In some ways, focusing on personal outcomes involves supporting and enabling good practice. Focusing on outcomes is consistent with person-centred planning and support, and reflects many of the values and principles embodied in professional training. However, because systems have tended to focus on service led approaches which accentuate deficits rather than potential, refocusing on outcomes can be challenging in practice. Feedback consistently emphasises that shifting towards a focus on outcomes takes time.
Work has been carried out with partnerships to produce materials for staff development programmes, including a variety of formats to suit different learning preferences. Some of these materials are available below. It has also been identified that it is not enough to produce outcomes focussed tools and provide one off training events. Evidence shows that other forms of continuing support are required for outcomes focussed practice, and consideration should be given to developing outcomes focussed supervision for staff, and continuing opportunities to share learning and good practice examples etc.
As explained in the Talking Points practical guide, a personal outcomes approach includes three key components: engagement, recording and use of information. To achieve the benefits, outcomes focused assessment involves a shift from tick box tools to more conversational approach. A further change is in how information is recorded, and we have produced a guide with examples of outcomes focused recording. Finally, it is essential that organisations collate and use information about outcomes, which ensures that they can be more effective and efficient. There is a separate section on use of information
Evidence also shows that it is not possible for practitioners to practice in an outcomes focused way unless systems and processes in the organisation support them in this. There are materials to support outcomes focused leadership at the end of this section, and the Talking Points practical guides includes discussion of the system changes required.
To summarise the key points:
- Embedding outcomes within an organisation takes a long time and is best understood as a journey.
- It can be helpful to think about three components of a personal outcomes approach: engagement, recording and use of information
- It is not enough to produce tools and provide one off training events. Practitioners need ongoing support and supervision to support the change in practice.
Practitioners cannot be expected to be outcomes focussed in their practice if their organisation is not outcomes focused too.