Evidence that the Star accurately reflects change occurring during service provision

We are sometimes asked whether changes in Star readings actually reflect the changes that occur during service provision. We have three responses to this: the first two are based on the practices we have in place for the development of new Stars and for training and implementation of the Star. The third is to present the research evidence that the Star readings can be applied accurately and that readings correlate with other measures in the expected way.

  1. Star Development
    • New versions of the Star are created alongside managers and practitioners to ensure the Journey of Change captures key changes occurring for those using services.
    • Pilot data is statistically analysed to check that the scales are sensitive enough to detect change.
    • Service users and practitioners provide end-of-pilot feedback about the extent to which the Star captures the changes made.
  2. Training and Implementation
    • For the Star to accurately reflect change, practitioners should be well-trained with ongoing support to continue using it well. This is why training is mandatory, we provide free CPD for licensed trainers and encourage refresher training, regular supervision, and auditing.
  3. Research Evidence
    • Convergent validity: Star readings have been shown to correlate with other validated measures in our own, as well as in external peer-reviewed research.
    • Predictive validity: Star readings, and change in Star readings, predict hard outcomes such as securing accommodation, employment, and school absenteeism
    • Inter-rater reliability: different practitioners are able to consistently assign Star readings

We are keen to conduct further analyses of the relationship between Star readings and other measures, so please get in touch if you have linked data and are interested in us exploring it.

To read our three page briefing providing a more detailed version of the above, please download it here (PDF).

Triangle has become employee-owned

Triangle is proud to announce that we have become employee-owned, with the shares held in Trust to advance our mission and for the benefit of all current and future employees.

Since its founding in 2003, Triangle has grown rapidly, and its Outcomes Stars have become industry-leading keywork and outcome measurement tools with an estimated six million Stars completed to date.

The Outcomes Stars help local authorities, the NHS, and charities help people reach their highest potential and evidence the difference they are making.

Co-founders Joy MacKeith and Sara Burns chose an Employee Ownership Trust to preserve the company’s mission, culture and independence. 

Newly appointed Non-Exec Chair to the board of directors, Annika Small OBE, said “I have long admired the Outcomes Star for the agency and tools it gives people to improve their lives and communities. I am delighted to join Triangle at this pivotal moment as it becomes an employee-owned organisation. I look forward to placing our incredible team in the lead of shaping strategy, maintaining a happy and healthy culture, and supporting key workers with exceptional tools that help transform lives.“ 

Joy MacKeith, co-founder of Triangle:

“We are deeply proud to have made this historic transition to put the future of Triangle into the hands of those who have helped us build a highly respected and successful global organisation. There is still much to do to fully embed a person-centred and enabling approach into public service delivery. I am excited about the future, and the contribution Triangle can make to achieving that goal.”

Sara Burns, co-founder of Triangle:

“When we found out about employee ownership, it seemed the perfect way to retain our strong values and collaborative culture and ensure the autonomy of Triangle as we planned our exit after 20 years. We have heard so many lovely stories over the years of how people benefit from the Outcomes Stars, and I am delighted that Triangle can continue to develop Stars into the future.”

The co-founders will continue supporting Triangle’s Star development and thought leadership .

About Annika Small OBE: Annika has had a long accomplished career in public service, including being the founder of CAST, former Chief Executive of Nominet Trust and Futurelab, Chair of Chichester University and a Trustee of the Design Council.

About Triangle’s Thought Leadership: For further information, please visit Enabling help | Triangle (outcomesstar.org.uk)

Find out more about Outcomes Star training & pricing.

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Triangle to launch updated Outcomes Star training course for learners and Licensed Trainer community

New resources meet dual face-to-face and virtual training needs

The Covid-19 pandemic propelled organisations delivering training to shift training delivery online immediately. In the early days, it was a hectic scramble to make the most of technology for teaching and to produce virtual training resources quickly.

Two years on, we are delighted to announce the launch of our new eighth-edition Outcomes Star Core Star training course with improved exercises and a training manual suitable for use in both face-to-face and virtual learning settings.

After creating a new set of training resources for the virtual training environment we quickly developed a vision to combine the two and used the opportunity to update and revise the Core Star training resources.

The cover of the Outcomes Star core course training presentation & training manual 2023

We can now provide learners with the same high-quality, engaging, and consistent training experience in both environments and trainers with a single source of resources.

How we created the resources

In the summer of 2021, to start this initiative and achieve our aims, we brought together our in-house training team, associate trainers, and licensed training community to harness our collective knowledge about training in the Stars.

Over 18 months, we carried out 1-2-1 interviews, focus groups, and workshops with our community of trainers to completely revise and update the resources.  

