The Outcomes Star™ has generated a considerable amount of interest within the sector and is an example of positive practice in relation to tracking individual development and progress against multiple vulnerabilities.

Audit Commission March 2006

About the Outcomes Star

The Outcomes Star™ both measures and supports progress for service users towards self-reliance or other goals. The Stars are designed to be completed collaboratively as an integral part of keywork. They are sector wide tools - different versions of the Star include homelessness, mental health and young people. All versions consists of a number of scales based on an explicit model of change which creates coherence across the whole tool and a Star Chart (pictured below) onto which the service user and worker plot where the service user is on their journey. The attitudes and behaviour expected at each of the points on each scale are clearly defined, usually in detailed scale descriptions, summary ladders or a quiz format. 

An Outcomes Star™ reading is taken by the worker and service user at or near the beginning of their time with the project. Using the ladders or other scale descriptions, they identify together where on their ladder of change the service user is for each outcome area. Each step on the ladder is associated with a numerical score so at the end of the process the scores can be plotted onto the service user’s Star. The process is then repeated at regular intervals (every three, six or 12 months depending on the project) to track progress. The data can be used to track the progress of an individual service user, to measure the outcomes achieved by a whole project and to benchmark with a national average for similar projects and client groups.

In the mental health version of the Star (called the Recovery Star) shown above, the green line represents the service user’s initial scores, the blue line is their most recent score.

Find out if the Star is suitable for your project.

Do soft outcomes really count? Find out more on why it is important to measure important internal shifts in attitudes and beliefs.