How to Use


The Community Services Outcomes Tree can be used by community sector organisations and their funders to:

  • Identify outcomes of community sector organisations or their activities;
  • Support the measurement of these outcomes.


There are three parts to the Community Services Outcomes Tree.

  1. The outcomes framework – presented in the form of a ‘tree’ with twelve leaves (see the Home page). Each leaf is an outcome domain, for example “housing”. Each domain is comprised of a set of outcome areas. These represent the key outcome topics or themes found in the literature, in other outcomes frameworks and measurement instruments. You can click on each outcome area and read the short descriptor of concepts included (based on analysis of the literature). For a full picture of the Tree, click on the Outcomes Tree tab and the Printable Version of the Outcomes Tree.
  2. Question sets – we provide two outcomes measurement questions for each outcome area (or at the domain level).
    • Question 1: seeks to measure the amount of change that has occurred for the service user in relation to the outcome area;
    • Question 2: seeks to measure the level of contribution the community service has made to this change.
  3. A survey or question template to guide the design of the full question set to ask service users.

A step-by-step guide is provided below. You can also view our short video which explains how to use the Outcomes Tree.


A guide to Selecting and Measuring Outcomes with the Community Services Outcomes Tree


Select your outcomes


Copy the related question sets


Create your own survey

1. Select the outcomes you want to measure

    • Explore the various domains and outcomes on the homepage.
    • By hovering on each domain name you will see a drop-down list of its associated outcomes.
    • If you click on a particular outcome it will take you to a description of what that outcome means (based on the literature) and provide you with two questions for measuring that outcome.
    • When you find the outcome(s) you want to measure, click “add to library” and it will be stored there for review.

More tips and processes for selecting outcomes (click here).

2. Copy the related question sets

    • Review and confirm your selected outcomes in the library.
        • Tip 8: If your program is focused on a particular concept (e.g., job readiness), the library can be a useful place to store/build a “recipe” of outcomes which, collectively, constitute this concept. For example: Job Readiness might = Career planning/ knowledge + Relevant job skills + Relevant work experience + Job seeking skills + Positive work attitudes and appropriate behaviours.• Open each outcome and copy the questions on the screen.
    • Paste these into a word document for later use.

You can also download the question sets from the Survey Template page.

3. Create your own survey

    • Download the survey template from the Survey Template page.
    • Read the range of questions to choose from and the explanation of why you might choose to include these questions.
    • Insert the outcomes questions into the survey template.
    • Finalise your selection of survey questions and customize the survey to suit your program/organisation.

Or you can use any set of questions, survey instrument or any other method to collect data about your selected outcomes.



  • You might like to offer a variety of ways through which people can complete the survey (for example, online, in-person, or over the phone).
  • Some participants may need assistance to complete the survey.
  • Consider using other methods of data collection such as interviews or image-assisted discussion. Community service users have told us they prefer these methods.
  • Capturing outcomes data is only one part of the process. You will need to think about how to get consent from those who will supply the information, before you ask them to complete your survey. Also think about how to record, analyse, share and use the data that you collect.