Key members of our in-house training team upskilled and undertook industry-leading LPI online training course designer and facilitation qualifications to meet the challenges of achieving the same high level of engagement virtually as in the classroom.

We drew on best practices for successful virtual learning and incorporated the latest thinking on trauma-informed language and accessibility needs. We also infused our thought leadership views on into the new resources.

Kate Hamill, Training Manager of Triangle, said:

“I am excited to be able to offer this new training package for the benefit of our learners and to support our community of Licensed Trainers to deliver great training in their organisations.  We have all learnt so much, and I feel that the package has really benefited from our new skills and experience.   I want to thank everyone involved in its development, particularly Laura Baker, who led the project – the training specialists, our implementation team and licensed trainers, designers, associates and other partners”.

Read more about how we developed our virtual training package.

How we evaluated the resources

With the needs of our learners and their managers at the heart of our work, we considered what they needed to know to enable them to use and implement the Star well within their service. We tested new resources with our in-house training and implementation teams and our associate training professionals, all experts on the Outcomes Star.

We collected, organised, and modified the information and delivery methods. We then tested the new resources with new learners to see what worked and didn’t, ensuring they were equally effective in both learning environments.

What’s new?

The first thing Licensed Trainers (LTs) will notice is how different they look visually. The second thing LTs will notice is the increased number of slides. We can reassure LTs by saying more information is displayed visually to make it easier for learners and accommodate different learning styles.

We’ve also introduced new graphics, icons, multimedia, and links to support and embed learning. We have included a new trauma-informed practice session, visuals of the different Journeys of Change, and the materials learners need to use in practice.

There is a greater emphasis on pre-and post-session objectives and new engaging activities to reinforce learning in each session. The slide deck and training manual are also coloured-coded to match each other. 

  • New course structure
  • Now delivered in two half days or one full day
  • Reduced sessions from 5 to 4
  • Greater emphasis on pre-and post-session objectives
  • New learning methods and terminology
  • New graphics, icons, multimedia, and links

“The new course reflects the changes we’ve made in helping to ensure the Star is used consistently well by practitioners and in being more trauma-informed. The materials are more engaging, taking into account the different learning styles of our learners. I am so looking forward to delivering it!”.

Sarah Brimelow, Associate Trainer for Triangle, views on the new resources:

Mick Caroll, Associate Triangle Trainer said:

“I was part of the St Mungo’s team that first worked with Triangle Consulting to develop the Outcomes Star in 2003. I have used it in many other organisations in the years since. Seeing its growth and development in that time has been inspiring.

These new training support materials are the culmination of that: clear and simple, and very powerful. They contain the distilled knowledge and insights of frontline social care, academic and policy practitioners, as well as seasoned trainers. And it shows.

Triangle used pencils and rulers to draw the first stars and Windows 3.1 for the slides. These materials result from a constant reinvestment of passion for human development. They put 21st-century tools in the hands of trainers for learners to inherit all that brilliance for the people they support. I’m very proud to have been there at the start and to have been able to witness this wonderful process”.

How can I access the latest resources?

  1. Training package [PowerPoint slide deck & training manual] will be available from Star Online from March 2023 
  2. Triangle will send hard copies of the new Training Manual to all LTs after they have attended a CPD session.

When can I start using the new resources?

We are holding several launch events to introduce the new Star Core package and training manual over the next six months, you only need to attend one of these.

LTs will be able to start using the new resources after this training.

Licenced Trainers (not Aus/NZ) will receive an email listing all the upcoming launch events and CPD sessions with registration links. We look forward to you joining us!

January 2024 update: The introduction of the new Star Core package and training manual has now finished. To book for CPD sessions, please access the booking link via Star Online.

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Further information

If you would like further information about Outcomes Star training or becoming a licensed trainer, please email us at info@triangleconsulting.co.uk

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New GIRFEC mapping guidance for Scottish organisations and practitioners using My Star (Scotland)

My Star aligns with Scottish Government’s ‘Getting it right for every child’ approach

In November 2022, Triangle published new GIRFEC mapping guidance for licensed Outcomes Star users of My Star (Scotland).

The My Star (Scotland) guidance for workers covers how to use Star data to report against the eight indicators of well-being (often referred to as SHANARRI). It can be found within the Star Online system via the following link to the resources section: Resources – Triangle (staronline.org.uk) and clicking into the ‘Additional Star Resources – Scotland’. There you will find the following documents:

  • My Star Guidance for Workers (Scotland)
  • My Star Chart (Scotland)
  • My Star Flashcards (Scotland)

Within this section, similar guidance is also available for the Family Star (Scotland) and the Family Star (Early Years) (Scotland).

History

Wellbeing sits at the heart of the Scottish GIRFEC approach to provide tailored support and help for children, young people and their parents.

