Revised site-visit standards: A quality-assurance framework

Michael Quinn Patton provides a revised framework for site-visit standards to distinguish between those that provide minimal quality control and those that might ensure excellence.

The paper begins with a brief background on the evolution of site-visit standards and how the author revised the standards based on feedback, especially the content in the chapters of the special edition of New Directions for Evaluation, to which this paper belongs.

The first six standards are summarised, and examples of the insights gained from chapters of the special edition are provided. The author then introduces and presents a detailed new framework for site-visit standards.

Revised standards

The following standards form the revised framework (Patton, 2017, p. 90-101):

  • Standard 1. Evaluation Competence
  • Standard 2. Methodological Competence
  • Standard 3. Interpersonal Competence
  • Standard 4. Cultural Competence
  • Standard 5. Planning and Preparation
  • Standard 6. Site Participation
  • Standard 7. Do No Harm
  • Standard 8. Credible Fieldwork
  • Standard 9. Neutrality
  • Standard 10. Debriefing and Feedback
  • Standard 11. Site Review
  • Standard 12. Follow-Up


Patton, M. Q. (2017). Revised site-visit standards: A quality-assurance framework. In Nelson, R. K. & Roseland, D. L. (Eds.), Conducting and Using Evaluative Site Visits. New Directions for Evaluation, 156, 83–102.

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