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

2 day course: Thursday, 2nd - Friday, 3rd March 2017


2 day course - Thursday, 2nd - Friday, 3rd March 2017


TBC - 9.30am to 4:30pm on both course days, plus some online learning and some study in your own time will be required.


£475 - Early Bird Rate for confirmed bookings received on or before midnight, Wednesday, 4th January 2017

£575 - Standard Rate for confirmed bookings received on or after Thursday, 5th January 2017

Booking and Payment

Bookings are now being accepted.  All of our short course bookings are initially processed through our Online Store.  Payment 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 close at midnight Wednesday, 15th February 2017.

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

Accommodation and Meals

The course fee includes lunch and refreshments on both days plus all materials on USB.

If you have any particular dietary or access requirements then please contact the Short Course Unit with details of your requirements prior to making your booking.

Accommodation is not included.  Details will be sent out automatically (upon receipt of confirmed booking), of how to book at the host venue, Halifax Hall, at our preferential rate of £65 per night, to ensure that you receive this rate you must book following the details sent in your confirmation email.


Halifax Hall Hotel & Conference Centre, Endcliffe Vale Road, Sheffield, S10 3ER.



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

A copy of all course materials will be provided on USB (including presentations) plus a hard copy of any handouts/exercises where necessary.  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