To help ensure everyone (children, young people, parents, and the services that support them) has a common understanding of what wellbeing and the GIRFEC principles mean, practitioners and organisations are asked to consider each of the eight SHANARRI well-being wheel indicators when working together to address individual issues.

The approach considers children’s well-being to be rights-based, strengths-based, holistic and adaptable enough to take into account the stage of development and the complexity of each child or young person’s individual life circumstances. It provides a consistent framework and shared language for promoting, supporting and safeguarding the well-being of children and young people.

SHANARRI Indicators

  • Safe
  • Healthy
  • Achieving
  • Nurtured
  • Active
  • Respected
  • Responsible
  • Included

My Star (Scotland) was developed in 2015.  At that time the GIRFEC framework and the associated SHANARRI indicators were in their infancy. Consequently, although many of the outcome areas of My Star directly related to the eight SHANARRI well-being indicators, these were not automatically included or referred to within the My Star (Scotland) resources. 

In 2022, during Outcomes Star training sessions facilitated by Licensed Trainers with North Lanarkshire Council, involving staff from education, children & family services, feedback suggested benefit in creating bespoke guidance which, whilst not changing the content or data obtained from using My Star, directly linked the outcome areas of My Star with the eight SHANARRI well-being indicators.

Staff from these services aim to support children and their families to thrive within their families, school and the local community. It was felt there would be distinct benefits for staff having clear correlation guidance between the child or young person’s circumstances, the interventions supporting them and how this meets the GIRFEC framework.

The development of the mapping guidance was a collaborative process involving managers and staff from North Lanarkshire Council and Triangle.

After several months of work, My Star/ SHANARRI mapping guidance was agreed, and the supporting materials were produced.  These resources were then circulated to all organisations in Scotland using the My Star for further feedback and comment.

Following a subsequent feedback review, the resources were finalised and published in November 2022. 

If you are a Star Online user, these documents can be associated with your service by your Account Lead, who will give you access to the materials required. Alternatively, if you are not a Star Online user, your Account Lead will have individual access to the system and can save these documents to your own internal systems for distribution and use.

It is hoped that the guidance and associated materials will be of benefit to all organisations in Scotland using My Star and will assist both at an operational level in providing support to the child, young person and their families, but also at a service level, whereby services are easily able to link their delivery of services to the well-being indicators outlined by the Scottish Government.

Background information

My Star for children was originally developed in 2013 in collaboration with Family Action, Action for Children, Westminster Council and Coram.  In 2015, Triangle developed My Star (Scotland) in collaboration with Fife Council and input from Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Further information

If you would like further information about My Star or the Outcomes Star, please email us at info@triangleconsulting.co.uk

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Scottish Association for the Study of Offending (SASO) Annual Conference 2022

Jim Boreland

I’m Jim Borland, the Implementation Lead for Triangle in Scotland. My role is to support a range of different organisations across the country to use the Outcomes Star in a way that best helps them to support their various clients.

I am also an ex-Police Officer, and following my retirement from the force, I worked for several years in a national charity. Much of the work there was focused on rehabilitating offenders and supporting people within or on the cusp of the Criminal Justice system. As such, I have a genuine interest in things relating to the Criminal Justice system and was keen to attend the Scottish Association for the Study of Offending (SASO) conference on November 11th 2022, which focussed on access to j, in particular, the obstacles to obtaining justice from both sides of the Criminal Justice system in Scotland, for victim and perpetrator alike.  

I looked forward to hearing about the current challenges and learning more about the range of successful recent initiatives and plans to support everyone within society to get access to justice when they need it.

As a result of the recent pandemic, this was the first face-to-face conference in recent years, bringing together a variety of interested individuals and front-line organisations working in the justice arena. The keynote speakers were all high-ranking professionals within their disciplines discussing their personal experiences of the justice system in Scotland. The conference also allowed them to propose some ‘blue sky’ ideas to help ensure access to justice will be available to everyone who needs it in the coming years.

The conference highlighted and celebrated the invaluable work undertaken by front-line services and staff. It was also an excellent opportunity for delegates to connect, network, learn from each other, and share experiences.

Whilst some initial design work had already commenced, Sheriff Principal Aisha Anwar spoke about the various technological advancements developed due to the pandemic, including the use of ‘virtual’ courtrooms and evidence provided remotely via digital platforms. She also highlighted several new procedural improvements, including ‘electronic’ warrants and fast-tracking domestic abuse cases, designed to streamline the sometimes lengthy legal processes. These developments are intended to ensure that the justice system is demonstrably ‘fair’ to all and provide appropriate and timely access to justice for both an accused person and the victims of crime.

