An Evaluation of the Moving Forward Making Changes Training Programme in the Community

Gabriele Vojt, Georgia Black

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Background The Moving Forward Making Changes (MF:MC) programme was implemented across Scotland’s criminal justice face in 2013/2014. In contrast to previous interventions, MF:MC is based on the principles advocated by the Good Lives Model (GLM) (Ward & Stewart, 2003), the Risk Needs Responsivity approach (Andrews & Bonta, 2007) and desistance theory (McNeil, 2010). While evidence suggests that the GLM approach may be associated with a reduction in reoffending, the MF:MC programme has not been evaluated to date. To this end, the Risk Management Authority (RMA) has been commissioned to provide quality assurance and support the evaluation of the effectiveness of the programme in the community in collaboration with other stakeholders. In line with Kirkpatrick (1994) and Gendreau and Andrews’ (2006), the evaluation of training and learning within ‘real life’ is essential in informing future outcomes of effectiveness. Aims This project aimed to systematically evaluate the learning experience of the MF:MC training delivered to community justice practitioners across Scotland. Methods Twenty-nine Criminal Justice social work staff across a number of staff levels were interviewed to inform a Scotland wide survey. The survey was completed by n = 124 staff across different MF:MC related disciplines (treatment manager, line manager, group facilitator and case managers). Main findings The overall results suggest that most participants had favourable opinions on the MF:MC programme. There are clear differences between staff groups, in particular between (1) treatment managers, group facilitators vs (2) line managers, case managers in reference to the overall training experience, the reality of applying MF:MC in practice, and the self-report ratings of learning retained and competencies in delivery. This noted, there was an overarching agreement that all staff felt their contribution to MF:MC was important, and all staff indicated an understanding for the introduction of MF:MC in practice. Caution is required when considering these findings as this study did not collate any corroborative evidence from participants’ practice. Main conclusions This study has identified a clear need for revising various aspects of the MF:MC training materials and the manuals. Those who are required to deliver the programme particularly highlighted that the language employed in the manuals was not fit for purpose, and that the manuals lacked clarity in structure, processes and procedures.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationPaisley
PublisherRisk Management Authority
Number of pages37
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • community
  • Scotland
  • social work
  • Moving Forward Making Changes (MF:MC)
  • criminal justice


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