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Evidence Guide for Business Services Workbook

Chapters

What is 'evidence'?

Example:

The business service you work for is being audited against the 12 Disability Services Standards. Standard 11 is 'Staff recruitment, employment and training'. The first Key Performance Indicator (KPI 11.1) for this standard is:

When the auditor walks in the door, how would your business service 'prove' to the auditor that it identifies the skills and competencies of each staff member?

In this scenario, it wouldn't be enough to simply 'tell' the auditor that your organisation identifies the skills and competencies of each staff member. You would have to produce evidence.

Evidence is 'proof'. It's anything that's used to support a claim. What sort of proof could your organisation produce to support KPI 11.1?

The Quality Assurance Handbook for Disability Employment Services (Version 2, May 2003) gives examples of the types of evidence a business service could use to support each of the 12 Disability Services Standards and their KPIs. For KPI 11.1, the suggested examples of evidence include:

Evidence can come in many forms. It can be 'official' documents, such as job descriptions – but it can also be observations, such as staff feedback. However, it's important to note that not everything can be used as evidence – evidence must meet certain requirements. Let's take the following as an example.

Example:

One of the assessment items in the DMI asks the following:

Over the past three months, what level of assistance has this service provided to enable the worker to maintain friendly and cooperative relationships with others?

For this assessment item, some appropriate sources of evidence to determine a client's level of assistance would be:

These sources provide evidence that is objective and documented, and has been recorded in the client's work environment.

On the other hand some sources of information may not provide valuable evidence. For example, comments from client's parents on this assessment item would not be a good source of evidence. The parents may not know what assistance is provided in the workplace and they may not be objective – so the data they provide is potentially unreliable 'hearsay'.

The basic principles of evidence are covered in more detail later in the Guide.

Types of evidence

Evidence can be described and categorised in many different ways. One of the most common ways is to describe it as:

or

Quantitative evidence is evidence that is measured or counted. Some examples include:

Qualitative evidence is evidence that describes or explains. Some examples include:

Quantitative evidence is not 'better' than qualitative evidence, or vice versa. The best type of evidence to use is determined by the purpose – what do you want to 'prove' or show?

Example:

If the organisation wants to know how much was spent on outside contractors last week, then quantitative data would be appropriate (ie a dollar figure). But if the organisation wanted to know what work the outside contractors had performed in the past week, then qualitative evidence would be appropriate (eg invoices describing work undertaken).

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