The next speaker was Andrea Coomer, the Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform. Throughout a very passionate presentation, she highlighted the apparent lack of diversity in the Judiciary system, particularly in England and Wales, and consequently, the noticeable lack of trust by a majority of the general public, particularly with young people and people from ethnic minorities. She provided several examples of young people being unable to access justice. She posed questions about the suitability of court proceedings when the reality was that the person might be suffering from mental health issues, be a victim of abuse themselves or be disadvantaged in accessing legal representation due to their personal circumstances. Her plea was that ‘legacy’ legal systems need to change as we move towards the future.

The next speaker was Andrea Coomer, the Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform. Throughout a very passionate presentation, she highlighted the apparent lack of diversity in the Judiciary system, particularly in England and Wales, and consequently, the noticeable lack of trust by a majority of the general public, particularly with young people and people from ethnic minorities. She provided several examples of young people being unable to access justice. She posed questions about the suitability of court proceedings when the reality was that the person might be suffering from mental health issues, be a victim of abuse themselves or be disadvantaged in accessing legal representation due to their personal circumstances. Her plea was that ‘legacy’ legal systems need to change as we move towards the future.

The last keynote speaker, Ronaldo Renucci KC, the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Advocates in Scotland, spoke at length about the practical issues faced by defence solicitors, including a declining number of solicitors, a lack of new defence solicitors coming into the field, the capping of legal aid, the increasing amount of work for existing defence solicitors, the rising number of new clients and increased case preparation requirements. These issues are even more significant for cases involving sex crimes, which are very distressing for all persons involved (prosecution and defence alike). He emphasised the right for everyone to have the ability to access justice, and that included obtaining appropriate legal representation. However, this is becoming difficult due to the limiting factors raised, and he put forward several ideas about improving the current situation.

The afternoon session was an interactive session where groups of delegates reviewed scenario’s where access to justice was complicated due to a vast range of legal and organisational processes. Throughout these scenario discussions, it was highlighted that there was still much work to be done to ensure access to justice reaches everyone who needs it – accused persons, victims, and the public in general.

Whilst the use of the Outcomes Star might not at first glance appear to directly link to getting ‘access to justice’, it is relevant when organisations support individuals throughout their journey within the Criminal Justice system.

Clearly, everyone has different support needs from the system, and using the Justice Star could assist with that.

The Justice Star recognises that each person requires an individually tailored plan to support them throughout their journey towards and through the Criminal Justice system. This could include after being charged, post-conviction, in prison and re-entering the community upon leaving prison. These tailored plans would involve having effective supportive networks, supportive relationships and a sense of community which is vital for well-being but also for diverting the individual away from previous criminal activity and out of the Justice system itself.

In addition to the Justice Star, The Empowerment Star assists survivors of domestic abuse in getting their life back on track and dealing with the trauma of what’s happened to them.

The person-centred approach used by the Outcomes Star was very much at the heart of the Panel discussions, where representatives from the Scottish Human Rights Commission, Victim Support Scotland, Scottish Prison Service and Local Authority Social Work, highlighted the need for better action planning and more creative solutions, to achieve more sustainable results irrespective of the person being the offender or victim.

At Triangle, we often discuss the importance of enabling and empowering people by being person-centred, strengths-based and using trauma-informed language. However, as highlighted by most of the speakers, several external factors linked to the Criminal Justice system will directly impact what is achievable by a person or supporting organisation. The most obvious was available finance. It was commented upon frequently that a lack of funding directly affected the quality of service and support that could be provided, significantly impacting the levels of access to justice a person could achieve. In some cases, it was more of a ‘post-code lottery’ as to whether necessary support to access and achieve justice was available.

It was evident, however, that additional money alone won’t fix the problems. The culture of the current Criminal Justice system, being based on traditional processes, procedures and even standards of dress, doesn’t make it user-friendly or even recognisable to people accessing it. It’s like a strange new world they don’t recognise or understand. Therefore, whilst there is a degree of familiarity with using traditional ways, there is also a need to move forward with the times, and several presentations indeed demonstrated a move in that direction.

The conference provided several examples of innovative service delivery developed to meet the demands of a changing society, mainly due to the recent pandemic. These new ways of working will continue to put the individual at the centre of any new processes. As the Outcomes Star has been demonstrated to be an effective tool in determining needs, highlighting gaps in service provision, and providing data analysis to support change, I hope Triangle may be involved in future discussions around this change process.

Overall, plenty for me to ponder relative to the Criminal Justice system in Scotland. I look forward to continuing some of these discussions with existing or new Scottish clients in the future.

