Measuring Impact and Social Value

Community Learning activities

It is well recognised that community learning can bring both direct and wider social benefits for learners, their families and communities. However, the reformed system for publicly funded community learning means that many providers will need to strengthen the mechanisms they have in place for demonstrating the impact of their work. Under the new Funding Rules, providers are required to show how their work contributes to the social and economic well-being of individuals, families and communities. The outcomes that are set by each local community learning network must be both measurable and capable of being evaluated by communities and other stakeholders. At the stages of planning, delivering and evaluating learning, providers need to pay attention to the outcomes their provision achieves and the social value it creates. 

There are also sound operational reasons for focusing on the wider social outcomes of learning and the social value that it generates. It can help with internal planning and quality improvement. It can also put providers in a stronger position to develop new local partnerships and access funding opportunities, by providing evidence to demonstrate the range of ways in which learning contributes to wider policy agendas such as health, families, employability and crime prevention.

The resources in this section include:

  • generic guides providing an introduction and overview of social impact measurement;
  • tools and guides to support direct work with learners to collect evidence of wider outcomes and "distance travelled";
  • links to sources of support in the application of the Social Return on Investment (SROI) methodology.
Outcomes Star
26th January 2017

Outcomes Star

Suite of tools for supporting and measuring change when working with people in different contexts.

A Guide to Measuring Social Impact
26th January 2017

A Guide to Measuring Social Impact

An introductory guide that explains the principles underpinning social impact measurement and provides simple, practical guidance on how to approach it.

SROI Network
26th January 2017

SROI Network

Information and resources, including the SROI Guide for organisations and initiatives considering undertaking a Social Return on Investment Analysis

The Public Services (Social Value Act) 2012
26th January 2017

The Public Services (Social Value Act) 2012

A brief guide to how the Act is likely to change things and how it should work in practice.

Wider outcomes planning and capture tool
26th January 2017

Wider outcomes planning and capture tool

Planning tool, outcomes framework and guidance developed by NIACE to support community learning providers to identify and capture the difference their work makes for learners and others.

Catching Confidence Tool
26th January 2017

Catching Confidence Tool

Resource to support practitioners to capture changes in learners’ confidence levels as a result of participation in learning.

Community Learning Innovation Fund (CLIF) – A report by NIACE for the Skills Funding Agency
26th January 2017

Community Learning Innovation Fund (CLIF) – A report by NIACE for the Skills Funding Agency

Leadership and GovernanceThis research report sets out the key achievements of the Community Learning Innovation Fund, which NIACE managed on behalf of the Skills Funding Agency in 2012-2013. The curricula, teaching and learning approaches, achievements and...Read more »

Slides from Learning and Volunteering Seminar
26th January 2017

Slides from Learning and Volunteering Seminar

Includes presentations from Rochdale Community Champions and Age UK on their approaches to measuring the impact of volunteering.

Cheshire West and Chester Council Case Study
26th January 2017

Cheshire West and Chester Council Case Study

This case study describes an approach to calculating value in ‘Pound Plus’ developed by Cheshire West and Chester Council that demonstrates the economic impact of the public pound on a local economy in addition to the...Read more »