Pathways to professionalisation - Part 2: Options for professionalisation

Patricia Rogers and Greet Peersman's picture 20th July 2018 by Patricia Rogers and Greet Peersman

In part 1 of this blog series, we introduced the ‘Pathways to advance professionalisation within the context of the AES’ project and report, which we conducted for the Australasian Evaluation Society. Our recommendation was to follow a pathway of focused, connected and strategic activities, with a view to considering a voluntary credentialing process down the track, but avoiding a regulated, licensed profession.

One of the features of the report is the discussion of 41 approaches that can and have been used for professionalisation in evaluation and in other related fields. The diagram below highlights how these activities fit in with what the AES is currently doing, and what we recommend they start to do, and you can read more about these recommendations in our last blog and associated report. 

Figure 1. Pathway 2: START focusing, connecting and augmenting current activities

(View larger image in new window)

Our report is only the starting point or the initial input to a consultative and collaborative process led by the AES leadership and committees.  The AES’ board has accepted the report’s recommendations and the AES has already started mapping a way forward for pathway 2. The first stage of this includes consultation, and the AES will host a webinar in August for AES members to give input on this strategy (details to be announced).

We believe these activities are likely to be of considerable interest to others who are undertaking or planning evaluation capacity strengthening activities.

The full list of activities serves as a reminder that we have a lot of tools at our disposal for increasing the quality of evaluation. Too often, we reach for only a few of them, most notably, brief training courses that are disconnected from people’s practical experiences. We can make a much bigger impact if we focus on a complementary mix of approaches that address not only the individual capacity and motivation of evaluators (supply) but, importantly, also the opportunities for evaluation (demand and enabling environment).

We have grouped these activities into four broad change theories, drawing on the three included in Susan Mitchie’s Behaviour Change Wheelmotivation, capacity, and opportunity, and adding gatekeeping. We’ve also added a number of these to the site in our newly revised Strengthen Evaluation Capacity task page in the Rainbow Framework, and linked to these new option pages in the list below. We’d love to hear your comments or thoughts on this list, and if you have any examples or resources to add to these new pages you can do so here.

Jump to:

Change Theory: INCREASING MOTIVATION – Active contribution to a valued occupational identity

1. Reference points for professional practice:

1.1 Code of conduct
1.2 Competencies
1.3 Distinct occupational category
1.4 Expectation of ongoing competency development
1.5 Standards

2. Engagement with other professional associations:

2.1 Evaluation associations
2.2 Other professional associations

3. Public recognition of good practice:

3.1 Awards
3.2 Fellows
3.3 Voluntary credentialling

Back to top of list

Change Theory: INCREASING CAPACITY – Ongoing and linked professional development and support

4. Competency assessment

4.1 Peer-assessment
4.2 Self-assessment

5. Knowledge, skills, attitudes (KSA) development

5.1 Dialogues
5.2 Peer learning
5.3 Self-paced learning
5.4 Training (accredited or not)

6. Ongoing competency development

6.1 Coaching
6.2 Expert advice
6.3 Expert review
6.4 Fellowship
6.5 Internship
6.6 Mentoring
6.7 Peer review
6.8 Supervision

7. Building and sharing knowledge

7.1 Community of Practice
7.2 Conference
7.3 Journal
7.4 Learning partnerships
7.5 R&D projects

Back to top of  list

Change Theory: INCREASING OPPORTUNITY – Better informed and motivated demand side of evaluation and enabling environment

8. Educating the public and evaluation managers and users:

8.1 Public information about evaluation
8.2 Public information about professional practice

9. Strengthening the enabling environment for good evaluation practice:

9.1 Engagement in relevant organisational processes
9.2 Engagement in relevant public processes

Back to top of  list 

Change Theory: GATEKEEPING - Controlling entry to the field and removing those breaching agreed professional standards or code of conduct

10. Restricting entry

10.1 Compulsory accreditation
10.2 Compulsory certification
10.3 Compulsory credentialling
10.4 Hurdle requirements for consultants register
10.5 Hurdle requirements for membership
10.6 Licensing

11. Detecting and correcting poor quality practice or unethical conduct

11.1 Complaints procedure
11.2 Disciplinary action

Read more


Pathways to professionalisation - Part 1: Professionalisation within the context of the AES

A major feature of the ‘Pathways to advance professionalisation within the context of the AES’ project and report is the exploration of 41 activities and approaches that can be used to advance the professionalisation of monitoring and evaluation. The conclusion of this two-part series looks at these approaches in more detail. We believe these activities are likely to be of considerable interest to others who are undertaking or planning evaluation capacity strengthening activities and we encourage you to share your feedback and thoughts on these activities at the end of this blog. Read more


This report by Greet Peersman and Patricia Rogers for the Australasian Evaluation Society (AES) identifies four potential pathways towards professionalisation within the context of the AES: 1) Ad hoc, disconnected activities; 2) Focused, connected and strategic activities; 3) Voluntary credentialing of evaluators; and 4) Regulated and licensed profession, and identifies 41 activities and approaches that can be used to advance professionalisation. Read more

Tell us what you think

What do you think of these identified options for advancing the professionalisation of evaluation? Are there any other options that you think should be included?  Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

A special thanks to this page's contributors
Director, Evaluation Capacity Strengthening, BetterEvaluation.
Melbourne, Australia.
Founder and former-CEO, BetterEvaluation.


There are currently no comments. Be the first to comment on this page!

Add new comment

Login Login and comment as BetterEvaluation member or simply fill out the fields below.