Further information

If you would like further information about the Justice Star or the Empowerment Star, please email us at info@triangleconsulting.co.uk

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More about our Stars for the Criminal Justice Sector

Outcomes Star ‘virtual training’ package developed as a result of Covid-19

Delivering increased flexibility and choice for UK and international clients

When the Covid-19 virus shut down the world in March 2020, many organisations had to quickly revise their face-to-face training to deliver online learning. Our training team did a fantastic job of rising to the challenge, and within weeks we had a virtual training offer, we adopted new digital learning strategies to produce an online version of the Core Star training course by May 2020.

Now the Outcomes Star virtual training delivery has been implemented for a while. It’s time to evaluate the engagement and benefits and explore the importance of high-quality Outcomes Star training in a classroom or a virtual learning setting.

Why is engagement so crucial to learning, especially online?

If you’ve ever taught a course, you’ll have seen how easy it is for learners to refrain from paying attention, participating or putting forth effort. The level of engagement and understanding directly impacts an individual’s ability to apply Star information and skills we teach in practice.

A key challenge for us was how to emulate our in-person Outcomes Star learning experience in a live synchronous virtual environment. We were determined to create the same high level of engagement, enjoyment, and interactivity learners experienced face-to-face and virtually to ensure the Outcome Stars are understood and used well.

Key members of our training team upskilled and undertook industry leading LPI online training course designer and facilitation qualifications to meet the challenge.

We also explored technology options and now mainly deliver training using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other platforms upon request.

Creating virtual training was an exciting evolution for us. We learned how to use embedded tools such as polls, chat, whiteboards, and breakout rooms to bring people together for valuable discussion, practice, and collaboration. We discovered we could use these tools to stimulate thoughtful and fruitful interactions to enable peer learning virtually. We now use a range of interactive activities that support and reinforce content to help virtual learners connect with the content.

We have been delighted with the engagement and participation levels. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and reassuring. We know virtual learners feel confident in their understanding of the Star and have a positive outlook on their learning experience.

We found organisations welcomed the flexibility, saving time and money.

Traditionally face-to-face learning is a one-day event. If you can’t get everyone on your team there, they miss the training, which is now a thing of the past with remote training. Our remote Star training option is also available in ½ day modules, suiting clients not wishing to close a department for a whole day, reducing travel costs and time, and supporting geographically dispersed teams with networking opportunities. Training remotely means we can also match your service with trainers knowledgeable about your sector, wherever you are.

Virtual Core Star training advantages

  • ½ day modules
  • Reduced travel costs
  • Less time away from the job
  • Convenience of not needing to travel physically
  • Opportunities for isolated or dispersed teams to interact and network

Whilst many organisations opt for the ease and convenience of virtual training.  There are many situations when training your staff face-to-face is the right, if not better, option. There are several advantages to conducting face-to-face training as opposed to doing it virtually to consider.

Face-to-face Core Star training advantages

  • Being part of group learning ‘live’ is a powerful learning method
  • Fosters connection and collaborative social interaction
  • Strengthens workplace relationships
  • Trainers adapting to body language leads to better learning results
  • No option to multi-task

Why is Outcomes Star training so important?

When the Outcomes Stars are used well, they have the capacity to transform lives and improve services in a wide range of social provision sectors. 

We learned early on that although the Star looks like a simple and intuitive tool, training to understand its values and how to use it properly is vital. Without training, the Journey of Change, the User Guides, and the detailed descriptions of the scales (the numbers on the Star) can too often be put to one side by practitioners. Unfortunately, using the Star in this way undermines the meaningfulness of the data and the benefits for the practitioner’s keywork and the person receiving support.

The Outcomes Star is a trauma-informed relational tool that supports change in keywork relationships. It helps practitioners and the people they support to have better conversations.

It does this by helping create a better quality of listening to develop a shared understanding of a person’s life, priorities, and needs from their perspective, using an evidence-based conversational framework to guide the conversation.

As well as the tools themselves, training and guidance around the Outcomes Star emphasises flexibility in responding to a client’s window of tolerance and preferences – for example, about when and how to introduce and discuss the different outcome areas.

There is also guidance about identifying appropriate action plans in a trauma-informed way that is sensitive to the client’s capacity to drive things forward themselves.

It’s important to understand the Star’s focus on engagement, choices, and actions is more valuable than a tool that measures the severity of problems because the Journey of Change breaks down complex, personal change into small steps.  

It helps spotlight the positive shifts and incremental progress that can be overlooked. Identifying and celebrating the small steps that make a difference in people’s complex lives is a key benefit of the Star– helping to counter-act any reliance on unrealistic expectations, which can have a detrimental, demotivating effect.

The Outcomes Star tools have many features that directly support trauma-informed working that we explore in detail in training, including:

  • Relationship-based
  • Empowerment
  • Focuses on the present, not someone’s history
  • Strengths-based not deficit-based
  • Holistic
Triangle’s values

Outcomes Star training equips practitioners and licensed trainers with a deeper understanding of the theory and values behind the Star so that they can build this into their practice, training, and induction processes.

