There are many ways to collect data about the outcomes experienced by users of community services. There are many question sets or survey instruments that can be used to measure the outcomes listed in the Community Services Outcomes Tree.
We have developed suggested question sets for each outcome and domain. Our aim has been to develop the shortest question set possible to measure outcomes and the contribution of the service to outcomes.
Identifying, selecting, adapting or developing data collection methods is a resource-intensive activity and many community services do not have the capacity to invest resources in this.
To assist, we also have developed a survey ‘template’ that can be used as a base and into which the selected outcomes questions from the Community Services Outcomes Tree can be inserted. This survey template is designed to collect data via self-report of consumers of community services. It is intended to be used at the end of, or at a set time after, the delivery of services.
The template provides a set of example questions. These can be adapted, deleted or used in full. We have provided an explanation of the rationale for each question on the left, (i.e. why you might choose to include it) and some examples of possible questions on the right of the document. Other questions can be used to replace the example questions provided. Services/organisations should customise their own data collection template to suit their context and needs.
While the template is in survey format, it can be adapted for any mode including phone or face to face interview, as well as an online survey instrument. This set of survey questions is designed for adults. Alternate data collection questions and methods should be used for children.
We note that users of community services that we have consulted have stated their preference for qualitative data collection that enables a conversation about outcomes and related topics.