This is a working document that will be regularly reviewed as more data becomes availableV6

The below performance plan can be used with each Employment Specialist (ES) to ensure they have clear individualised key performance indicators (KPIs). The definition of each key performance indicator is included within the relevant tables below.

Performance plan for individual Employment Specialists

Key Performance Indicator Target
Access Year 1 – at least 35 people (new ES or new service)

This is pro-rated depending on when the individual starts in post and ESs are not expected to achieve paid outcomes in their first 3 months in post.
Year 2 – at least 35-45 people, with at least 25 new referrals in the new financial year
Job outcomes (multiple)Year 1 – at least 17 outcomes

Year 2 – at least 22 outcomes
Job outcomes (single)At least 30% of people into paid employment
Number of sustained employment outcomesAt least 65% of clients sustain employment beyond 13 weeks


Performance indicatorDefinition and rationaleRecommended evidence
ReferralsDate the referral is receivedRecord referrals to the service – could be tracked via MHSDS and IPS Grow data tool or other management information system


Performance indicator Definition and rationale Recommended evidence
Access (MHSDS definition)The first contact between the ES and clientRecord via MHSDS, IPS Grow data tool or other management information system
Access (IPSG best practice)The ES & client have started work on their vocational profile and client confirms commitment to starting IPS journeyRecord via IPS Grow data tool or caseload summaries
Number of people on caseloadNumber of active clients on caseload. An active client is defined as someone who has been in contact with the service in the last 4 weeks and is engaged in their Vocational Action Plan.

Definition of an active client
Record via MHSDS, IPS Grow data tool or caseload summaries
No of active cases carried over from the previous financial yearClients who were referred to the service in the previous financial year but remain active and require support to gain work or retain their employmentRecord via caseload summaries and via MHSDS

Job outcomes

Performance indicator Definition and rationale Recommended evidence
Job outcomes (single)Number of people who have completed 4 or more hours of paid employment.
A client is self-employment if they are:

• Registered as a sole trader with HMRC
• Registered as a company

Self-employed clients should have a Business Plan which demonstrates long-term prospects (e.g., 6 months plus) and can support minimum wage income.

For clients who are self-employed or working zero hours contracts, take the average over the first month of work.

Hours worked per week can be calculated and updated as the case progresses. Paid work placements e.g., kickstart would also be included.
If required – pay slips or for self-employed – UTR number or business plan
Job outcomes (multiple)1Total number of jobs gained by people accessing the service. This could include second or third jobs, or multiple part-time jobs.

In line with research multiple job outcomes are counted.1
Record number of outcomes using IPS Grow data tool, local data tool or caseload summaries


Performance indicator Definition and rationale Recommended evidence
Number of people who sustain employmentCan be measured at the 13-, 26- and 52-week intervals. Sustained employment is measured over the same job or multiple jobs. Breaks in employment for clients with multiple jobs must be less than 6 weeks.

If a gap of more than 6 weeks occurs, the clock will reset, and sustainment’s will be calculated from the start date of the subsequent job.

Only one job sustainment outcome of each duration (13,26 weeks) will be counted for each person referred to the service. Sustainment outcomes may also be claimed for job retention cases following a return to work.
Track sustainment for both active and inactive clients using methods such as the IPS Grow data tool/spreadsheet.

Where this isn’t possible, services should report only on active clients (i.e., those receiving in work support & not yet discharged).

Job retention

Performance indicator Definition and rationale Recommended evidence
Measuring employment status at referralFor clients employed at the point of referral we suggest capturing their employment status, i.e., whether they are:

• Off work – on sick leave
• At work – job at risk
Recorded via the service data tool and caseload summaries.
Job retention outcomes
The return-to-work outcomes are:
• Same job / same employer
• Different job / same employer
• Same role / different employer
• Different job / different employer
• Length of time sustained at point of closure
• Closed not in work
A successful outcome is an improvement in a job satisfaction assessment.
For those off work sick a successful outcome will be claimed when the individual returns to work.
For those at work struggling a successful outcome will be claimed when all parties (client and employer) agree that the job has been successfully sustained.
Clinical note entry

Education outcomes

Performance indicator Definition and rationale Recommended evidence
Education achieved as part of the journey to workThis is defined as being enrolled in a formal mainstream course of study. Access to the Trust Recovery College courses can also be captured.

• Level 1 – GCSE grades D to G
• Level 2 – GCSE grades A* to C
• Level 3 –A levels /NVQ Level 3
• Level 4 – Cert. of Higher Education
• Level 5 – HND / Foundation Degree
• Level 6 – Bach Degree
• Level 7 – Masters / Post Grad
• Level 8 – Doctorate
• Recovery College
Recorded via the service data tool and caseload summaries.

Recorded as percentage moving into:

• Formal training
• FE College
• University
• Recovery College

Quality indicators

It is recommended that services also track quality indicators to support continuous improvement. Examples of some quality indicators to be measured can be found here.

Suggested fidelity items to track in ES performance plan

Services should have a strategy in place to collect a range of fidelity related evidence, to ensure they are delivering a high-fidelity service and have a focus on quality improvement. This will also ensure that services get the most out of their quality assurance fidelity review.

As well as a summary of outputs and outcomes, there are fidelity items of particular significance for strong performance, which should be reviewed on a regular basis in supervision and team meetings.

These include % of people having first face to face contact with employers within 30 days and ensuring that employer logs are retained and reviewed.  This reflects several research papers which identified that those ES who act early and have a strong focus on frequent employer engagement have higher outcomes. 2,3,4

Performance indicator Definition and rationale Recommended evidence
Caseload size at any one time20-25 active cases

Once on programme an active client is defined as someone who has been in contact with the service in the last 4 weeks and continues to be engaged in their Vocational Action Plan.
IPS Grow data tool/spreadsheet Caseload reviews
Rapid job searchHigh fidelity is defined as:

First face-to-face employer contact (which can be an informational interview by the client or ES about a competitive job) occurs within 30 days of starting the vocational profile.
IPS Grow data tool/spreadsheet or local management information system Caseload lists
New employment starts by time spent in IPS services from initial assessment to employmentPercentage of clients finding employment within 3 months, 3-6 months and over 6 months.Local management information system
Frequency of employer contactHigh fidelity would include 6 face-to-face job development meetings per week for a full-time ES.IPS Grow EE contact log
Contract type• Permanent employment
• Temporary work with end date within 4 weeks
• On-going casual work
• Zero hours contract
Caseload summaries

  1. Drake, Brown, Becker, Individual Placement and Support:  An evidenced based approach to supported employment.  Evidenced based practice Series, Oxford University Press.
  2. King, J. and Waghorn, G., 2018. How Higher Performing Employment Specialists Engage and Support Job-seekers with Psychiatric Disabilities. Journal of Rehabilitation84(2), pp.48-56.
  3. Corbière, M., Brouwers, E., Lanctôt, N. and van Weeghel, J., 2014. Employment specialist competencies for supported employment programs. Journal of occupational rehabilitation24(3), pp.484-497
  4. Whitley, Kostick, Bush 2010. Desirable Characteristics and Competencies of Supported Employment Specialists:  An Empirically Grounded Framework.