Whichever training delivery option you choose, our flexible hybrid offer will meet your practitioner and manager’s need to understand and use the Outcome Star well in your service.

  • Understand how to co-create sustainable outcomes for people receiving support
  • Measure outcomes for adults and children
  • Analysis your data and innovate service delivery

Making an impact

As part of our strategic review in 2019, we surveyed our clients to find out what difference the Star makes. We expected broadly positive findings, but the appreciation and impact delighted us.

Here are a few highlights:

  • 87% of Star users report that their keywork is more effective as a result of using the Star
  • 81% said that Star data reports enabled them to monitor and report on their outcomes more effectively
  • 95% say that the Star supports good conversations and collaboration between staff and service users
  • 92% say that it helps service users to get an overview of their situation
  • 93% say that the Star supports person-centred, strengths-based working
  • 92% say that the Star motivates staff and service users because it makes change visible.

Licensed Trainers and the CPD Community

Licensed Trainers (LTs) are individuals who have received training and achieved the LT qualification to deliver training and support effectively within their organisations. Licensed Trainers become part of a community of Outcomes Star trainers.

The ‘train the trainer’ route can be cost-effective for large organisations.

At the end of 2021, we launched our of CPD sessions for Licensed Trainers to educate, inform, and inspire for free. Our CPD program has increased workplace engagement, improved communication, and generated significantly more opportunities to share top training tips and good practices via professional peer-to-peer learning.

In 2022, we delivered a wide range of informative and interactive sessions focussed on supporting our community of licensed trainers (LTs) globally. We aim to provide key ‘takeaways’ in every session for licensed trainers to use in their own training rooms immediately. The intensive development and delivery process results have been very positive, and over 66% of our Licensed Trainers globally have already attended sessions.

These sessions cover a range of subjects and draw on specialist knowledge and information across Triangle and beyond.

Please view our 2023 CPD calendar to book.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information on becoming a Licensed Trainer.

New resources for Licensed Trainers coming soon

New dual face-to-face and virtual training slide deck and training manual will be available for Licensed Trainers from March 2023. Read more

We look forward to training you soon, face-to-face or remotely, to demonstrate how well the Stars measure service user progression and distance travelled, how they can highlight areas for service delivery improvements, and illustrate your social impact to funders. #Enablinghelp

The cover of the Outcomes Star core course training presentation & training manual 2023

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The Outcomes Star is available under licence with training in the UK and internationally. 

We usually need around 4-6 weeks’ notice to organise a trainer and materials, so please speak to us about your timescales.

Training prices start from £240 per person.

If you have any questions about remote training or new Stars, or want any information on the new Star Online or anything else, don’t hesitate to contact us at info@triangleconsulting.co.uk

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Welcome back to conference season! Autumn 2022

Events & Exhibitions

Autumn has arrived! After a notable absence in these past few years due to the pandemic, we are delighted the industry conferences are awakening again. We are exhibiting at three key exhibitions in the latter part of 2022 and attending several more.  Scroll to the bottom to learn more. 

At the time of writing, our first significant exhibition is with the Carers Trust Partners Network Conference: Reconnecting – Nationally and Locally taking place on the 21-22nd Sept in Nottingham. It’s the first big event in the carers calendar since 2019. We are looking forward to meeting old and new faces, promoting the Stars, the Star Online and the Star materials, as well as hearing about the radical changes in the unpaid carers landscape from the experts. We’ve also worked alongside Carers Trust to explore what could be learnt from Star data across several Carers Trust network partners and created a new Exploring Carers Star Data case study to inspire services supporting carers. Also available on the Carers Star webpage.

The next major event in our calendar is billed as the leading health & social care conference in Northern Ireland, taking place in Belfast on 19-20th October. The Northern Ireland Annual Conference & Exhibition 2022 (NICON22). This is Ireland’s first large conference for the Health & Social care sector since 2019. It will also be our first big exhibition for our new(ish) Scottish and Irish Outcomes Star teams to showcase our growing suite of almost 50 Stars. We’ll be promoting the value of the Outcomes Stars and highlighting the essential insight your service can gain from Star data, to support the people you serve, your workers and your service. We also will be exhibiting and networking with our colleagues across the private, voluntary and community sectors, and looking forward to hearing from the vast array of speakers. Read more about the team attending: Patrick Toland (Ireland), Jim Borland (Scotland) and Eileen Cassidy (Scotland & Ireland). Visit us at booth 8. 

