Pathways to advance professionalisation within the context of the AES

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.

These pathways are as follows:

  1. Ad hoc, disconnected activities;
  2. Focused, connected and strategic activities;
  3. Voluntary credentialing of evaluators; and
  4. Regulated and licensed profession.

The main recommendation of the report is that the AES follow a pathway of focused, connected and strategic activities, with a view to considering a voluntary credentialing process down the track.

A major feature of this report is the exploration of 41 activities and approaches that can be used to advance the professionalisation of monitoring and evaluation. These activities are likely to be of considerable interest to others who are undertaking or planning evaluation capacity strengthening activities.

Approaches discussed in report:

The approaches in this report are grouped into four broad change theories, drawing on the three included in Susan Mitchie’s Behaviour Change Wheel:  motivation, capacity, and opportunity, and adding gatekeeping. 

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

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

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

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


Peersman G, Rogers P (2017). Pathways to advance professionalisation within the context of the Australasian Evaluation Society. Melbourne: ANZSOG/BetterEvaluation.

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