced follow up to this foundation course will run on the next day, 6 December **

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Over the years the discipline of evaluation has evolved and developed and is applied to many policies and practices. It forms the core of many strategic planning processes and informs decision making surrounding the development and operation of both projects and programmes of activity. As a result, a range of people in the public, private and voluntary sectors are increasingly required to develop generic skills and competencies in relation to undertaking evaluation and using its findings.


By the end of the workshop, participants will:

  • ● Understand the importance of evaluation
  • ● Be aware of the key ideas and perspectives relating to evaluation
  • ● Understand the importance of evaluation frameworks
  • ● Be able to understand how to design systems to evaluate the impact of their own initiatives, and those of others
  • ● Be aware of the applicability of various methods in different contexts.


Given the reductions in public sector spending, in these ‘tough’ times, the need to assess what is ‘of value’ is increasingly important.

The course will cover:

  • ● What is evaluation and why do we do it? Why is it useful in times of austerity?
  • ● An introduction to a range of types of evaluation
  • ● The use of frameworks to design and plan evaluation
  • ● Sources of information and approaches to analysis
  • ● Effective communication.

Who will benefit?

This one day course is aimed at new researchers, or researchers new to evaluation and others with responsibility for interpreting evaluation findings.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, participants will achieve a good understanding of the importance of evaluation and be able to make informed decisions about which types of evaluation models are best applied to different types of projects and activities. They will gain practical experience of tasks relevant to designing and managing the evaluation process and communicating evaluation findings to various audiences, as well as an understanding of some of the key challenges evaluators will face in ‘doing more for less’.

Course tutor

Professor David Parsons is a long-standing evaluation specialist, author of guidebooks on programme evaluation strategies, and has led nearly 30 independent evaluations of policy and programmes in the last six years across government, devolved administrations, and for the European Commission and others. He has recently concluded a trial of new methods of impact evaluation for the Economic and Social Research Council. and/or

Dr David Devins has worked in a range of private sector and public sector organisations conducting research and evaluation to inform individual, organisational and partnership development. He is both an applied and academic evaluator having conducted evaluations covering a range of themes exploring the impact of public art, publicly funded training interventions and human resource development. He has written several journal articles and presented papers at many national and international conferences

mrs cpd logo This course contributes 6 hours to the MRS CPD programme

Price for SRA members: £195.  Use the discount code emailed to you.

If you are unsure of your code, or haven't received one, please contact us.

Cancellation policy: Full refund if cancelled 21 days or more from the course date.  No refund if cancelled 20 days or fewer from the course date.

Registrations for this course will not be accepted after 4 December 2017 at 12 noon.

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.