The last major exhibition we will be exhibiting at in 2022 will be The National Children’s and Adults Services Conference in Manchester from 2-4th November. The event is aimed at all those working with children, young people, their families and vulnerable adults, including in health, social care and education. We are attending this event to promote the updated Family Star Plus, launching in Spring 2023 following the end of a significant 18-month review process. We will be providing information about the changes to the Family Star Plus, and we are keen to record reactions to the new Star to help us spread the word. For more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with info@triangleconsulting.co.uk

Lastly, we are also attending the following events. 

  • 8-9th Sept: Go-Lab: Social Outcomes Conference 2022, Oxford – see blog
  • 22nd Sept: CAMHS National Summit 2022: Transforming Mental Health Services for Children & Young Adults, online
  • 3rd Oct: Learning from our practice 2018–2022 with Lloyds Foundation, London
  • 11-12th Oct: COMMUNITY CARE LIVE 2022
  • 21st Oct: #SheMatters Criminal Justice Conference, Kent
  • 11th Nov: Access to Justice, Edinburgh
  • 29th Nov: National Homelessness Event, online
  • 1-2nd Dec: National Commissioning Conference, Derbyshire

Come and talk to our teams who are ready to answer all your questions. Of course, you can always follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn and talk to us there. We are also always on the lookout for the next big success story of Star use and to support connecting services together.  For more information about marketing or your experiences using the Outcomes Stars you can directly contact Jen@Triangleconsulting.co.uk

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Going for collaboration at the GoLab Conference

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Triangle co-founder and Outcomes Star co-author Joy MacKeith reflects on the theme of collaboration at this year’s Social Outcomes Conference and points to Human Learning Systems as an effective way to make this the norm in service delivery.

Hear Joy describe what Triangle has learnt about what works in service delivery in this podcast

Watch her conversation with HLS proponent Toby Lowe

In early September, I had a fascinating two days at the Government Outcomes Lab (GoLab) Social Outcomes Conference.

I learnt about Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) and other outcomes-based funding initiatives around the world, from France to Australia and Paraguay to Japan, but for me, the most interesting session was on the UK’s Life Chances Fund.

We heard from many of the initiatives receiving this funding, all of them doing incredible work in a range of sectors including vulnerable mothers, employment and mental health.

The strongest common theme was how this additional funding and its link to long-term outcomes drove meaningful collaboration between providers and commissioners. In these initiatives, all parties are working together to identify blocks and create an ecosystem of services that has the needs of the person being helped at the core. It was inspiring to hear about their work.

Interestingly there wasn’t very much talk about the payment mechanisms and the extent to which linking funding to the achievement of particular targets was a valuable part of the process. From behind-the-scenes conversations I have had at this conference in previous years, I know that this can be a sensitive subject. Projects can be reticent to raise this issue when funders are in the room.

There were, however, some interesting discussions about the sustainability of these programmes. Although they can demonstrate cost savings, these are not always savings to the organisation providing the funding. For example, the local authority provides the funding, but the health service makes the saving. And they are not always ‘cashable’. For example, re-offending rates are reduced, but that does not make it possible to close down a wing of that prison and thereby reduce costs, at least in the short term. This fact can threaten the sustainability of SIBs as the rationale depends on the logic of these cashable savings. Perhaps we need to look for other mechanisms to support collaboration.

I have attended this conference for the last four years. This year I sensed a growing recognition of the importance of a person-centred approach to service delivery and the need to create a collaborative service system to achieve this. And more and more people now have experience of seeing how this can deliver improvements in practice. What we need now is a way of making this way of working part of typical day-to-day practice – in commissioning and service management, rather than something that happens when there is an additional pot of money to incentivise and support it.

Here I think Human Learning Systems (HLS) has some of the answers. It is an approach with problem-solving and ‘doing what it takes’ rather than ‘doing by the book’ at its core. This was a point made at the event by Lee Whitehead of Manchester Metropole University. He studied many SIBs and found that those that followed the HLS principles were more likely to succeed.  Gary Wallace of Plymouth also talked about how they are taking the kind of relational approach that both HLS and Triangle recommend outside of the context of a SIB.

I’ve been exploring HLS and the overlaps with Triangle’s Enabling Help principles with Toby Lowe, one of its leading proponents.  You can watch our conversation here.

And for a fuller description of what Triangle has learnt from twenty years of creating and supporting the Outcomes Stars in practice, listen to this episode of Next Stage Radicals where I describe the main messages of our Enabling Help report.

Also, look out for October’s edition where Mark Smith of Gateshead Council will be talking about how they are transforming their service delivery – informed by HLS and working with the Outcomes StarTM.

I will certainly be back at GoLab in 2023. I hope there will be even more space next year to hear from people like Mark who are finding ways to implement the person-centred and collaborative approaches, that are so important to Triangle and the people who use our Outcomes Stars– with or without a SIB.

