'Real-World' Evaluation: Ten Key Principles for Evaluating Complex Health and Social Interventions

2 day course: Wednesday, 22nd - Thursday, 23rd April 2020


2 day course - Wednesday, 22nd - Thursday, 23rd April 2020


Day 1:  Starts at 9.30am with Registration and refreshments, and is scheduled to finish at 4:30pm.  There will be a course evening dinner held at approximately 7pm for all delegates (there is no additional charge to attend).

Day 2:  Starts at 9am and is scheduled to finish at 4pm.

There will also be some online learning and some study in your own time that will be required.


£599 - Early Bird Rate for confirmed bookings received on or before 11pm, Sunday, 23rd February 2020.

£699 - Standard Rate for confirmed bookings received on or before 11pm on Wednesday, 8th April 2020, or when the course reaches full capacity, whichever is soonest.

We also off a 20% discount for bookings of 4 or more people from the same organisation for the same course. Please contact Karen Holden +44 (0)114 222 2968 or at scharr-scu@sheffield.ac.uk for further details.

Bookings will automatically close at 11pm on Wednesday, 8th April 2020.

Booking and Payment

Provisional bookings are now been accepted for this course.  Please email your details to Karen Holden at scharr-scu@sheffield.ac.uk.  a place will be reserved for you and you will b contacted once the course has gone live on our Online Store, where all of our ScHARR short course bookings are initially processed.

All of our short course bookings are initially processed through our Online Store. Payment or a Purchase Order is required at the time of booking (Credit/Debit Card or PayPal is accepted).

If your employer is paying your fees and they would prefer to be invoiced, please ensure you have your Purchase Order details before making your booking. Bookings are NOT confirmed until receipt of the Purchase Order is received at scharr-scu@sheffield.ac.uk.

Bookings will automatically close at 11pm on Wednesday, 8th April 2020.

If you have any queries relating to fees and payment, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Halifax Hall Hotel & Conference Centre

Endcliffe Vale Road


S10 3ER


Tel:  0114 222 8810.

Accommodation and Meals

The course fee includes lunch and refreshments throughout this 2 day course, plus a Course Evening Dinner that takes place at 7pm on Day 1 (there is no additional cost to attend).

No accommodation is included. We do however have a preferential rate of £70 per room/night at the venue Halifax Hall Hotel & Conference Centre for all of our delegates.  Alternatively, we have our new Jonas Hotel, situated next to Halifax Hall, with a preferential rate of £50 per room/night.  Details of how to book are provided in your automated confirmation email, upon receipt of your booking.

For further details please contact Karen Holden at scharr-scu@sheffield.ac.uk or telephone +44 (0)114 222 2968.

If you have any particular dietary or access requirements then please contact the Short Course Unit with your requirements at the time of booking.


If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact the Short Course Unit via email at scharr-scu@sheffield.ac.uk or call us on +44 (0)114 222 2968.

Course Overview

The course is primarily focused on evaluations in complex ‘real-world’ situations, in which the evaluator has limited control over the intervention or context, and traditional experimental methods are inappropriate.

It aims to introduce ten key principles for evaluation of complex interventions and how to apply these in health and social care settings.

During the 2-day short course, time will be provided for structured, self-directed study to reflect on experiences and begin to design an evaluation proposal that is in line with the nature of your specific needs.

Who will benefit from this course?

Anyone with an interest in evaluation especially those who feel that there is a need to address issues of complexity which have been overlooked in traditional methods of evaluation:

  • Academics & Researchers
  • Health and social care practitioners and managers
  • Public health practitioners (NHS, Local Authority & not-for profit organisations)
  • Health and social care commissioners
  • Post graduate students
  • Evaluators with experience of traditional experimental evaluation methodologies who want to develop an understanding of new ways of evaluation
  • Implementers of technological innovations (including private sector)
  • Trial managers

Expected Outcomes

By the end of this programme participants will be able to:

  • Recognise differences between simple, complicated and complex interventions
  • Identify and prioritise areas of complexity
  • Describe ten key principles for evaluating complex interventions
  • Discuss the strengths and limitations of various approaches for evaluating complex interventions
  • Plan the application of methods for theory-driven evaluation
  • Develop and test programme theories
  • Appreciate the key issues for data analysis and presentation of findings

Course content

The course will mix theory and practice, and give broad perspectives drawing on the participants’ own work and evaluation needs. Participants will be introduced to complex situations, complex interventions and innovative evaluation methodologies (e.g. theory-driven approaches, Realist Evaluation, & Developmental Evaluation).

Course Materials

Course Materials will be provided via a Delegate Course Website approximately 2 weeks prior to the course start date. Hard copies of exercises will be provided throughout the course, where necessary. Hard copies of powerpoint presentations will not be provided, but these can be printed by delegates before the start of the course via the Delegate Course Website and will be provided on USB during registration, along with a hard copy of the 2 Day Programme.

Participants are asked to provide their own laptop for the duration of the course.

Course Faculty

Dr Nasrin Nasr

Dr Steven Ariss

Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology (RAT) Group, ScHARR

This course was developed with the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for South Yorkshire (NIHR CLAHRC SY).

The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors, are not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

CLAHRC SY would also like to acknowledge the participation and resources of our partner organisations - Further details can be found at www.clahrc-sy.nihr.ac.uk