Choosing an outcomes tool - a practical guide
Outcomes tools reviewed
IT systems
Outcomes Star
About the Outcomes Star
Who is using the Outcomes Star?
Benefits of using the Star
Good practice in implementation
Using your Star data
Information for commissioners
Get answers to your Outcomes Star questions
Outcomes Star Online

Good practice in implementation

Download the Outcomes Star Organisation Guide for guidance on implementing the Star.


Most organisations chose the Star to support keywork and/or for organisational learning; commissioner requirements had much lower priority.


The Star is one of the few tools that are useful for both clients and staff and helps us demonstrate what we're doing - it ticks a lot of boxes.   It is person-centred and whole life.   Norwich City Assertive Outreach team


The majority took time with implementation

Several – particularly large organisations – had tried a number of different approaches before realising the scale of what was required to ensure effective roll-out of the Outcomes Star. The most common key aspects were:-


  • Training for keyworkers
  • Piloting the Star
  • Involving service users
  • Integration into paperwork and ways of working


Many had also realised that implementation was an on-going process, including introduction of the Star within supervision and team meetings and setting up review processes and on-going training for new staff and top-ups.  


My advice to anyone who is thinking about doing this would be that it will probably take more time than you think but the investment repays itself…. What we now have is better key-work, more client-focussed services and real evidence which we can use with commissioners. Single Homeless Project (SHP)

Good practice included time, clarity and flexibility

Successful implementation processes identified in the research include:
  • Taking time to allow people to realise the benefits
  • Allowing people to express reservations and ask questions  
  • A flexible approach at first, including encouraging people to ‘just give it a try’ in their own way and see how it goes
  • Involving service users in the process   
  • Organisational clarity and confidence that the Star is here to stay and cannot be avoided.
Initial resistance from workers was a common challenge

Two-thirds of organisations report a level of initial resistance from keyworkers. Common themes and concerns within this were:

  • It will take too long
  • The perception of giving people a “score” or “judging” them
  • It risks de-motivating some clients
  • It is intrusive
  • There is already too much paperwork

Organisations can expect workers to have initial concerns about the Outcomes Star. This needs to be heard but the research has show that it need not be a lasting barrier and can be overcome relatively easily with time and the good practice summarised above and detailed in the full report.


Other key challenges were IT issues and inconsistent or inaccurate use of the Star, both less prevalent yet more time-consuming to overcome. Quality of use of the Star was tackled through training and supervision. IT issues were partially resolved in the majority of organisations but remained a substantial barrier in others. The Outcomes Star System is likely to help substantially.

Find out more about the Outcomes Star System .

The Star needs to be kept live and fully integrated

This includes integration of the Star within supervision, team discussion of clients, support planning paperwork and the approach to keyworking.

We thought that staff would just pick up and run with it but now we realise that the Star needs to be fully integrated into our support planning materials and training.

Many of those interviewed saw the process of implementation as on-going. Future plans included:

  • Analysis and reporting of project-level outcomes
  • Extending use of the Star to more projects
  • Feeding outcomes data into learning and planning
  • Embedding the process more fully


Download the full research report


Case studies on implementation of the Outcomes Star



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