Further reading: Dr Anna Good shares her thoughts on #SOC22

Musings on the importance of trusting relationships, professionals’ emotional labour, and the desire to improve delivery through data. 

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GoLab – Social Outcomes Conference 2022

Dr Anna Good shares her thoughts on #SOC22

Last week, Triangle directors- Graham Randles, Joy MacKeith and I attended the Government Outcomes Lab annual conference #SOC22

One presentation that particularly resonated with me was from Reji Ikeda at the Ministry of Justice in Japan. Talking about ‘value measurement for offender rehabilitation’, he emphasised the importance of the quality of the relationship and the ‘emotional labour of professionals and volunteers’ on rehabilitation outcomes. He also spoke about how poor occupational well-being can negatively impact these relationships. I couldn’t resist mentioning the Justice Star as an excellent tool for developing trusting relationships and boosting staff morale in this context.

Joy’s recent report Enabling help puts human relationships at the heart of effective service delivery, so this is at the forefront of my mind when thinking about the Star. The Enabling help report highlights the problems with borrowing from approaches such as the scientific and economic paradigms in social provision. Although not focused on the Star, the innovative suite of Stars offers a better, more enabling approach. I thought of this when the keynote presenter, Julie Battliana, stated that ‘agitation is alone is not enough to make change happen, innovation is required’.

 Another theme that I noticed running throughout the conference was the desire to use data to improve service delivery. I felt this was encouraging in a conference often focused on meeting targets and payment by results. Miika Vuorinen, a Chief of Evaluation from Finland, commented that one way to know if social outcome frameworks are working is to see if they are being integrated into the decision-making processes. Closer to home, Stan Gilmour from Thames Valley Police gave a powerful presentation, emphasising ethical decisions based on using data to allocate resources and plan social impact.

It’s possible I was looking out for these positive signs, as I feel passionate about encouraging and supporting good use of Star data. By ‘good use’ of data, I mean those closest to the creation of Star data (practitioners and managers) interpreting the data and using the learning to encourage changes needed to maximise the outcomes for those being supported.

Further reading: Going for collaboration at the GoLab Conference

Triangle co-founder and Outcomes Star co-author Joy MacKeith reflects on the theme of collaboration at this year’s Social Outcomes Conference and points to Human Learning Systems as an effective way to make this the norm in service delivery.

Sign up to our quarterly newsletter for product updates, case studies, publications and news. 

New ‘How to’ guide explains how the Outcomes Star can turn Human Learning Systems principles into practice

Since the publication of our Enabling Help report last year, we have been working with Toby Lowe and colleagues at the Centre for Public Impact to articulate how the Outcomes Star can operationalise learning as a management strategy and other core components of the Human Learning Systems (HLS) paradigm.

Both HLS and Enabling help focus on moving on from the failings of New Public Management towards an alternative vision of supporting ‘human freedom and flourishing’ through creating flexible, relational, compassionate service delivery systems in which the role of measuring is to support learning for individuals, organisations and places.

The Star as a tool for turning HLS and Enabling Help principles into practice

We are delighted that the Star is one of the tools identified in the Centre for Public Impact’s recently launched guide: Human Learning Systems: A practical guide for the curious, commissioned by Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Iriss.  

 The guide highlights three different ways that the Outcomes Star can be used to put the principles of Human Learning Systems into practice:

  • Person level: the Star empowers people to take an overview of where they are, understand their life as a system, choose their goals and work out the next steps to achieve them
  • Organisation/place level: the Star enables meaningful purpose-aligned reflection and learning about what is and isn’t working within services, in order to better support those they serve
  • Connected learning cycles: the Star offers a way of collective sense-making between different actors within or across organisations, for example within a multidisciplinary team supporting an individual, or between commissioners and service providers

Read the Outcomes Star case studies included within the guide. 

The synergy between the Star and human learning systems

HLS started as an analysis of the problems within traditional approaches to public service management.  It has gone on to articulate an alternative framework and then look for practical ways of bringing that vision to life. 

The Outcomes Star, in contrast, started as a practical tool for service providers to evidence that they are making a difference in a way that really reflects and supports what they do. From there we articulated the vision of service delivery and public management that was implicit in the tool in our Enabling Help report. 

The convergence of these approaches, despite their different starting points, speaks volumes.  The time has come for this shift in thinking and practice.  We look forward to furthering collaboration with the HLS movement and others who share this vision.

Could your use of the Star inspire others?
Are you working with the Star as part of a wider HLS approach?
Please get in touch with our Research analyst, Dr Anna Good (anna@triangleconsulting.co.uk), as we are keen to create and publicise more case studies.