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Measuring the Impact of Youth Provision

The Centre supports practitioners, commissioners and funders to use appropriate, effective and robust tools for understanding and measuring the difference their provision makes to young people’s socio-emotional skills, and how. Learn more about our approach to measurement and where to access all the tools and resources.  

Outcomes for young people 

Our work is guided by the  Outcomes Framework 2.1 – a shared framework for everyone working with and for young people to develop the skills that research suggests support positive and healthy development through adolescence and into adulthood. The framework considers the conditions and experiences through which young people develop these skills, and in which they grow and thrive. 
  

Applied measurement  

We want to ensure that those working with young people can understand how their provision builds relationships with young people, and creates safe, interactive and engaging environments in which they can grow and learn. We do this by understanding: 

  • Changes in socio-emotional skills:  these tools measure the medium to long-term changes in young people’s socio-emotional skills (in domains like team work, communication and empathy). These measures are based on an understanding of where young people were at before they start, during and potentially after taking part in youth provision. In addition, they may track how these skills show up in other areas of young people’s lives – for example, how they engage with peers or families, or in the longer term, changes in their health and livelihoods. 
     

  • Changes in behaviour:  these tools measure young people’s socio-emotional skills in youth provision settings through a focus on how young people put these skills into practice in their participation and relationships with others. These changes are often captured through observation by practitioners.  

  • Young people’s engagement:  these tools measure young people’s experiences of provision and their ‘mental engagement’ in activities, discussions and their environment. Young people’s engagement is captured by seeking the views of young people through feedback mechanisms to understand how their socio-emotional skills interact with their experience of the provision and their relationships with practitioners.  
     

  • The quality of youth provision: these tools measure the quality of the experience provided for the young person, through the practice of the practitioners who support them. This is captured by observations of practice and practitioners to understand how they are creating the conditions that promote young people’s development of socio-emotional skills. 
      

Developing appropriate tools 

There is no one way to measure youth provision across these areas. Different measures focus on different elements of provision, and different methods are appropriate in different settings and contexts. It is always best to start by asking yourself what evidence you need and want, and why: 'evidence of what, for what?'. However, some measures are likely to be more reliable, valid, and appropriate than others. In addition, when the measures are shared or common across different forms of provision, we can better understand the factors that drive change in young people’s lives.  

 

The Center for Youth Impact Core Measurement Tools 

The Centre has piloted a range of four validated tools that are both practice and research-informed. Each of these measurement tools is open source: available for you to use in your youth provision free of charge. We also provide a free data portal (see below) to help you store and display the data from these tools.
 

We offer support and training for the use of each of these tools. To access that help, please contact us at hello@youthimpact.uk.

Youth Engagement Survey (YES)

If you are interested in measuring youth engagement The Youth Engagement Survey (YES) is for you. – tThis measures young people’s engagement (enjoyment, inclusion, attention and voice) during provision sessions/activities.

Download the guide

The Youth Rating of Socio-emotional Skills (YRSS)

If you are interested in young people’s rating of their skills across outcome domains, The Youth Rating of Socio-emotional Skills (YRSS) is the tool for you.  This is a young person’s self-rating of their socio-emotional skills across the six domains of outcomes set out in the Outcomes Framework 2.1. 

Download the guide

The Adult Rating of Youth Behaviour (ARYB)

If you want to know how staff rate the socio-emotional skills of your young people then use The Adult Rating of Youth Behaviour (ARYB). This is an adult’s observations of the socio-emotional skills a young person has gained and that are perceived to be ‘showing up’ in their behaviours in sessions/activities. 

Download the user guide

The Programme Quality Assessment (PQA)

If you want to know whether your programme has the characteristics that promote socio-emotional learning then the Programme Quality Assessment (PQA) is for you. This is an observational tool to understand whether staff are creating the conditions where young people can develop socio-emotional skills (safe, supportive, interactive and engaging environments).

Download the user guide

Overview of tools

If you are interested in comparing the benefits of our the four measurement tools listed above, please dip into our overview to understand when to use each one. 

Download the deck

The Centre for Youth Impact Data Portal

The Centre has a bespoke data portal where you can securely store your data and provides you with a range of digital reports and charts to display the results. The portal can be used with the YES, ARYB and YRSS tools.  Data is entered electronically (typed from forms or from online survey) to allow you to see the distance travelled for individuals, groups and all young people in your organisation or project.  You can also search and filter your data into a range of different displays allowing you to find what interests you most (e.g. the outcomes achieved by all young people of a particular age). To register for use of the portal, please contact hello@youthimpact.uk 

New Measurement Tools 

We are currently inviting organisations who want to try out two new socio-emotional measures for use within UK youth provision. The new measures are closely aligned to the model of the ‘neuroperson’ featured in our Outcomes Framework 2.1. The measures are:   

The Adult Rating of Behaviour (ARY)

If you are interested in staff observing whether young people have gained the mental skills in the neuroperson model try The Adult Rating of Behaviour (ARY). This could be used in place of the ARYB above and is a similar adult rating of young people’s socio-emotional skills as defined in the neuroperson model (schemas, beliefs and awareness) This tool enables you to focus in on fundamental socio-emotional skills rather than the outcome domains measured in the ARYB.  

Download the user guide

The Staff Practices Intervention

If you are interested in whether your organisation creates the environments where the neuroperson mental skills can flourish, then The Staff Practices Intervention if for you. This could be used in place of the PQA above and is a similar observation of staff implementing key practices known to promote the development of healthy schemas, beliefs, and awareness. 

Download the user guide

If you would like to be sent a copy of these two measures and/or be involved in our work to develop them, let us know here. After completing a short form, we’ll email you the measures and guidance for using them. 

All the measures described are intended to be used as the main monitoring and evaluation tools of provision or integrated into or alongside existing monitoring and evaluation practices. 

  • In 2021, we launched a Practitioners Panel to work with us to further test, review and assess the measures and make them fit for use in a wide range of settings.