Evaluation requires time, money and resources. So before you begin, assess whether you should be conducting an evaluation before making the investment.


The following tools are either internal resources developed by the BNSSG ICB Clinical Effectiveness team or useful external resources.

Please note we are not responsible for the content of external sites and these are for guidance only.


The assessment steps are:

  1. Identify whether you need to do an evaluation
  2. Check whether you are doing an evaluation

Do I need to do an evaluation?

There are a number of questions to consider before and while you are planning your evaluation, to help you assess whether to invest your time and resources into an evaluation of your service or product. These include:

  1. Do I already know the answer?
  2. Is the purpose and audience for the evaluation clear?
  3. Is it feasible, is the context conducive and will I be able to use the results?
  4. Do benefits of conducting the evaluation outweigh the costs and risks?
  5. Is it the right time?
  6. Are there other options?

Having completed step 1 we recommend that you review and discuss these questions with your stakeholders and ask yourselves – are we able to conduct an evaluation and will the evaluation provide us with valuable information? This will help you decide whether to proceed.

Am I doing an evaluation?

Once you have identified the need to do an evaluation and planned your approach it is important that you check that you are doing a service or product evaluation and not research. This is because different project types require different ethical and governance considerations. To do this we recommend you use the Health Research Authority decision tool and keep a record of the outcome.

Local experts

There are experts that can help to identify the right approach for your evaluation as well as provide expert advice on any ethics and governance implications. This will vary depending on your organisation but consider:

  • Research and development or evaluation lead in public sector organisations, eg NHS, police, local authority
  • Clinical governance, audit, quality improvement or effectiveness lead
  • University ethics department

The Evaluation and Evidence toolkits go hand in hand. Using and generating evidence to inform decision making is vital to improving services and people’s lives.

About the toolkits